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Nothing but a dark screen

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  • Homebuilt
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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January 28, 2013 6:13:20 PM

So, here is the situation. My dad called me up today and told me that there was a problem with his computer. Basically, whenever it was switched on there would be a dark screen instead of the usual motherboard boot menu which tells you how to get into BIOS, change boot order, all that good stuff.

Following a few minutes of staring at the dark monitor, the OS would finally boot up and almost all would seem well. Upon opening up the case, I've discovered it to be covered in dust and not just a little bit either - the thing was like the pharaoh's tomb. I've told my father multiple times that dust and computers doesn't work well, but he just never listens.

So, after all this time, the PC was finally cleaned from dust and now yet another problem began. This time much more serious.

Basically, at this point the computer turns on, the CD drives work, the hard drives work, the GPU doesn't smell like it was burnt or anything and appears to work, the PSU works, but nothing happens. The screen stays dark and the OS doesn't boot. I already tried disconnecting everything, reconnecting, making sure that everything is secured. I've removed RAM, changed it around, still nothing. I've also tried removing the motherboard battery for a minute or so to get the motherboard back to default settings - still nothing.

At this point, I'm pretty convinced that the issue might be with a motherboard itself and just if a minute wasn't enough, I've decided to remove the battery for a longer period of time as I'm writing this post, though I doubt that will help.

Anyway, here are the specs:

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8200 A 2.33GHz
RAM: 4GB
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
Motherboard: P5QL PRO
PSU: I'm honestly not sure. I've checked it, but don't see any labels on it and he couldn't find the box that it was originally in.

So, based on what I wrote, what do you guys think? Would this be a motherboard issue? Any help is much appreciated and thanks for reading this - I know it's a long post.

More about : dark screen

a b B Homebuilt system
January 28, 2013 9:58:37 PM

The gtx 260 was one hot card at least the two I fried were :p  I'd check and see if removing the card and using the motherboard's display works. The fact that the psu is unknown is scary but it shouldn't change because you undusted it. Or you could have blown all the dust inside the psu or gpu which would be bad...Lots of things go wrong when dusting >.< If you used the spray cans you could also get moisture from the can onto the motherboard and cause a short.

Oh, and you didn't recently change the hard drive did you? At first it sounded like you had given your dad an old hard drive with a copy of windows already on it.
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January 29, 2013 2:05:29 AM

Thanks for the response. Anyway, to answer your question - no the hard drive wasn't changed recently, he has his own copy of Windows 7.

I would like to add though that there may be some progress. I've unplugged the RAM, reconnected it again (same ports) and at this point I'm back to the original state. Basically, the computer turns, there is no motherboard boot message and then it goes straight into Windows and everything works fine afterwards until the PC is rebooted, then the process repeats itself.

So, at this point I'm at a loss. I mean the GPU works fine, I was obviously wrong about the motherboard, because the OS works like it's supposed to. He wanted me to reinstall the OS for him, because it was running slow, so at least that part could be fixed. I told him that it wouldn't do anything with the booting black screen, but he wanted it anyway.

So now he has a computer that goes dark (screen-wise) when booting up from anywhere between 5 minutes to maybe around 30 minutes at times and then the OS loads up nicely like everything was okay. Thing is, I can't change the boot order and couldn't format the system partition, because I can't access the pre windows menu.

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 29, 2013 8:25:40 PM

Did you try hitting "Del" or whatever the bios prompt button is to see if you could access the bios even if the bios splash screen didn't load? You do have a weird problem.
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January 29, 2013 9:26:20 PM

Yep, tried all that, still nothing. I was wondering whether updating BIOS would help, but I'm not sure whether this can be done from the OS or do I need to boot into BIOS and actually see it (which is currently impossible) to update BIOS.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 30, 2013 12:27:49 AM

gigabyte has the @bios software to let you flash your bios from the os. Gigabyte motherboards also have dual boot bios so if you fail the flash it uses the back up bios to restore back to factory settings...i don't know if your asus has that ability :( 
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