No DVI signal at BIOS. Strange desktop res.

Following an unexplained system crash whilst running 3D benchmark 05, my Hanns G HW191D monitor no longer receives a DVI signal during BIOS posting from my EVGA 8800GTS (320mb, BIOS version through its DVI-D single link cable. Confusingly, I do receive a signal at the Windows welcome screen, but I presume this is due to the drivers kicking in. In this situation, any large resolutions don’t scale to my screen and instead require me to scroll around e.g. move to bottom left for start button, bottom right for system time etc

I’m using the newest (non-beta, May6th) drivers, have tried older drivers, still have a normal POST with no error code beeps, and my system is still as stable as ever. I have tried
• A new DVI cable
• Reseating all cards
• Resetting and reflashing the Mobo BIOS (Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3l)
• Testing RAM and starting up with minimum number of components
• Reinstalling XP
• Windows safe mode and VGA safe mode
• Setting the primary graphics adapter to PCI or PCI-e in the BIOS
• Using nVidia control panel to set DVI as primary when I run a VGA and DVI signal from the same card to the same monitor.
• Trying both DVI outputs from my graphics card (currently using a VGA cable with an adapter to plug into either of my 8800’s DVI ports)
• Testing with a 6600GT card.

After getting the same symptoms with this 6600GT, I emailed EVGA requesting a BIOS update thinking that this may be the cause (logic says it doesn’t boot itself up in a digital mode). EVGA said that this probably won’t help, offered me an RMA, but now I see no point in this as my 8800 is fine.

I’m thinking it’s a monitor or a motherboard problem, but unfortunately, I have no suitable spares to test. Have you heard of this type of problem before? Any ideas or recommendations?

11 answers Last reply
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  1. Its both ports? I know one only activates after the drivers load, but the second should always be active...
  2. thanks for the reply..

    Both ports do indeed give me the same problem. I also get the same symptoms as above in either port whether using a DVI cable, or my current VGA cable with DVI adapter.
  3. Wow! Correct me if I'm wrong: 2 main symptoms, no video during BIOS, non-scaling screen in Windows.

    In the latter case, it seems everything is working and the system knows it hasn't scaled the video, so you can "scroll" the screen. That's not a normal capability, right? So somewhere, despite all you have done, there are some settings . . . ?

    You didn't say you uninstalled and removed all drivers. But you did run in safe mode . . .

    And you even reinstalled XP! Was that a clean install?

    What I'm looking for is something left over, in the registry, somewhere.

    OTOH, none of this would affect BIOS time . . . but this doesn't sound like a hardware failure.
  4. Hi Twoboxer, yeah that's right...
    DVI cable = no video during BIOS, non-scaling screen in Windows (when above 800x600)
    VGA cable with DVI adapter = video during BIOS, normal scaled screen in windows at any resolution (upto and including native max 1440x900)

    I tried the oldest drivers I could find (158.27), and also a few more recent releases (174.31, 181.20), each time performing a clean uninstall, reboot, new driver reinstall, reboot.

    As for the XP install, that was fresh following a full format of my system partition, thus ruling out registry troubles. The problems were also there upon first boot of the fresh install, so it's not down to any drivers I've installed.

    I'm stuck in the same situation as you really....none of these should affect the BIOS time, and everything I've tried doesn't lead me to believe it's a hardware issue. Perhaps the issue lies within the software held by my hardware? i.e. it's not properly switching between analogue and digital anymore. My mobo BIOS is up to date and has been reflashed, and EVGA say it's unlikely to be the 8800GTS's BIOS (also appararently confirmed by a 6600GT giving the same errors).

    When using a DVI cable, is there something on my mobo which would switch this standard (digital) display to make visible the (analogue) BIOS? Is there any 'software' on my monitor to initiate it into analogue for the BIOS even though it's going through a DVI cable? Perhaps this may be a longshot...but...

    any thoughts are much appreciated,
  5. Hm.

