I have a Dell XPS730. It came with a Radeon 3870X2 video card. Two days ago, I upgraded the card to a Radeon 5850. NO problems initially, but after a day, I started having problems booting. The computer would start beeping, and no display on the monitor. I tried reseating the video card, and it would boot, but next time (or after a few reboots) I rebooted, same problem. The video card works well when I get to Windows, so I don't believe it's a problem. I never had issues with the 3870X2, so I don't think it's a problem with the power supply.
One thing I did think... I had fastboot enabled in the bios. I did disable this (and of course it took a while to boot), but since then I haven't had any issues rebooting, though it's still early days to decide the problem is fixed. Anybody got any ideas?
I think it's some sort of heating issue. I have the problem of beeps and black screen at bootup only after the video card has been stressed. If I'm surfing the web or creating a Word document and I reboot, no problem, no beeps just teh Dell logo start screen. If I've just run 3DMark06, or Flight Sim X, and reboot, I get the beeps and black screen. If I leave it a few minutes, then I can boot, no problem. After stressing the card, but before reboot, I've checked the temperature of the card, and it's around 45C. When I'm playing in Windows, the card seems to be performing well, so I'm completely puzzled.
Are you running any temperature monitoring software, e.g., CoreTemp or CPUID Hardware monitoring? If not, try one, and see if your CPU is overheating, if it is, you can get some TIM, e.g., Arctic Silver 5 (or some other kind you prefer) and re-seat the CPU Fan. You may also want to check your internal cables and wiring and move them around to allow better airflow in the case.
It's not the bios, I just upgraded it to the latest version, and I still get the problem. I checked the cpu temperature, and it all seems normal, temperature around 45-50C after being stressed. I switched my old video card back in... a Radeon 3870X2, and this seemed to work as before, ie no beeps and no problem rebooting. This seems to suggest that there are no problems with CPU, memory, motherboard etc. It has to be the video card, but my son tested this in his PC, and it didn't give him any problems. So this suggests it's not the video card either. What's the difference between a 3870X2 and 5850 card? does the 5850 take more power? is it possible that it's incompatible with my mb? I have an Ageia PhsyX card installed as well, any chance this could be causing some sort of conflict?
Okay guys, thanks for all the help and suggestions. I think I've solved my problem. I think it came down to either a conflict with the Ageia Physx card, or that the video card was demanding too much power at startup for the fan when it was hot, and with all the devices (including 4 hard drives as well as the Ageia card), it was just too much for the 1000 watt power supply, and thus beep. After I removed the Ageia card, no more problems so far. Time will tell I guess, but I'm pretty confident the beeps had gone.