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4870 1GB Sapphire Radeon BOOT when Monitor OFF problem

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 16, 2009 10:45:04 AM

Got a bit of a problem, if anyone can provide any info or shed some light pls. Have posted on AMD forums, with no reply yet.

Sapphire Radeon 4870 1GB acts weirdly, if before powering on the machine, the monitor/s are manually switched OFF (have 2 monitors, with 2 diff cables, CRT + LCD, VGA cable + DVI cable) or even if using just one (tried with either), by OFF I mean they are connected to AC power, but the buttons are in OFF, then the GFX cards fan starts to spin at max speed, (loudest) and the machine simply does not boot. Consequently if trying to turn on a monitor at that stage, nothing happens, it stays blank and the card spins at max, machine does not boot. So I ALWAYS have to have a monitor connected and switched ON for it to boot.

Furthermore sometimes in Windows XP, if turning the monitor/s OFF, then after a few seconds, the CCC states the it cannot find the display card, and I can't change any options, its like it gets "unplugged". This I found out by being connected to this machine through remote desktop on a diff PC, and turned the monitors OFF.

So perhaps this is normal behavior, or maybe related to motherboard and BIOS. But one thing is sure, it creates a problem because I use the PC with Wake On Lan/Wan, to remotely power the machine up, as it acts like a server. And unless the monitors are not also ON, the machine won't boot. Having the monitor always on is not convenient, since it can stay like that for months.

Any ideas?

P5B Deluxe Motherboard with 1233 flashed BIOS
April 16, 2009 11:39:15 AM

Not being able to boot the computer because monitor is off isn't normal. However the initial fan spinning at max should only last a couple seconds in the beginning of the boot up process. Could you give us more information and specs of your machine?
April 16, 2009 11:56:15 AM

Motherboard: P5B Deluxe Motherboard with 1233 flashed BIOS
CPU: Intel Q6600 2.40Ghz
RAM: 2GB Corsair DDR2 800Mhz Identical Sticks
Gfx Card: Sapphire 4870 1GB PCI-E 2.0 Card
PSU: 500W Hyper
2 Monitors: LCD with DVI, CRT with VGA+adapter
Hard Drive: 350GB Western Digital

Additional PCI cards: Sound Blaster Live! PCI Sound Card (classic!)
Number of fans present: 3
OS: Windows XP Professional
All major components check 100% after thorough testing ( eg. Memory & Memtest86 ): YES checked

Have swapped the cards and tried an nVidia 8800 GTX card, with that machine, the problem is not present. Also tried a 2900 ATI, no problem there, system boots irrelevant if monitors are ON or OFF.

Yes fan spins at max for a few seconds during a normal boot. But in this case (monitor OFF) it just keeps spinning, nothing happens, manual reset is required.
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April 16, 2009 4:33:54 PM

Have you tried turning it on with only one of the monitors plugged into the card?

Examples:

CRT (vga) connected to port 1 on the card by itself
LCD (dvi) connected to port 1 on the card by itself
April 17, 2009 2:03:30 AM

Thank you for the kind suggestion. Tested and strangely enough YES there is a difference, it didn't make any before, or maybe missed it. Tested quite a few times, to make sure it was consistent. But yes, now if the LCD is plugged in with DVI (either slot), card boots irrelevant if monitor is ON or OFF. It's only with the CRT that the noboot+fan spin occurs (doesn't even POST), and CRT is on a VGA cable with DVI adapter. Could it be the adapter? Since it came with a different monitor, not using one which came with card, because that's lost. Could that be the case? Wrong adapter, with unnecessary pins?

And another correction, it DOES actually boot with no cables attached, which I thought was tested before. So that's out of question, and clears up the issue pretty much. Thanks :) 
April 17, 2009 12:17:58 PM

No problem. I'm glad you were able to locate the troublemaker. The VGA to DVI adapter could be the problem. Good luck with the machine.
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