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After boot problems, now boots OK, but screen won't work properly


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#1
adifrank

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I can't seem to get out of the woods. I'm no longer sure which problem led to what.... (sigh).

It all started with accidentally installing the wrong audio driver which somehow caused my computer to stop booting and some strange BIOS messages.

All of this was eventually solved. My computer returned to boot successfully and just to be on the safe side - I decided to reset the BIOS to its default settings and made a clean install of Windows (which I felt I should do for some time anyway).

I disconnected my two other hard drives, formatted the drive which is a dedicated system drive and re-installed Windows XP Pro. Installed chipset driver, then NVIDIA graphic card driver and then all other drivers from the ASUS webpage for my ASUS P5Q PRO board.

So far so good. All is running nicely.

I then powered off my computer, disconnected it from electricity and re-connected my other two hard drives (which store personal data) to their power cables and SATA connectors.

Powered on my computer.... no boot.

Thinking it somehow had to do with re-connecting my other two hard drives, I decided to try and isolate the problem. I disconnected both data drives and left only my system drive connected. powered up - and all was good.

So... Powered off agan, connected only one data drive (out of two) and powered on. It would get past the ASUS page but Windows wouldn't boot up. I pressed DELETE to get into the BIOS settings and tried looking around what might be causing the problem. I found where both currently connected drives were listed and the system drive was listed as #2, while the data drive was listed #1. I switched between them - making the system drive #1, then pressed F10 to exit BIOS. Windows booted up normally!! Horray!

I happily powered off, connected my 2nd data hard drive, powered on again... and...... nothing. No Windows, no ASUS screen, no error message, nothing. The computer screen remained black. Practically in tears I disconnected that 2nd data drive again confident that I'd at least be able to get into BIOS again and see what might be making trouble. But even after removing that hard disk, the situation remained the same. Black screen. I then noticed that the red illuminated power switch of the LG computer screen was flashing on and off - which usually means that it's on some kind of standby mode. It was as if it wasn't getting any signal from the computer. Tried shutting off, disconnecting and re-connecting the screen cable - but same results. In fact, when leaving the computer on long enough... I even hear the Windows startup chime is heard through the speakers. When powering off - Windows sounds off its log off sound. So it seems as though Windows is booting as it should behind the scenes, but I suddenly lost connection to my computer screen! Could this be a graphic card issue (suddenly!!)??

Any suggestions (please...)?

I've been messing with my computer for two days straight trying to get it back to its normal self.

Thanks

Specs:

Motherboard: ASUS P5Q PRO
Graphics: Nvidia Geforce 8600GT
Screen: LG FLATRON W2343T

Edited by adifrank, 04 August 2010 - 01:12 PM.

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#2
adifrank

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I thought I'd add: that my only option to hook up the LG screen with a 2nd computer to see if it works normally with a different machine - is my laptop. It is a DELL STUDIO 1555 and has a connector on it's side panel which seems to be a proper socket for the screen 15-pin plug, but i've never used it before have no idea if all i need to do is hook up the screen, or if there's more to it (i certainly don't want to screw up my laptop too, which currently is kind of saving my life).

Looking forward to your replies. Thanks!
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#3
The Skeptic

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I don't believe it's the screen but you can test it. Switch off the laptop and connect the blue connector of the monitor cable to the laptop apropriate socket. Connect the power cable of the monitor and switch on the laptop. Your monitor should display whatever there is on the laptop screen

Please disconnect the two data drives and reset the BIOS again (no power, 10 minutes etc).

Is there any difference between the two data disks? Is it possible that one is loaded with programs while the other is used only for data storage? Do you have an old windows installation on any of them? If there is a difference, which is the one that caused the computer crash.

Please note: by default the BIOS will look for windows first in an IDE drive. If all your disks are SATA, please connect the system drive to SATA 0 and then connect the other two drives. The system drive must be set to be the first disk among the hard disks.
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#4
adifrank

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Thanks Skeptic for staying with me on this...

Ok checked screen with laptop. Screen works fine.

Removed battery from motherboard again....

Will report back in about 10 minutes :)
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#5
adifrank

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10 minutes later...

placed battery back into place and started computer. Screen stays blank. :)

---------

QUICK EDIT: I TRIED AGAIN.... this time i got the setup screen. Now typing in date and time...

I'll post back soon to tell you how it went. :)

Edited by adifrank, 04 August 2010 - 03:20 PM.

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#6
adifrank

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... So I set date and time.

I set Express Gate to Disabled (so to not get that error)

and pressed F10.

Computer shutdown and restarted...

BLANK SCREEN (again).

a minute later I heard the Windows Startup chimes in the speakers... as before.

:)

(by the way, i now have only the SYSTEM DRIVE connected to SATA 1, data drives are disconnected)
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#7
adifrank

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Hi. Still stuck with blank screen (although from the sound of it, Windows is booting up normally ).

I just remembered one other thing that might be somehow connected to this problem. At some point before this problem occurred I installed two drivers from the ASUS website which were listed for my motherboard model under the SATA tab.

The drivers are:
1. Marvell 88SE6111 SATA Controller Driver V1.2.0.57 for Windows XP/Vista & 64bit XP/Vista
2. Intel® Matrix Storage Manager Driver V8.9.0.1023 for Windows 32/64bit XP & Windows 32/64bit Vista & 32/64bit Windows 7.(WHQL)

So after a short night sleep the situation remains as follows:

After having removed CMOS battery from motherboard for 10 minutes, putting it back and turning on my computer - I get the ASUS splash screen and then the option to set date and time.

