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No signal to monitor


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#1
bhruss

bhruss

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Hello,

Dell XPS Gen 4 or 5, windows XP. Bought as a bare bones half stripped and put it together. I installed hard drives, card reader, etc.

I had some problems with this system in the past after I put it together that required getting the correct drivers. I was told to get "Driver Update", which i installed. The first time I ran it, it found the correct drivers for my card reader, etc. It also created a few issues of other thing that no longer worked, that I had to fix after I used it.

I have not used "driver update" in a long time, so i figured I would run it. Said there were 10 driver updates that it would install. I run the update feature, fist the media player would not work. Uninstalled the new driver for the sound and then tried the media player again, said no driver for media player, and "did I want windows to find it/". I clicked yes. After a few minutes it finds the driver for media player and installs it. I double check media player and it is working fine, sound back on.

Then less that 15 seconds into the song it was playing, the monitor went black with "dell 2: Digital input self test feature check". In other words, not my video is not working. I rebooted several times by holding the power button, still nothing. I don't know how to fix it when I can't see the desktop.

Anybody got a fix?

I know that the "driver update" is going to be the first dam thing uninstalled when I get my computer working so I can see the screen. Second time this crappy software has caused issues. it apparently doesn't work correctly.

Thank god i can use my old system still.

Bob

Edited by bhruss, 18 November 2012 - 02:44 PM.

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#2
phillpower2

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Hello bhruss

The monitor not receiving a signal is commonly the result of a failed video card or integrated video chip, bad PSU or a MB issue, the Ram can also cause problems but normally by preventing POST completing and not while the display is in use.

We could do with some further information about the computer such as the PSU details (brand name and output) the MB brand and details and if you are using an add on video card the same again brand and model name or number please.

It may be pure coincidence that this has happened so soon after the earlier issue but I do agree that some of these driver providers should be banned as they can hose your machine + Dell computers are notoriously choosy about third party drivers and that is why they have their own install procedure http://support.dell....4&isLegacy=true
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#3
bhruss

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The computer is stock dell.

From the dell website using service tag:

Service Tag
5SN6D81

Computer Model
XPS/Dimension XPS Gen 5

Shipping Date
9/4/2005

PROCESSOR..., 80551, PENTIUM D SMITHFIELD FOR DESKTOPS..., 830, SKT-T, MALE...
N6250

Assembly, Digital Video Disk Drive, 16X, Half Height, Sony, 01 Lead Free
H9195


ASSEMBLY..., DVD+/-RW..., 16X, IDE (INTEGRATED DRIVE ELECTRONICS) ..., NEC CORPORATION..., CHASSIS 2001...
P7665


CARD (CIRCUIT)..., MULTI-MEDIA..., AUDIO..., 1394, SB0358
X3782


CARD (CIRCUIT)..., MULTI-MEDIA..., TVT3, FULL HEIGHT..., MARKETING CENTER EDITION 2005...
P7853


Kit, Remote Control, MARKETING CENTER EDITION 2005..., DUAL Dell Americas Organization
H8442


CARD (CIRCUIT)..., GRAPHICS..., 256, X850, UHMGA12
DC290


HARD DRIVE..., 160G, Serial ATA..., 7.2K, 8M, LEAD FREE..., WD-HA
DC290


HARD DRIVE..., 160G, Serial ATA..., 7.2K, 8M, LEAD FREE..., WD-HA
C6355


ASSEMBLY..., CABLE..., Serial ATA..., TRANSFORMER SKY DIVE MINITOWER..., 2.0
WD761


KIT..., SOFTWARE..., OVERPACK..., WINDOWS XP..., MCE05B, DIGITAL VIDEO DISK DRIVE..., ENGLAND/ENGLISH...
FC097


Kit, Documentation On Floppy Disk, Software, Powerdvd, 5.5 Transactional Line Of Business
X8388



DUAL IN-LINE MEMORY MODULE..., 512, 667M, 64X64, 8, 240, 2RX8


The video is an ati radeon. A few hours after i put the machine together the first radeon died while I was using the computer. Came up with a "video not working" message I pulled the radeon out of my sons old gen 3, and it has worked for about 6 months.

