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No signal from comp to monitor

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 13, 2010 8:37:23 PM

First the specs:
CPU: Intel i7- 960
Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium
RAM: 6Gb (3x 2Gb) 1600Mhz Corsair
HDD: 2x WD Caviar Black 1Tb SATA III
GFX: 2x ATI Radeon HD 5850
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium
Monitor: Samsung PX2370

Here's the problem. I've had this computer about a week exactly. Purchased from Cyberpower, I already started having problems right out of the box. Originally I was able to boot right into Windows. However, after installing everything that I needed in one giant lump of downloads (AVG Antivirus, latest Catalyst drivers for GFX, etc.) I went to restart the computer and the first problem popped up. The "Starting Windows" screen would either just freeze and hang or disappear to grim blackness. I scoured the internet for literally days, pouring through tons of forums trying to diagnose that initial "little" hangup. After unplugging all the hardware, rerouting wires, gutting unnecessary components like a card reader, etc. I was finally able to do a fresh install of windows after I switched my HDDs from SATA II ports to SATA III (losing my sweet RAID 0 setup in the process). I went to reinstall my necessary software once again but I took it a little easier this time. I started w/ the graphics drivers and restarted. Guess what... MAXIMUM HANG on "Starting Windows". So I spent a little more time on the Google train and discovered that the latest ATI drivers aren't digitally signed and Windows gave them the hand to talk to when they tried to load up on boot. Ok, so one problem down I disable digital signature enforcement on boot, no biggie. So when I get back into windows, I go to the root files for the Catalyst drivers and set them to "always run as administrator". Then, before I rebooted for the last time (don't worry here comes the actual latest problem I'm having) I started installing AVG antivirus again. Well, working into the wee hours of the night had finally caught up with me and while AVG did it's thing I decided to hit the sack. I wake up this morning and the computer is still on (don't know if it rebooted) so I move the mouse to awaken the beast and... nothing. Smack around on the keyboard like a drunk monkey and... nothing. Computer's still running (lights, fans, hamsters in wheels, etc.) but the monitor is giving me this attitude like it's in standby or something. Cycle monitor... it goes through searching for inputs and goes right back to standby. So I turn off the computer (goodbye forever my love). Now when I turn on the comp the monitor just wont pick up the signal from HDMI or DVI. I've narrowed it down to the computer because I plugged in a PS3 to the monitor and it obviously still has the ability to actually get a signal. Also, when I plugged in the PS3 I was able to bring up the monitors settings and change the input method from "AV" to "PC" in hopes that it might fix the problem. Alas, no dice. I also plugged the computer into an HDTV that I have through HDMI and a DVI- VGA conversion cable w/ no luck. Other things I've done:

Unplugged comp and held PWR button to get all voltage out; tested, failed
Reset CMOS; tested, failed
Pulled one GFX card out; tested, failed
Put other GFX card in; tested, failed
I've tried various combinations of cable setups including trying different HDMI/ DVI cables to rule out faulty cables; tested, failed

I'm sorry about the novel but I like to be thorough before I go out asking silly questions and I'm frankly stumped. I would very much like to think that over the course of me getting a good night's rest, my computer didn't somehow brick itself. I am not a fan of RMA or over the phone tech support as I tend to be a little prideful of my knowledge of computers. However, if you folks turn out to be equally as stumped as me, I guess I might have to bite the bullet and send this 60 pound wind machine back to it's "loving" architects. Also, one last thing, I'm posting this question on a Mac. Just sayin'

More about : signal comp monitor

a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 9:47:10 PM

If I were going to continue on my own - and I probably would lol - I'd go this route:

Install one of the 5850s.

Put the disks back on SATA 2.0. No benefit to SATA 3.0. If you still want RAID, re-institute that.

Manually set or otherwise ensure that BIOS is using the correct settings for your memory as installed, as delivered.

Do a fresh Windows install, install the mobo drivers from the CD you hopefully have, THEN install the latest MOBO drivers from the web site, getting into Windows using default video drivers only. (Note: If you have a full-fledged recovery disk, just reset all hardware/BIOS to original-as-delievered, and lay the disk image down.)

Download an older version of the video drivers that is correctly signed. Don't change OS settings at this point.

Is it running?

Add the second 5850 (if not using recovery Disk), after reading this:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-crossfire-nvidia-sli-multi-gpu,2678-3.html

It's important to get back to what was delivered, which appeared to be working, until stuff went horribly wrong during your "little" install.

