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Help with onboard VGA problems

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Been stuck on this for a whole. Im fixing my friends dell dimension desktop. The computer boots up, no beeps, windows starts. but i have no signal whatsoever from my monitor. I checked if the ram or any cables were loose and nothing. im using on-board vga but i even tried inserting an extra pci express video card i hard laying around as well, and still no signal. i replaced the RAM and still no signal. then i tried with 4 different monitors and all of different brands and still no signal.

The computer was working fine and one day my friend went to go turn it on and no signal at all.

The only thing i havent tried is replacing the power supply, do you think i should give it a try?
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    motto - Just get-er-done

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What happens when you hit the delete key while the computer is booting? still no video? If so, it probably is a motherboard problem.

If you can get to the BIOS screen, then turn the on-board video off, then install a good video card, restart and see if you have video then.you then need to install drivers and just use the card.

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    Member 1K

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How do you know it boots up if you have no signal to see it boot up, do you hear the windows welcome music on your external or internal speakers.

If you are a 100% sure it really boots up then disreguard the following.

Did you verify if the internal speakers works (for the beeps) if you certain it works and you still hear no beeps then its either your power supply which may send enough power to spin your fans but not enough to start your processor and motherboard, worst scenario either your processor or your mobo is done for the count.

Check all possible avenue
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    Grumpy Ol' MSgt (Ret.)

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The only thing i havent tried is replacing the power supply, do you think i should give it a try?

That's the first place I would look - to make sure it is working, if nothing else. Below is my canned text on testing supplies.


To properly and conclusively test a power supply unit (PSU), it must be tested under various realistic "loads" then analyzed for excessive ripple and other anomalies. This is done by a qualified technician using an oscilloscope or power analyzer - sophisticated (and expensive) electronic test equipment requiring special training to operate, and a basic knowledge of electronics theory to understand the results. Therefore, conclusively testing a power supply is done in properly equipped electronic repair facilities.

Fortunately, there are other options that are almost as good. I keep a FrozenCPU Ultimate PSU Tester in my tool bag when I am "in the field" and don't have a good spare power supply to swap in. While not a certain test, they are better than nothing. The advantage of this model is that it has an LCD readout of the voltage. With an actual voltage readout, you have a better chance of detecting a "failing" PSU, or one barely within specified ATX Form Factor Standard tolerances. Lesser models use LEDs to indicate the voltage is just within some "range". These are less informative, considerably cheaper, but still useful for detecting PSUs that have already "failed". Newegg has several testers to choose from. All these testers contain a "dummy load" to fool the PSU into thinking it is connected to a motherboard, and therefore allows the PSU to power on, if able, without being attached to a motherboard - great for testing fans, but again, it is not a true load or suitable for conclusive testing.

Swapping in a known good supply is a tried and trued method of troubleshooting, used for years even by pros. If you have access to a suitably sized, spare power supply, carefully remove the suspect supply and replace it with a known good one and see if the problem goes away.

I do not recommend using a multimeter to test power supplies. To do it properly, that is, under a realistic load, the voltages on all the pins must be measured while the PSU is attached to the motherboard and the computer powered on. This requires poking (with some considerable force) two hard and sharp, highly conductive meter probes into the main power connector, deep in the heart of the computer. One tiny slip can destroy the motherboard, and everything plugged into it. It is not worth the risk considering most multimeters, like plug-in testers, do not measure, or reveal any unwanted and potentially disruptive AC components to the DC voltages.

Note the required voltage tolerance ranges:

Posted Image

And remember, anything that plugs into the wall can kill. Do not open the power supply's case unless you are a qualified electronics technician. There are NO user serviceable parts inside a power supply.
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