It appears that the redeon is a poor video card. I would sure be open to a different video card that would work and last longer than a few months. Of course the radeon's i installed were used.

Bob

Edited by bhruss, 18 November 2012 - 06:42 PM.

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#4
phillpower2

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Apologies for the delayed reply.

It does sound like the video card may have died and may need replacing, as there is no onboard video another pci-e or pci video card may be required for testing, at this point do not try the present card in another computer in case it is bad and causes damage.

The some of the following checks require the computer case to be opened so take the following safety precautions 1st, disconnect the power cord from the wall and take anti static precautions before touching anything inside, you can do this by touching a bare metal part of the case;
1: Restore the MBs factory defaults in the BIOS in case of a bed setting.
2: Check the condition of the PC to monitor lead, no bent pins in the end connections
and that both ends are secure.
3: Remove the video card, blow out the slot and then re-seat the card securely, do the
same with the Ram sticks.
4: When you reassemble the computer leave the side of the case off and make sure that all fans are working correctly, this includes the PSU.

Can you also make a note of the PSU brand and output and post them with your next reply.

NB: The safety precautions are included as guidance for those who may read your topic but not be aware of the dangers.
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#5
bhruss

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I have been playing with it a bit, and I already cleared the cmos. No real amount of dust, system has battery less than a year old, and everything is seated properly (PCI cards, ram, etc). Trouble is, without the screen it is nearly impossible for me to figure it out. I am not real savvy with computers.

Power Supply is 460 watt OEM Dell, which I have also replaced with a new one. It died a while back and I bought a new one on ebay, in the original factory dell packaging.

I did notice one thing. The XPS Gen 5 has 4 lights on the case to indicate system condition and possible failures. I has all kinds of different light combinations and colors that mean specific things. Without writing them all down, I will provide what the Dell manual says for the light pattern I have.

After I boot the system and wait for the lights to go through their sequence, all 4 of the lights go out completely.

According to the Dell manual, this means "The computer is in a normal "off" condition or a possible pre-BIOS failure has occurred. The diagnostic lights are not lit after the system successfully boots to the operating system."


Link to this on Dell: http://support.dell....t.htm#wp1053861

The pattern for a dead graphics card is not light. I did re-install the know defective graphics card and the system beeped twice and failed to boot at all, even the front light on the case wouldn't come on. I changed back to the graphics card that was working and it boots through the light sequence and then they all go out, but the light on the front of the case is on.

Not sure what that means other than the MB may be dead.

I appreciate our help.

Bob

Edited by bhruss, 21 November 2012 - 10:15 PM.

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#6
phillpower2

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It is a little too soon to say that the MB is dead as there are other possible causes such as the PSU, Video Card, Ram + a possible failed CPU which is less likely under normal everyday use, please see the explanation below that I have copy/paste from an alternative source, let us know when you have read it (any questions please ask) and we can then move on.

What happens between the time that you power up the computer and when the icons appear on the desktop;

In order for a computer to successfully boot, the BIOS, operating system and hardware components must all be working properly; failure of any one of these three elements will likely result in a failed boot sequence.

When the computer's power is first turned on, the CPU initializes itself, which is triggered by a series of clock ticks generated by the system clock. Part of the CPU's initialization is to look to the system's ROM BIOS for its first instruction in the startup program. The ROM BIOS stores the first instruction, which is the instruction to run the power-on self test (POST), in a predetermined memory address. POST begins by checking the BIOS chip and then tests CMOS RAM. If the POST does not detect a battery failure, it then continues to initialize the CPU, checking the inventoried hardware devices (such as the video card), secondary storage devices, such as hard drives and floppy drives, ports and other hardware devices, such as the keyboard and mouse, to ensure they are functioning properly.

