Help! I finished building my PC but no display comes up on the monitor

So here’s my problem: My computer turns on (red led light, fans running) but I get no display on my monitor.

I stayed up late last night trying to finish my first pc and I finally got it to work in the morning. However, I get no display on my monitor. Monitor turns on but then says “no VGA/DVI detected”. I plugged the cords into every different slot that fit on the case/graphics card but nothing changes. I’ve been going through the checklist posted on this site but my problem is I’m never sure if I’ve actually done a step correctly. Help!

Sorry for the length of the post.


CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($226.99 @ Newegg Canada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ NCIX)
Memory: .SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory
Storage: Samsung 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($97.99 @ NCIX)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.50 @ Vuugo)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($255.00 @ Canada Computers)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($38.88 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply($89.99 @ Memory Express)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.79 @ DirectCanada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.99 @ NCIX)
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" Monitor ($119.99 @ NCIX)
Keyboard: AZIO Levetron Wired Gaming Keyboard ($26.99 @ Newegg Canada)


1. Did you carefully read the motherboard owners manual?


2. Did you plug in the 4/8-pin CPU power connector located near the CPU socket? If the motherboard has 8 pins and your PSU only has 4 pins, you can use the 4-pin connector. The 4-pin connector USUALLY goes on the 4 pins located closest to the CPU. If the motherboard has an 8-pin connector with a cover over 4 pins, you can remove the cover and use an 8-pin plug if your power supply has one. This power connector provides power to the CPU. Your system has no chance of posting without this connector plugged in! Check your motherboard owners manual for more information about the CPU power connector. The CPU power connector is usually referred to as the "12v ATX" connector in the owners manual. This is easily the most common new-builder mistake.

Yes, I’m pretty sure. Everything turns on and the fans are working.

3. Did you install the standoffs under the motherboard? Did you place them so they all align with the screw holes in the motherboard, with no extra standoffs touching the board in the wrong place? A standoff installed in the wrong place can cause a short and prevent the system from booting.

Yes, I installed them I’m not sure how to check if any of them are touching the wrong place.

4. Did you verify that the video card is fully seated? (may require more force than a new builder expects.)

I think so. I pushed it in really far and the motherboard “locked” it in (plastic slidy thing).

5. Did you attach all the required power connector(s) to the video card? (some need two, some need none, many need one.)

I think so. My video card had 2 6 pin slots and I put 2 6 pin PCI-E things into it from the PSU

6. Have you tried booting with just one stick of RAM installed? (Try each stick of RAM individually in each RAM slot.) If you can get the system to boot with a single stick of RAM, you should manually set the RAM speed, timings, and voltage to the manufacturers specs in the BIOS before attempting to boot with all sticks of RAM installed. Nearly all motherboards default to the standard RAM voltage (1.8v for DDR2 & 1.5v for DDR3). If your RAM is rated to run at a voltage other than the standard voltage, the motherboard will underclock the RAM for compatibility reasons. If you want the system to be stable and to run the RAM at its rated specs, you should manually set those values in the BIOS. Many boards don't supply the RAM with enough voltage when using "auto" settings causing stability issues.

I have not, but the ram is the only thing that actually went into the MB on the first try!

7. Did you verify that all memory modules are fully inserted? (may require more force than a new builder expects.) It's a good idea to install the RAM on the motherboard before it's in the case.

I think so, the MB locked it into place.

8. Did you verify in the owners manual that you're using the correct RAM slots? Many i7 motherboards require RAM to be installed in the slots starting with the one further away from the CPU which is the opposite of many dual channel motherboards.


9. Did you remove the plastic guard over the CPU socket? (this actually comes up occasionally.)


10. Did you install the CPU correctly? There will be an arrow on the CPU that needs to line up with an arrow on the motherboard CPU socket. Be sure to pay special attention to that section of the manual!


11. Are there any bent pins on the motherboard/CPU? This especially applies if you tried to install the CPU with the plastic cover on or with the CPU facing the wrong direction.

I don’t think so. I’ve looked and everything seems fine but I could have missed something/not know what I’m looking for.

12. If using an after market CPU cooler, did you get any thermal paste on the motherboard, CPU socket, or CPU pins? Did you use the smallest amount you could? Here's a few links that may help:

No, but I didn’t use rhe smallest amount I could. It came with a tiny tube of thermal grease and I stuck it all on. It seemed to be ok though.

13. Is the CPU fan plugged in? Some motherboards will not boot without detecting that the CPU fan is plugged in to prevent burning up the CPU.

Yes, I think so.

14. If using a stock cooler, was the thermal material on the base of the cooler free of foreign material, and did you remove any protective covering? If the stock cooler has push-pins, did you ensure that all four pins snapped securely into place? (The easiest way to install the push-pins is outside the case sitting on a non-conductive surface like the motherboard box. Read the instructions! The push-pins have to be turned the OPPOSITE direction as the arrows for installation.) See the link in step 10.

I’m not using a stock cooler.

15. Are any loose screws laying on the motherboard, or jammed against it? Are there any wires run directly under the motherboard? You should not run wires under the motherboard since the soldered wires on the underside of the motherboard can cut into the insulation on the wires and cause a short. Some cases have space to run wires on the back side of the motherboard tray.

No loose screws, and no wires running under the MB.

