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No monitor display after CMOS battery changed

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 3, 2011 1:13:36 AM

I have an older PC (Sony Vaio RZ14g) and the cmos battery has been going out recently. It died once, gave me a warning and I left it on for a a couple days and all was good... for awhile.

Today I got a warning that the battery failed. It booted after it gave me the error, but then suddenly shut down immediately after starting up. Then the monitor wouldn't show anything. Just a black screen.

What's going on:
Cmos battery replaced,
Monitors lights shows it's getting power
Normal beep at start-up
Normal windows chime at start-up

After reading many suggestions on this site and others, I have tried with No success:
Reseatting battery
switched cmos jumper and then back again
Double checked polarity is correct
Reseated RAM
leaving unplugged for awhile without battery
Tried booting without battery

Please bare with me and my ignorance. I think I have a separate graphics card. PCI card, I believe (it's not in front of me right now, I had to go to another computer). I read somewhere about the bios possibly being reset to onboard graphics instead of PCI that could cause this problem. Can someone help me figure out how to test for this and fix it if it is the case?
November 3, 2011 1:51:19 AM

The fact that you actually hear the windows chime is a good sign, it means the computer is booting properly

So I'm guessing the monitor isn't receiving any video signal

I'd suggest you
1- Make sure the monitor is plugged in properly at both ends
2- If you have more than 1 video output (VGA or DVI) on your computer, try them all one after another, as you already mentioned changing the battery might have changed the default output

It seems the motherboard on the Vaio does come with a VGA output, and there seem to be an AGP card as well if I can trust sony's documentation about it

http://www.docs.sony.com/reflib/docget.asp?manualid=3395&template_id=1®ion_id=1&DL=

Look at page 12 for an exemple
There is one on the motherboard (#5 upper left)
And one in one of the expansion slots (#9 bottom)

Try them both, I assume #5 would work, once it does go into the Bios and set the default back to AGP so you can switch it back to the bottom plug (it should be better)
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November 3, 2011 2:32:19 AM

Thanks for taking the time to help, especially all the trouble to pull up that manual.

I have checked and rechecked many times the vga cable connection at both ends. Also, the power cable. No luck.

My computer actually does NOT have 2 VGA display ports, just the expansion slot one. I do not have a DVI cable right now to try. I'm working on that.

Thanks!
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November 3, 2011 2:39:09 AM

Reboot and hold delete or f11 or what ever you need to hit to get to the bios screen normally. I have to do this every time a switch my video cards around. You may of screwed up the drivers for the video. If that doesn't work, and you have more then one PC start mixing parts and see if you can get the monitor to work on another tower. If that does not work then you might have to get a DVI and repeat with that plugged in.
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November 3, 2011 2:55:48 AM

I do not have another PC (I'm writting from a macbook that does not have VGA or DVI ports) or even a spare monitor.

I've tried entering bios, but there still is no picture, so I cannot see the menus to change anything in bios.

Every sign points to the system operating just fine, even entering bios, but I'm navigating blind without a monitor. Does anyone know where I can find a road map of the bios menu online? If I can figure out the right way to navigate (ie two down, then right one, etc) then I can do it blindly, because everything else is working.
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November 3, 2011 3:10:29 AM

I don't think it's a driver issue, if it was only windows would be affected, but since no display is available when booting I doubt it's the issue

Make sure you didn't bend any of the pins on the VGA cable somehow

If your laptop has a vga output, test your monitor on it to make sure it's not a problem with the monitor itself

Also it's not clear for me right now, do you have only 1 output or if it has 2, if it has 2 you'll just have to try the 2nd one

*Edit, forget what I said about using your laptop to test the monitor, I missed your comment about it not having one.

if you have a TV with a VGA input it might be another way to test and try to figure out if the problem is with the PC or Monitor.
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November 3, 2011 3:33:21 AM

Maybe tomorrow I will be able to visit my family and test the monitor on their PC, until then, isolating PC or monitor is not possible with what I have at home. It was one of my first thoughts too.

I highly doubt, but I realize it is possible, that I did anything that caused disconnections or bent pins, or loose cables, etc because nothing was touched when this happened. The monitor worked, then it shut down (after cmos battery error) and then the monitor didn't work. I did not open up the case until the monitor problem started.

Am I correct to assume that the problem has to be one of the following:
a bios or other setting got screwed up when the battery died
video card failed/corrupted, due to or just coincidentally to cmos battery died
the monitor died (coincidentally to the cmos battery)


I truly appreciate all the help!

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November 3, 2011 11:58:19 AM

I think one of your guesses is probably right

Since the PC seems to be booting fine I'd go with this first
"the monitor died (coincidentally to the cmos battery)"

If the monitor is Ok I'd say the video card is the most likely suspect, although it seems kind a strange to me, a PC without a video card, or with a seriously damaged one wouldn't even boot most of the time

Finally a bios or other setting got screwed up is not likely to cause this kind of issue if you have only 1 video output...

If you want test to see if it's your video card, your best bet would be to try to find an old AGP or PCI video card to replace the one you have. (if you're lucky some of your friends or family might have one they don't use anymore, try to ask around)

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November 4, 2011 3:22:26 AM

Today I tested my monitor with another computer (& tested the vga cable) and it turns out the monitor just died. I don't see any way the Cmos battery had anything to do with it, pure coincidence.

Thanks for all the help!!!
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November 4, 2011 3:39:28 AM

bitter sweet...You found the issue, but the issue is costing you money. Sorry for your luck but it could have been worse.
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!