Once the POST has determined that all components are functioning properly and the CPU has successfully initialized, the BIOS looks for an OS to load.

The BIOS typically looks to the CMOS chip to tell it where to find the OS, and in most PCs, the OS loads from the C drive on the hard drive even though the BIOS has the capability to load the OS from a floppy disk, CD or ZIP drive. The order of drives that the CMOS looks to in order to locate the OS is called the boot sequence, which can be changed by altering the CMOS setup. Looking to the appropriate boot drive, the BIOS will first encounter the boot record, which tells it where to find the beginning of the OS and the subsequent program file that will initialize the OS.

Once the OS initializes, the BIOS copies its files into memory and the OS basically takes over control of the boot process. Now in control, the OS performs another inventory of the system's memory and memory availability (which the BIOS already checked) and loads the device drivers that it needs to control the peripheral devices, such as a printer, scanner, optical drive, mouse and keyboard. This is the final stage in the boot process, after which the user can access the system’s applications to perform tasks.
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#7
bhruss

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I read it completely and I understand it. I knew most of it, but some parts were new.

Th computer just starts to boot and stops. I push the power button, main front light comes on, all fans start running (including the fan on the graphics card), and then the four "system condition" light come one. The one by one all four of the condition lights go off.

If I push the power button after the system light go out, the computer shuts off immediately. I don't have to hold the button and wait for it to shut down like I would if windows was running.

When the computer screen died, I was playing a song to test the driver for the sound card (as previously stated). The screen went blank and the music played on. I pushed and held the power button to shut it down to restart and it has not had a complete boot since then.

I have checked ever drive and every lead of the power supply and everything is receiving power. The power supply has less than 100 hours on it. I hope that the Dell power supply is good for more time than that.

Ram is all new as well. The only parts I didn't replace when I put the computer together was the motherboard. I basically started with and empty case that had a motherboard. I could change the processor, but I have never had one die when the system was running.

I am wondering if the Dell trouble shooting is right and there is a pre BIOS issue. And if so, what kind of issue it could be.

Edited by bhruss, 22 November 2012 - 10:52 PM.

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#8
phillpower2

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What " pre-BIOS failure " means is that the computer is failing the POST and as I said earlier the PSU, Video Card, Ram, a possible failed CPU and even a keyboard error can cause this to happen, to try and establish which is a process of elimination.

Please remove all Ram from the MB and power up the computer and let us know if there is any change in the diagnostic lights or if you hear any error beeps, the computer will not boot obviously what we are trying to achieve is check the Ram and video card as possible causes.
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#9
bhruss

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No ram - light # 1, green in color. No beeps during boot attempt.

2 ram in slot(s) 1 - light 1 & 2, green in color, no beeps. Ram marked as Avanti 1GB DDR2 667 MZ

2 ram in slot(s) 1, - light 1, 2 & 3, green in color, 2 beeps. Ram marked Kingston with no other spec.

original configuration before I removed the ram was the Avanti ram in slot one pair, Kingston ram in slot 2 pair.
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#10
phillpower2

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Does the computer normally beep once when POST has completed.

No ram - light # 1, green in color. No beeps during boot attempt.

This is what I was asking as a change in behavior often points towards a bad video card.

2 ram in slot(s) 1 - light 1 & 2, green in color, no beeps. Ram marked as Avanti 1GB DDR2 667 MZ

Again may point towards the video card being bad.

2 ram in slot(s) 1, - light 1, 2 & 3, green in color, 2 beeps. Ram marked Kingston with no other spec.

Inconclusive as another failure could mean anything.

I suggest that you remove the Kingston Ram and use only the Avanti for testing now, try one stick only in slot 1 which is often the slot nearest to the CPU, make a note of the results, next remove the first stick of Avanti and repeat the same procedure with stick 2 that you did with stick one, let us know the results please.
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#11
bhruss

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Using one DDR in slot one, no lights and no beeps after light sequence completes.