16. Did you ensure you discharged all static electricity before touching any of your components? Computer components are very sensitive to static electricity. It takes much less voltage than you can see or feel to damage components. You should implement some best practices to reduce the probability of damaging components. These practices should include either wearing an anti-static wrist strap or always touching a metal part of the case with the power supply installed and plugged in, but NOT turned on. You should avoid building or working on a computer on carpet. Working on a smooth surface is the best if at all possible. You should also keep fluffy the cat, children, and fido away from computer components.

I have no idea. I worked on a wood floor in my room and didn’t plug the power in until the very end.

17. Did you install the system speaker (if provided) so you can check beep-codes in the manual? A system speaker is NOT the same as normal speakers that plug into the back of the motherboard. A system speaker plugs into a header on the motherboard that's usually located near the front panel connectors. The system speaker is a critical component when trying to troubleshoot system problems. You are flying blind without a system speaker. If your case or motherboard didn't come with a system speaker you can buy one for cheap here:

I didn’t get a system speaker.

18. Did you read the instructions in the manual on how to properly connect the front panel plugs? (Power switch, power led, reset switch, HD activity led) Polarity does not matter with the power and reset switches. If power or drive activity LED's do not come on, reverse the connections. For troubleshooting purposes, disconnect the reset switch. If it's shorted, the machine either will not POST at all, or it will endlessly reboot.

Yes, this is the reason why my PC didn’t boot the first time I tried it but I went back in and fixed it (ironically, now when I push the POWER button the computer wont turn OFF…)

19. Did you turn on the power supply switch located on the back of the PSU? Is the power plug on a switch? If it is, is the switch turned on? Is there a GFI circuit on the plug-in? If there is, make sure it isn't tripped. You should also make sure the power cord isn't causing the problem. Try swapping it for a known good cord if you have one available.


20. Is your CPU supported by the BIOS revision installed on your motherboard? Most motherboards will post a CPU compatibility list on their website.

Checking that now, but I feel as though it will.

21. Have you tried resetting the CMOS? The motherboard manual will have instructions for your particular board.

I’m nervous to do this because I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t see the jumper pin’s so I would have to un-install the battery which I would like to avoid doing.

22. If you have integrated video and a video card, try the integrated video port. Resetting the bios, can make it default back to the onboard video.

I don’t know what this means, but I only have 1 video card.

23. Make certain all cables and components including RAM and expansion cards are tight within their sockets. Here's a thread where that was the cause of the problem.

I did.
13 answers Last reply
More about finished building display monitor
  1. Plug your VGG/DVI cable (whichever your using for video) into your mobos back panel your CPU has integrated graphics support so it should give you a display. Get into your BIOS and set your video to use the PCIe graphics card not the "onboard" (CPU+mobo) graphics. That should clear things up, unless you got a DOA GPU. Then save the settings let your computer restart, plug the video cable into the video card back panel and continue to install the OS.
  2. MotherFerJones said:
    Plug your VGG/DVI cable (whichever your using for video) into your mobos back panel your CPU has integrated graphics support so it should give you a display. Get into your BIOS and set your video to use the PCIe graphics card not the "onboard" (CPU+mobo) graphics. That should clear things up, unless you got a DOA GPU. Then save the settings let your computer restart, plug the video cable into the video card back panel and continue to install the OS.

    That didn't work. It's plugged in but I still don't get a display so I can't even enter BIOS
  3. Just reset the CMOS battery and no luck
  4. Did you run the win-7 disk (blind) to see if that will run?
  5. ur6beersaway said:
    Did you run the win-7 disk (blind) to see if that will run?

    No, my cd drive won't open. Does that indicate the the MB isn't being propely powered?
  6. i don't want to sound like a smart ass but is the cable properly connected into your monitor?
  7. henkbas said:
    i don't want to sound like a smart ass but is the cable properly connected into your monitor?

    No worries. I think so. My monitor has VGA and DVI, so tried plugging both into the back of the motherboard and then into the corresponding monitor slots, twist the knobs to fasten them down and still nothing. I also tried hooking up the DVI right to the GPU but still nothing.

    Edit: The reason the cd-drive wont open is because I forgot to plug it in!
  8. I just read some customer reviews of your motherboard, and your board might be bad. A likely possibility, seeing as you can't even get the onboard video to work.
  9. A cheap speaker would help with troubleshooting
  10. ur6beersaway said:
    A cheap speaker would help with troubleshooting

    would any speaker work? I probably have some old ones lying around in the baseent
  11. usb connector + lime
  12. So now you have no choice but to breadboard it. It sucks but it will help you determine where the problem lies. Start by taking all the components out of the case leave the CPU and heatsink installed to the mobo to avoid hassle. Next set up your mobo box on top of a study table. Set your mobo on top of your mobo box. Install 1 stick of RAM only. So at this point all you have is your mobo on top of its box with CPU, and 1 RAM stick and this . Plug your PSU into your mobo 24 pin and 8 pin connectors, you can leave your PSU sitting flat on the table next to the mobo. Plug your PSU into the wall for juice then with something metal (screwdriver head, paperclip, ect) bridge the gap of the two pins that you plug your PWR button cable into. This will simulate you pressing the power button on the computer by shorting the pins. Then listen for the "all clear" POST single beep. if you get any more beeps than 1 than either the mobo, CPU, or RAM is the problem. However if you get an all clear pull the power and plug in your GPU, plug in the monitor to your GPU and short the power again to turn it on. Keep adding a single component at a time until you have a fully built rig outside of it case. Then take it apart and build it in the case.
  13. No DR. Debug on the Extreme 3 so you need to hook up the speaker and get the beep codes. Other than that, it's a guessing game.
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