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Trying to determine exact hardware issue on Dell XPS 8300. Starts with "No Signal" and have done various tests

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 14, 2014 4:13:02 PM

Just to set this up a bit. Couple of issues here, but my thinking is that the video card is shot and needs to be replaced (if we determine this I would like to ask about replacement based on a list I have and gift cards for a particular store and not just a general suggestion). I will list all the things i have tried as well to show what I have already tested and still come to this point.I will try to provide the specs as best I can, but I cannot get a display so it is difficult to be exact. This is all stock, however. ALSO, I have no other PC that I can actually test the video card in so I'm hoping I can just pinpoint it to that without it.

Please bear with me as I tried several things and got new symptoms that cleared up and got me back to this starting point of "No signal" with everything running properly otherwise. I'm just listing these so that we can skip any of these possible scenarios to try. :p 

The box is a Dell XPs 8300 Desktop
i7 2600 3.4 GhZ Quad Core
PSU 460 W (I'm pretty sure this is accurate, but am not positive)
ATI Radeon HD 6770 video card
Windows 7 64-bit
RAM: 16 GB
Storage: 1.5 tb HDD
Monitor: ASUS VE249H

This is a relative's computer that I just wanted to pop on to check something online real quick and it became a glorious day of troubleshooting! While booting I happened to glance up and I noticed a message of "No keyboard" while it was booting up. I looked to see if maybe their receiver for the wireless K/M was out, and noticed that my highly intelligent cousin had spilled something on the top panel, and in turn the wireless receiver. I quickly held down the power button in hopes of avoiding something awful happening. Then took off the side panel and disconnected the top panel USB ports while I looked to see if any liquid was inside and could clean it up. I left it disconnected and it still is.

So...problem avoided I believed, but upon reboot I got a "No signal" to the monitor, which my cousin told me had been happening on and off for the last month, or two. In the past they claimed that after restarting and fidgeting with the cables a bit it would eventually give a signal and would work fine with no issues, but today I can't get a signal.

Obviously, this did not fix it so I tried another monitor on this PC with the same results, which made me immediately think that this was a graphics card issue. I then plugged the same DVI cable into another PC along with the monitor and they both worked as normal so the monitor and cable are in working order.

After some googling I saw the idea to pull out and reset the video card, which I did and got no signal still. Next I saw that trying to pull the memory out and resetting may work as well and did this. Of course when you do this the memory never goes back in properly and I had to take all 4 out and test them each one by one in order to figure out if THAT was a problem, but it appears that I just didn't have them all pushed in far enough. Eventually I got them all working and back to where I was. With how AWESOME this crate is and where these memory cards are it is great fun having to remove the graphics card every time because I don't have the fingers of a 3 year old to fit in there to pop out the memory. (yes this is sarcastic. The board and cards are very tight...lol)

After doing all this it became a bit difficult to see anything and know what the PC was doing so I was forced to do hard shutdowns mostly. I had a point where it would turn on, then off after a few seconds, then back on, and repeated until I held down the power button. To fix this I unplugged the power cable and held down the power button for aprox. 20 seconds as some sort of reset I had read about and this got it past that.

Next I noticed that it didn't seem to actually fully boot all the way and that it wasn't able to shutdown by clicking CTRL+ALT+DEL Arrow down, Enter (this is based on a screenshot that I know where the shutdown is if it makes it to the desktop). Still didn't seem to be getting to the desktop so I did a CMOS reset. Eventually I got it to load Windows and land on the desktop again! I knew as I could hear through the speakers the windows chime after a bootup.


NOW...back to the beginning, PC seemingly working properly, but no signal, and never did it once give me a signal as my cousin stated it did in the past after this issue.

Is this the video card as I suspect, and is there any other way to determine for certain that it is without access to another desktop to test the card in?

Thank you for any help!
a b U Graphics card
May 14, 2014 4:23:26 PM

Do you get a single beep like during a normal bootup?
If so then the GPU is suspect
If not then I would suspect the motherbd.

You can also test for an error beep code by removing all the ram and trying to boot up. With no ram you should get a series of beeps in a repeating pattern.
May 14, 2014 4:31:49 PM

popatim said:
Do you get a single beep like during a normal bootup?
If so then the GPU is suspect
If not then I would suspect the motherbd.

You can also test for an error beep code by removing all the ram and trying to boot up. With no ram you should get a series of beeps in a repeating pattern.


Thank you for the reply.

Actually, forgot to mention this. No beeps at all. Only time I got beeps were when I didn't have the memory in all the way and it gave the standard 4 beeps to show a memory problem. This went away after I had them installed properly (ie. I pushed them in far enough lol)

The PC boots up all the way to the desktop fine and I can hear the Welcome to Windows chimes. Everything from the bootup starts as well like the keyboard and mouse (I am using a wired k/m because I didn't want to try that wireless one that had spillage due to it probably being fried is my guess when it said "no keyboard" in the boot up originally) Then I can CTRL+ALT+DEL and shut it down as if normal.

I guess I didn't think much about it, BUT there was a display that very first time because I saw the "no keyboard" message. This of course isn't the case now, but my cousin stated that they ahve gotten "no signal" every so often for the past couple months so I thought maybe the graphics card was going out? Motherboard more likley the suspect?
!