Won't start w/o ext. monitor and windows 7 DVD in

All, I am new to this forum and hoping someone has run into a similar problem to mine. I have an Acer 5100 that I've had for about 4 years. I don't have all the specs but can add those later if needed. What I can provide is that it has 2GB RAM and 50% of HDD free space.

I upgraded notebook from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7. It worked great for a couple of days then started having some issues. At first I was getting BSOD/errors indicating a memory problem. I replaced the memory. While troubleshooting the memory issue I had a few times where I would restart and everything would indicate the PC was starting (i.e. power, hdd, and dvd lights all green and steady or flashing as appropriate for each) but the monitor did't come on. A couple times I was able to get it to start normally and it would work great for about 2 to 5 minutes then freeze. It wouldn't unfreeze regardless how long I waited. There was nothing indicating any event had happened when I rebooted.

After troubleshooting and forum search, the only way I can get the notebook to come up now is to connect it to an external monitor and have the Windows 7 upgrade DVD in the drive. If I remove either the notebook goes back to black screen. If I have the ext. monitor connected and W7 DVD in then the notebook, including the monitor works fine.

Below is a brief list of troubleshooting steps I've taken:
1) memdiag (replaced RAM in initial steps, also tried known good RAM)
2) chkdsk /f on HDD (by installing in ext enclosure and running on another PC. Notebook crashes if I try to run chkdsk /f)
3) ran Windows 7 repair.
4) ran Windows 7 fresh install
5) checked for up-to-date drivers for all installed devices. No device conflicts present
Can't afford a new laptop so any assistance would be appreciated.
5 answers Last reply
More about start monitor windows
  1. Sounds like a hardware issue. Either the screen connection is bad, although that would not cause the other crashes, or the motherboard is bad, which would explain pretty much everything.

    Buying and installing a new motherboard will be close to the price of a new computer however, unless you can do the work.
  2. Thanks for the reply.

    I originally thought the monitor might be bad or the motherboard but if either of those were bad it doesn't explain why the pc work perfectly when connected to an external monitor and the windows 7 cd is in the drive.

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just perplexed.
  3. If the laptop lcd is bad, it won't prevent the exernal one from working. And the only reason I would think that the motherboard may have an issue is that if the screen was the only thing that was bad, the rest of the issues would not be there.
  4. Perhaps, I'm not being clear regarding the LCD. I originally thought it might be going bad but the laptop and all it's components, including the LCD monitor work perfectly as long as the laptop is connected to an external monitor and the windows 7 DVD is in the drive.

    I don't have to run the windows DVD and I moved the down in the boot order to ensure the laptop wouldn't boot from that DVD.
  5. Try re-installing the Vista setup that was originally on the laptop. If that does not help, the issue is pretty well narrowed down to a hardware issue.
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