If it doesn't work, we can begin a new build doesn't work diagnosis, but i am betting it isn't necessary. Just go slowly.
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September 13, 2010 10:22:42 PM

Twoboxer said:
If I were going to continue on my own - and I probably would lol - I'd go this route:

Install one of the 5850s.

Put the disks back on SATA 2.0. No benefit to SATA 3.0. If you still want RAID, re-institute that.

Manually set or otherwise ensure that BIOS is using the correct settings for your memory as installed, as delivered.

Do a fresh Windows install, install the mobo drivers from the CD you hopefully have, THEN install the latest MOBO drivers from the web site, getting into Windows using default video drivers only. (Note: If you have a full-fledged recovery disk, just reset all hardware/BIOS to original-as-delievered, and lay the disk image down.)

Download an older version of the video drivers that is correctly signed. Don't change OS settings at this point.

Is it running?

Add the second 5850 (if not using recovery Disk), after reading this:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-crossfire-nvidia-sli-multi-gpu,2678-3.html

It's important to get back to what was delivered, which appeared to be working, until stuff went horribly wrong during your "little" install.

If it doesn't work, we can begin a new build doesn't work diagnosis, but i am betting it isn't necessary. Just go slowly.


Sound advice, all the way. However, I should clarify that I cannot get a video signal from the computer at all. Unfortunately, my mobo doesn't have built in graphics and neither of the two vid cards seem to output anything to any screen I connect them to. Is there a way to reset the BIOS to factory defaults without actually turning the computer on? I know that manipulating jumpers one some motherboards can reset everything, but after looking through the mobo owner's manual, it appears the jumpers on this particular motherboard only control voltage for overclocking purposes. I have already pulled the CMOS battery and put it back in. Does that procedure actually "roll back" the BIOS settings to factory defaults? I plugged the hard drives back into the SATA II ports but still no video. At this point, I've given up on using HDMI at all because I know the "HDCP handshake" can make things tricky in and of itself. I'm just leaving the DVI cable plugged into the monitor while I cycle both computer and monitor in varying orders to test the outcome of changes I make. I would like to optimistically believe that I don't have two identically dead graphics cards here.

Edit: My bad, the HDCP handshake applies to DVI as well. Is it possible that this might be causing my issue?
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a c 153 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 13, 2010 10:30:12 PM

Leave the battery out for a few minutes, and see if that works, and yes that should reset the BIOS if there are no jumpers to do so.

Let me look at your manual.

EDIT - Lol, your motherboard has a Clear CMOS button on the back IO panal. Consult page 2-25 of your manual if you can't find it.
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September 13, 2010 10:48:14 PM

I actually tried that button the first time, but since I still didn't get a signal, I pulled the battery since that has always been a surefire way to reset CMOS that I've known.
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a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 11:17:40 PM

The "Belt, Suspenders, and a Rope" approach . . .

Press "Clear CMOS" button several times, turn psu power switch off, pull plug out of wall, pull the battery, press case "Power On" button 10 times, go have a cup of coffee and smoke 'em if you got 'em.

When you come back, CMOS is cleared :) 
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September 14, 2010 5:48:38 PM

Ok... potentially disturbing results. So, I applied the aforementioned pants retention method of resetting CMOS. I booted; nothing. Well, it occurred to me that I've been plugging my GFX cards into only the top PCI slot. So I simply moved the card one slot down and booted, and, DISPLAY! Does this mean I have a fried PCI slot? Am I going to have to RMA this bad boy? I'm staring at my BIOS setup screen right now and I'm unsure how to proceed if, in fact, I do need a new mobo.

Edit: well I just decided to boot back into Windows. I read elsewhere online where someone mentioned that when running a single GFX card it should usually be inserted into the 2nd PCI-X slot. What I'm going to try from here is downgrading my drivers to properly signed ones and plugging my 2nd card into the first slot but leave the monitor plugged into the bottom card. Basically, I'm treating this as if I were upgrading to a second card w/ Crossfire. I will let y'all know the results; opinions still appreciated if you think I'm completely off base here as I'll still be popping on here w/ my Mac during these endeavors.
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a b U Graphics card
September 14, 2010 9:34:43 PM

Dunno why the card should "normally be inserted into the second PCIe slot". That's not true, and in your specific case . . .

Your manual says either 16_1 or 16_2 can be used for a single card, and it will run in X16 mode.