I tried each Avanti 1st, then the Kingston all in one single stick in the the first slot. No difference.
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#12
phillpower2

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Thanks for the update :thumbsup:

Couple of things for you to check if you will please;
Replace the Avanti Ram but this time remove the video card and turn on the power, any change.
I do recall that you said the system battery was less than a year old and they can last for many years you can however always have a bad one so please refer to my attachment below.
If you can try the video card back in the original computer that it was taken from.

In case of a keyboard error can I ask what type of keyboard it is that you are using PS2 (wired) or the USB type.
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#13
bhruss

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I tried booting it without the graphics card the other day, just 2 beeps and the light sequence for graphics failure.

The battery I replaced day before yesterday when I cleared the cmos.

Mouse in wired laser mouse with usb
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#14
phillpower2

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Having re-read the topic from the start up to the point where we are now I must confess that I may have overlooked the obvious here :blush:

From your OP;

not my video is not working


I have incorrectly assumed that you know that your screen is ok and that it is the video card or other computer hardware that is responsible.

Can I ask the following questions please;

1: Have you tried the Dell screen diagnostic test, if not "how to" http://support.dell..../en/trouble.htm

2: Have you tried an alternative screen.

3: Can you get into the BIOS before the computer attempts to POST

4: Can you try the video card back in the original computer as that is the only way of ruling it in or out as the cause.
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#15
bhruss

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The Dell self test box appeared on the screen when the video went down, and it is all I can get on the monitor. It is not getting a signal from the computer. I checked the screen with a flashlight to make sure there was not a desktop just not visible and that it wasn't a backlight capacitor issue in the monitor (changed a shitload of those in flat screens)

I have looked at the monitor cable and find no faults, but do not have a new one to try. I ordered a few new digital cables the first of the week but with the holiday it will be next week before they get here.

I did all of the tests on the Dell site before I came here, I try not to bug someone if I can figure it out myself.

I got this XPS Gen 5 from the local dump out of their electronics bin. My son had a gen 3 that I bought for him for college, and it got dropped and smashed off the back of a truck when he was moving. I always kinda liked that system, so I picked this one up and started putting it together. It was a complete case with a motherboard and 2 optical drives. I bought everything else on ebay and from Best Buy, two hard drives, processor, power supply, wiring harnesses, sound card, card reader, internal cables, etc. I loaded the operating system (xp media center {I think}), etc. The Avanti ram came out of my sons old gen 3, and the Kinston came from NewEgg.

The parts I bought on ebay were genuine Dell and brand new, no used. I pulled the video card out of my sons old gen 3 because the first ATI Radeon died in about 4 hours. Even though it was a new part, the stupid fedex driver left the box on my porch in the rain when it was delivered, and it was soaked. I never thought it would work at all, but I dried it out with air and then let it set for 3 weeks in the house before I installed it. The hard drives came from Best buy, 2 160 GB Sata, with raid config.

When the first graphics card died, the computer beeped twice and the monitor went to a fuzzy color all blurry and the dead video light sequence came on. I pulled the Radeon card out of my kids old gen 3 because I couldn't afford another Radeon from ebay. The Radeon card sells for over $100 in a non working condition (they must rebuild them??). I paid $ 250 for the one that got the bath.

I can't test the card in another system because I do not have another system that uses that card. The gen 3 is beyond caring..........

I am still hung up on the light sequence that indicates "pre BIOS Failure". Those lights have always worked and always been accurate - and very helpful with an idiot like me working on a computer.

The only other problem I have had since I put this computer together was a browse crashing and slow shut down, another person here on this forum helped me with that.

http://www.geekstogo...rowser-crashes/

At this point until I get a new video cable I am kinda at a standstill.

I don't know how to do the bios before POST

Edited by bhruss, 24 November 2012 - 06:36 AM.

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