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Blank Screen at Start-Up


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#1
NewOney

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Hi Guys,

I am new to this board and need your help.

I have had this problem for a while now but it seems to come and go and lately has been more of a problem.
When I start up my computer the computer appears to start-up fine but the monitor will now show a display and stays in standby mode(the light blinks on the monitor). To fix this I have to hold in the power button to shut down the machine and then push it again. Usually it will work the second try but lately it is taking up to 10 tries. It can be very frustrating. After I start it this way I will here the computer beep twice just before the monitor turns on, it does not beep when it stays in standby mode.

When the monitor stays blank and remains in standby and I unplug the monitor connection to the computer, I get a message on the monitor that says check signal cable. It seems like the computer is not telling the monitor to turn on.

The computer is a EMachine T6534 running XP
The Monitor is a Samsung SyncMaster 920Nx.

I upgraded the memory by adding another 512MB,
I should also note that I added a graphics card, XFX GeForce 7300 GS, When I originally installed the card it worked great until this problem occurred, sometimes switching the monitor plug between the graphic card and the onboard video would make the monitor work. I recently un-installed the graphics card and ran the monitor strictly from the onboard video and the problem is still occurring.

Here are the specs on the computer;

Specifications
CPU: AMD Athlon™ 64 3700+ processor with AMD 64 Technology
(2.20GHz, 2000MHz system bus, 1MB L2 cache)
Operating System: Genuine Microsoft® Windows® XP Home (SP2)1
Chipset: NVIDIA® GeForce® 6100
Memory: 512MB DDR (1 × 512MB), 400MHz (PC3200)
Expandable to 4GB
Hard Drive: 200GB (7200rpm, 2MB cache)2
Optical Drive: 16x multiformat dual-layer DVD±RW
(Up to 8.5GB with dual-layer media)
Write max: 16x DVD±R, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+RW, 4x DVD+R DL, 40x CD-R, 24x CD-RW
Read max: 16x DVD-ROM, 40x CD-ROM
Media Reader: 9-in-1 Digital Media Manager™ (Memory Stick®, Memory Stick Pro®, MultiMediaCard™, Secure Digital™, CompactFlash®, MicroDrive, SmartMedia, xD-Picture Card™, USB 2.0)
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 6100 integrated graphics solution
Up to 128MB of shared video memory
PCI Express (PCIe x16) slot available
Sound: 6-channel (5.1) high-definition audio
Network: 10/100Mbps integrated Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port)
Modem: 56K ITU V.92-ready fax/modem (RJ-11 port)
Peripherals: Premium multimedia keyboard, 2-button wheel mouse, amplified stereo speakers (USB powered)
Ports/Other: 5 USB 2.0 (1 in Digital Media Manager™, 4 in back), VGA external connector, parallel port, 2 PS/2 ports (keyboard and mouse), 5 audio ports (2 in front, 3 in back)
Dimensions: 14.25"H x 7.25"W x 16"D
Weight: 22.5 lbs
Software: Microsoft Works® 8.51, Microsoft Office 2003 Student Teacher Edition trial3, Microsoft Money 2006, Adobe® Reader 7, CyberLink® DVD Solution Suite (PowerDVD™ and Power2Go™), Microsoft* Windows® Media Player 10, Microsoft Digital Image Starter Edition (60-day complimentary trial), RealNetworks RealPlayer®, Quicktime, Napster 3.0 (30-day trial)4, Microsoft Internet Explorer, AOL® 9.0 (6-month membership included )5, Google Toolbar™, McAfee® Internet Security Suite™ (90-day complimentary trial)6, BigFix® 7 (identifies and resolves problems that affect the system before they occur)


If you guys could help in way, Please do. I am sure you could imagine how frustrating it can be waiting up to 30 minutes for your computer to turn on.

Thanks in advance.

Edited by NewOney, 24 January 2008 - 07:48 PM.

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#2
SRX660

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Go into your power options in control panel, and set hibernate, standby, and turn monitor all to "NEVER". See if the problem still persists. If it does then it is probably a driver problem. If the problem goes away, you can turn each one back on one at a time and see if the problem comes back. This may be caused by a file corruption. If this has just started lately you might want to try a system restore back to before the problem showed up. Beyond that you may need to use System File Checker to try restoring the system files back to what they should be. This is a last resort thing with SFC.

http://www.networkcl...mmands/sfc.aspx

SRX660
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#3
NewOney

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Thanks,

I checked the power options, turn off monitor and system hibernate are already set to never. I can try changing the system standby, however it just started working again. Someone suggested a possible problem with the memory upgrade so I removed the new memory, but the problem was still there. I then swapped the old memory with the new one and the problem was still there. I then removed both memory cards and switched them around and now it appears to be working.

I am still getting the 3 beeps at startup though, Is this normal? I am worried that the problem is not fixed because it does seem to come and go.

Can anyone confirm if the 3 beeps I hear from the computer at start up is normal?

Thanks Again
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#4
SRX660

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http://www.computerh...es/ch000996.htm

3 short beeps at the BIOS is usually ram problems. You have either bad ram or the wrong kind of ram in the computer.

