Serious Startup Issue

I woke up this morning and turned on my monitor, and my computer was frozen with nothing but AOL Instant Messenger running (so not a heavy system load), so I restarted, and everything started fine, except there is no image on the monitor.

I looked at the video card, and there's no sign that any chip or surrounding area has burn damage (also, there was no smoke or any kind of burning odor), and the fan is still coming on just fine. When I unplug/plug in the monitor cable, the monitor still makes the magnetic coil noise and the light still changes to green, but there's just no picture - no manufacturer's "No Input" text... nothing. A dead monitor would not even turn on or receive signal that something is connected; a dead output would not be able to tell my monitor that something is connected (and something is telling it that, because you can hear it click when it is connected to the video card); and a dead video card would still allow the monitor to display its factory "No Input" error. I don't get it...

Everything is spinning up just fine. All the fans (video card, PSU, case, processor) are on, the Hard Drive and DVD drive spin, the power supply appears to be on. And it's not dusty inside, so I don't think it's a "too much dust" issue keeping the system too hot to start up.

I've shut down, waited a minute, and started back up the computer several times, but to no avail.

I've had my video card for about four years, as long as I've had everything in the system. It's not overclocked except for ATI's factory "Overdrive" setting, and as I said, I was not running any system-heavy applications when my computer permanently froze. It hasn't shown any of the usual signs of a "dying video card", such as screen artifacts, screwed up textures in-game, 3D slowdown, etc.

How can I diagnose what is wrong with my system if I can't even get it to display anything? Help! :(
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  1. I try a different monitor and video card to start. It could be your mobo, not saying it is, I had the same problem with a new build and it was the board. Everything powered up but no image. You probably post this in the hardware section, will likely get you more responses. I think this section is really more discussing experiences and Bitching about support services.
  2. When you say "everything started fine" does that mean you get a "startup" sound?

    Does the HD drive activity LED flash then go off when boot has completed?

    Have you tried booting safe mode? You may have to do that to change video settings.

    Have you tried getting into BIOS during power up? If you can't get into BIOS during power up the vid card is the first thing I would check/replace.
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