Maybe the guy who wrote that meant the second physical slot, thinking you may not notice it wouldn't fit into the first one :)  ?
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September 14, 2010 10:52:42 PM

I thought it was kind of a strange thing to suggest too. I made a couple more revelations while trying to install the 2nd card as if it were an upgrade. Firstly, as soon as the second card is in, I immediately lose my signal to the monitor (I'm not hotswapping like that sentence implies, don't worry). Secondly, I'm fairly certain I don't have a bum PCI-E slot because I looked at the GFX card fans when I powered on and they are both spinning away. Well, I downgraded drivers in Windows and shut the comp down (probably should have rebooted, my sorry excuse is impatience). Well, as soon as the power was off, I threw the 2nd card in and attached the crossfire bridge connector. When I powered up, no signal again. So, I read through that article on crossfire installation you linked to previously. I decided to pull the bridge connector off and try that with no luck. I played around with various configurations of that connector for a bit to eliminate it as a possibility and no matter how many different goldfinger combinations I tried, I still got no signal. At this point, I pulled out the 2nd card, leaving the original lucky card in the 2nd PCI-E slot since that was the last configuration that seemed to work. I powered up, and I'm back to step 0 with no signal to the monitor! So as I type this, my CMOS battery is sitting on my desk while I wait to make sure that BIOS data disappears. Does this information produce any "Aha!" reactions in your mind?
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a b U Graphics card
September 15, 2010 4:05:47 AM

Best advice I can give you - the fastest way to solve a problem is to be patient, and don't believe everything you think.

Almost sounds like no power is getting to your second card - have you plugged in the power connectors required by each vid card?
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September 15, 2010 6:37:31 PM

Alright, one more day of troubleshooting down, one step closer to rooting out the gremlin. I had to go out and get a motherboard speaker after I noticed that one wasn't plugged in. So, two dollars later I come back throw it in leaving the last configuration from last night (one video card in the 2nd PCI-E slot). I boot up, and get display again after one try. I power it off before BIOS comes up and turn it on again just to make sure, no signal again without changing a thing! I too started thinking it might be a power issue. I've noticed that when I turn off the computer and also flip the little switch on the back of the PSU and wait for it to lose all charge (light on mouse goes out), when I turn it back on it gives me no signal to the monitor w/ no POST beeps at all. When I turn the computer off but don't flip the PSU switch, my chances are slightly higher to get display/ POST beeps. I also pulled RAM sticks one by one just moments ago, and after pulling 2 out of 3 of them, I got signal/ POST beeps. I put one back in, got signal/ POST beeps. I put the third one back in, got signal/ POST beeps. I did these RAM tests leaving the switch on the PSU on (not the preferred method I know, but I was very careful). So, all signs are starting to point towards PSU. It just occurred to me that I never posted that w/ system specs either: Cooler Master Silent Pro 850W, 66A on +12V. I thought 850W sounded like a pretty big number to me (kinda weak in PSU knowledge). I may just go out and drop the $$ on a 1000W or higher power supply. Opinions?
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a b U Graphics card
September 15, 2010 7:34:44 PM

Your psu is a good unit:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cooler-Master-Silent-Pro-M-850-W-Power-Supply-Review/810/10

and certainly capable of delivering enough power to boot up lol. Or even run hard:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5850,2433-13.html

There's no need for a BIGGER psu, but there may be a need for one that works.

Please confirm that:

1) You have plugged two 6-pin power connectors into each card,
2) You have plugged the other ends into the correct ports on your modular psu,
3) When you boot up successfully with one card in Slot 2, does it fail to boot up when you move that card to Slot 1 WITHOUT changing any of the 6-pin cables or connections?

If you have done all three (might want to repeat now to be sure), then your PSU is delivering adequate power so the vid card can run in Slot 2. The fact that it will not run in Slot 1 indicates a mobo failure.

(One last thought - are there any BIOS settings that can preclude Slot 1 from working?)
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September 15, 2010 8:07:45 PM

Best answer selected by MetalBB.
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September 15, 2010 8:16:23 PM

Thank you so much for your help. Here's what I did: I double, triple checked the connectors from the PSU. Originally, the second card which would cause the problem, was plugged into the PSU through the bottom 2 PCI-E 6 pin ports. The PSU has two vertical rows w/ 3 ports in each row. I moved the cables from the bottom 2 to the top 2 ports and voila! I now have 2 vid cards in my computer and everything set up as the computer was originally delivered. Does this mean I have a bad PSU though, or did I just have that card plugged into the wrong ports? If only those 2 power ports are bad, I imagine I can just live with it until I decide I want to upgrade something. Thanks again for your help Twoboxer. I take back what I said in my original post about my "pride of computer knowledge" (an unfortunate result of cracking open beers while trying to fix computer problems). This is why I love trying to fix these things myself though because I feel like I learned a thing or two more than I knew before with your help. Thanks again.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 15, 2010 8:23:51 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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