    You can perhaps discount a monitor issue if you can boot to windows without the screen being required (you'll know by the windows welcome tune, remove your windows password and it should load it).
  6. Oh wait.

    Check your monitor OSD, you might well have one that allows you to choose between DVI or D-Sub - I have 'auto and input select, DVI or D-Sub'.

    I still don't see how it would show the windows start screen if this was the problem however...
  7. Wait a second . . .

    The output of your vid card is a DVI connector. Cable#1 is DVI/DVI to the monitor. Cable#2 is DVI-to-DSub(VGA) adapter, DSub/DSub cable to monitor. Correct?

    Cable#1: the DVI/VGA adapter, should obviously be DVI-I since it is made to pass an analog signal as well. This cable passes all signals correctly at all times? That's a new realization for me lol.

    Cable#2: Your monitor does not display VGA data sent during BIOS. The monitor will display what it gets from the OS, but both the OS and the monitor think that VGA is the only resolution possible. What kind of DVI is this cable?

    There really can't be anything on the mobo that determines whether analog or digital is used. That's the video card's domain. Two vid cards yield the same result, so they aren't wrong. Your monitor does not seem to have a driver, which is prolly irrelevant anyhow.

    That leaves us with the cables (nah), or your monitor having some kind of problem in digital mode, doesn't it? Also found this:
  8. @jennyh

    I can still get into windows using the DVI cable, it's just that I only get a picture on my monitor when the windows welcome screen comes up. After this, I have the options of a scaled 800x600, or an un-scaled higher resolution.

    My monitor has the settings of analogue or digitial and I can select which one to use depending on which cables I have plugged in. With only the VGA cable (+Dsub), analogue is default and digital cannot be selected, with both cables, digital cannot be selected, and with only the DVI cable, digital is deafult, and analogue cannot be selected.


    Cable 1 and cable 2 are exactly as you stated, with my DVI cable being a DVI-D single link.

    So if I were to get a DVI-I cable, this would be better? We still don't know why I now have to use an adapter on my cable whereas I didn't before.

    My monitor, as usual, is plug and drivers required. I have 'installed' a .ini for the monitor just to determine which one it is in device manager etc. This doesn't make any difference though, as shown by the same symptoms upon a fresh windows install, with no drivers installed at all.

    I've checked out our link and they're basically presuming to to be a driver or PSU problem. I think we're pretty safe discounting those options.

    So.............perhaps a monitor problem, or cable type problem?!
  9. bump
  10. Its not driver related if the BIOS screen won't display. Period, its OS independent. Its either the moniter, the card, or the cable.
  11. [quotemsg=1950246,9,292253So if I were to get a DVI-I cable, this would be better? We still don't know why I now have to use an adapter on my cable whereas I didn't before.

    First, I keep getting new tidbits - when did you put an adapter on what cable and why lol?

    A DVI-D cable will not pass an analog signal, but it should also tell the vid card to send digital, and where you plug it into the monitor should tell the monitor to receive and use digital.

    Analog signals sent to your monitor by the vidcard (via DVD-I/Dsub adapter to VGA cable) are handled correctly. Therefore, the vid card is receiving data correctly, and sending out video correctly over the analog pins (DVD-I) both in BIOS and in OS.

    When you use the DVI-D cable, there is no video from BIOS. The Vid card *should* be sending video over the digital pins. Is the vid card failing? No, because your 6600GT does the same thing. And because . . .

    When you use the DVI-D cable, there is video from the OS. But the monitor stays in 800x600 resolution. There is no reason to believe two vid cards fail to send the proper signal.

    I'd say the problem is at the monitor, but what I cannot explain is how your OS knows to allow you to scroll the screen. Unless the monitor is telling the vid card it has a max 800x600 resolution on the digital port. If so, once again the problem would be at the monitor.

    Try another monitor, or stay with the VGA cable - same picture, eh?
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