Normal for all computers is a single BEEP that tells you the computer passed the POST ( power on self test).

SRX660

Edited by SRX660, 25 January 2008 - 06:09 PM.

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#5
NewOney

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Ok, The problem has returned and is now worse than ever. I cannot get the screen to come on at all.

I also have discovered that the computer is not booting up properly when the monitor stays blank in standby mode. I can here the fans come on but the normal sound of the hard drive and windows starting are not heard.

Any ideas what is causing this.

Thanks again.
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#6
Doby

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emachines are notorious for power supplies failing and sometimes taking the motherboard with it, lets hope not,the best thing you can do at this point is to try another psu in it, it would be best if you could barrow one or go to a store like best buy or staples and purchase one and return it for a small restocking fee if it don't work out
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#7
NewOney

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Doby, its funny you mention that emachines are notorious for falling power supplies. I just spoke with my brother and he said my sister had an emachine that had the powersupply and the motherboard go.

Is there a way to check a power supply with a volt meter or anything? I know it is getting power since all the fans and lights do come on.

There is a futureshop close by that does sell PSU's I guess I could give it a try and hope for the best unless you think there is anything else to try.

Thanks Again.
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#8
SRX660

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Probably the easist method to check the PS voltages is with the Motherboard Monitor program. You can also check the speedfan program, but there are some MB's it just wont read. Line voltages less than 11.7 on the 12 volt line, and less than 4.6 on the 5 volt line can cause real problems with a computer. I had a 11.73 volt line on a cheap PS for a Athlon 2400 build of mine. It caused stutters when running, instant shutdowns for no apparent reasons, and a few times the computer would not boot up. A quality power supply fixed the problem.

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#9
NewOney

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Well since I now cannot get the computer to even the bios menu I resorted to checking the voltage output of the Power Supply with a voltmeter. I am getting 5.02 volts and 11.86 volts which should be acceptable, I know it is not the best way to check it though so there still could be something wrong with it.

I am thinking of buying a new power supply and a new mother board now. I will try the power supply and if this does not help I may just replace the mother board.

Edited by NewOney, 04 February 2008 - 04:22 PM.

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#10
Doby

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Those voltages are within spec, I think ther psu is all right its just the motherboard failed but still working with emachines I have learned there psu's are junk if you replace the board get a new name brand psu also. Most emachines use matx boards, try ebay.

Keep in mind if you switch motherboards unless its the exact same you will have to do a repair or clean install of windows and I am not sure it the disk that came with your emachine will work
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#11
NewOney

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I should replace the power supply also because I noticed my graphics card minimum requirement are not met with my current power supply so an upgrade couldn't hurt.

My Emachine did come with a disk labeled "System Recovery CD/DVD". Would this work for re-installing my operating system?

Also, how would I get my information that is currently on the hard drive off? I have a lot of information and pictures that I really should have backed up. If I re-install the operating system will this not wipe out all this information?

Could I plug the hard drive into another working computer as a second hard drive and access the information?

I am considering just purchasing a new computer even though I would rather not spend the money but I am adding up the prices to fix this thing and starting to think.

Thanks again,
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#12
Doby

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Because the disk is a recovery cd I doubt it will work and even if it did somehow install windows it would load the drivers for the old board.

Yes you can slave the drive in another computer, if its IDE you have to set the jumper on the rear to slave.

If you run that recovery disk it will wipe the drive although some will as if you want to do a distructive (format) or non-distructive install, non distructive will leave user data intact. Its best the slave the drive in another computer first and get your stuff
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#13
NewOney

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Well, I think that settles it then. For the price of a new PSU, MOBO, and an operating system I can purchase a much better system than I have for almost the same price.

What do you think of these 2 systems,

http://www.tigerdire...a...&CatId=2630

http://www.futuresho...i...=&langid=EN

Edited by NewOney, 04 February 2008 - 09:10 PM.

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#14
SRX660

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You will probably NOT be able to reinstall from a recovery disk if you do not use the same motherboard that came with the computer. That is the reason i build my own computers and buy a Windows OEM CD for each one. I can always reinstall from the OEM CD.

The easist method to get your data is to install the drive as a slave and copy the files to the computers HD. A problem occurs when you let windows put the files where it wants to. If the files are in the Documents and settings folder, under your name, you will have to take ownership of the files to be able to get to them.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421

It would be easier to start with a barebones kit and reuse some of the emachines hardware to build a new computer than pay the price the maker wants for just a new motherboard. The only problem here is if the computer is over 6 months old, you man not find a kit that will use your CPU.

http://www.tigerdire...e=Barebone-Kits

http://www.geeks.com..._sc.asp?cat=801

I have built 2 computers using the emachine cases and hardware when people gave me the computers with dead motherboards. I do like the emachine cases, very nice.

SRX660
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#15
Doby

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To be honest I like SRX660's advice on building from a barebone kit and reusing your drives and case you will get a much better computer and because you build it you will know each and every part in it
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