I press F1 and enter SETUP. I set date and time and then press F10. Computer shuts off and reboots. No ASUS splash screen, no messages, no Windows graphics. The screen stays black. Having said that, I can hear the hard drive spinning and working and after a minute or so I hear the famous Windows startup chimes - meaning that Windows is apparently running fine behind the scenes... I just can't see it. Also when I shut down my computer I hear the Windows shutdown music play as well.

Awaiting further instructions...

Thanks!
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#8
The Skeptic

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Can you boot to safe mode or to last known configuration? If yes, I would like to uninstall the video drivers. Please note: you shouldn't use any 64 bit driver if your windows is 32.

If you cannot boot to any of the other modes I am afraid that you will have to run windows installation again, using the correct drivers. It may be frustrating but no big deal. Please write down the make and model of the motherboard and I will find for you the correct drivers.
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#9
adifrank

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Can you boot to safe mode or to last known configuration? If yes, I would like to uninstall the video drivers.

The strangest thing... I started the morning by going straight to my laptop and waiting for some instructions on how to try and cure my sick desktop. Booting in safe mode in the blank screen state would be a bit tricky, since it would be hard to tell when to start tapping F8. Anyway, I started up my desktop just to see if things haven't changed since last night and guess what... Computer booted up fine! Windows is up and running, screen working... all is good.
Currently I have only my system drive connected, cuz I disconnected the other two drives during attempts to fix my problem. So I'll need to shut down again, disconnect the power and reconnect my other two drives.

Please note: you shouldn't use any 64 bit driver if your windows is 32.

oh [bleep]... i didn't even notice that! ugh...

If you cannot boot to any of the other modes I am afraid that you will have to run windows installation again, using the correct drivers. It may be frustrating but no big deal.

So the current situation now is that my computer has Windows running fine since booting up some minutes ago. I haven't shutdown or restarted yet, thinking that maybe there are some things I should do while screen is showing Windows. If I shutdown or restart - I might find myself facing a blank screen again.
Given the new developments, do you think I should re-install Windows again?

Please write down the make and model of the motherboard and I will find for you the correct drivers.

ASUS P5Q PRO (socket 775)

I downloaded the drivers from the ASUS DOWNLOAD PAGE
Selected: Motherboard, socket 775, P5Q PRO
Then selected OS: Windows XP
(since they have an option for selecting Win XP 64bit, I gathered that selecting standard Win XP would not have 64bit drivers. Oh well...

Edited by adifrank, 05 August 2010 - 03:08 AM.

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#10
The Skeptic

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The driver you need are on thispage. Do not do anything with the drivers yet. Just connect the data drives and see how things work out.
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#11
adifrank

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The driver you need are on thispage. Do not do anything with the drivers yet. Just connect the data drives and see how things work out.


Following your link I get to the ASUS download page. This is the exact same place I downloaded all the drivers.

In the drop-down menus I selected:
Motherboad
Socket 775
P5Q PRO
OS: Win XP

Although there is also an option to select Windows XP 64bit - apparently there are some 64bit drivers in the WinXP option as well.

What I did is only install the latest versions of the drivers there (they have the whole history of drivers listed).

I also didn't install drivers which I didn't think I needed - unessential utilities such as six-engine, AIsuite and driveXpert.
Of the SATA drivers listed, I'm unsure which should I install?

Posted Image
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#12
The Skeptic

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Download the first on the list.
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#13
adifrank

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Ok. Thanks.

Now I have all the required drivers ready and on an external drive, in case I need them.

This is what happened this morning...

Before connecting my other two drives, I tried just a normal RESTART of Windows to see if it starts up ok or goes back to the blank screen problem.

RESULT: It went back to the blank screen problem. I hear Windows start up, but nothing on the screen. :)

So I guess there's no reason to connect the other hard drives just yet. Right?


So to sum it up: After a night's sleep, computer booted up fine. But when doing a simple restart, computer goes back to being problematic. Strange...

Is re-installing Windows the next step?

Do you think this is happening because of that Marvel driver that apparently is meant for 64bit?

Awaiting further instructions...


And thanks for your patience!! I really appreciate it. :)

Edited by adifrank, 05 August 2010 - 07:13 AM.

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#14
The Skeptic

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Reformat and reinstall windows. This time do it with the other two disks connected. Just make sure that you don't wipe the wrong disk.
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#15
adifrank

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Hey Skeptic... I feel like I've lost a year of my life over this. I can't get any work done and I'm just going crazy...

Get this...

I put in the Windows Installation CD, but nothing happened. So I tried removing the CMOS battery again for 10 minutes. Put it back in, connected computer to electricity and powered on. I was sure I was gonna get the BIOS setup option to set date and time... but I didn't. Nothing.

I tried again. Waited 20 minutes this time. Nothing.

Not only that, but it no longer sounds like my system hard drive is working and booting up windows. Also, I no longer hear the Windows startup sounds.

I tried disconnecting the power cable, disconnected and reconnected drive power cable and sata cable. No change. Even tried plugging in the hard drive to a different SATA connector. No improvement.

It seems that now not only do I not see anything on the computer screen, but that Windows is not even booting. I can't even find a way to get into the BIOS setup.

I'll gladly re-install Windows and sit and install all my software all over.... I just want to see things running normally again.

Please help...

:)
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