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Black Screen On Start Up... Time For A New Computer?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 mlongjohn

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 05:22 PM

Hi all,

Thanks ahead of time for whatever ideas/help you may have.

I am not completely inexperienced with computer issues, but am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination.

My 4 year old Alienware system (which has been upgraded a few times with RAM, Video and sound cards, etc) has been working great until a week or so ago. I started having trouble starting up out of hibernation... frozen computer with black screen that required a hard boot. With increasing regularity, my attempts to boot the computer met with monitor messages saying 'no signal detected' and a black screen. In the last couple days, this was a hassle. Got to the point where I was having to boot 3 or 4 times just to get to the desktop... but I was consistently able to get there with enough patience. I saw trouble coming, crossed my fingers, and started doing what I knew to do... Started by backing everything up. :thumbsup: Checked drivers were updated, cleaned out startup and temp folders, etc.

Today, nothing but a black screen all day long. CD/DVD drives spin. Lights on CPU, and fan noises seem normal.

I just opened the thing up and don't see any scorch marks on the video card, etc.

What next? Go shopping?

thx--ML

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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 05:38 PM

Does the computer get past the post screen at least or is it completely blank from bootup? Does the computer have an internal speaker that you can here the post beeps? Have you ever heard the post beeps? My first suggestion before going shopping would be to try out your old video card if you still have it. What model Alienware computer is it? Does it have onboard video ( on the motherboard ) If it does try and see if you get a signal from that. When was the last time the computer was cleaned out? Take this time to do a proper cleaning Computer Cleaning Tutorial. After you try all that we can go from there.


Edit: :thumbsup: To Bleepingcomputer

Edited by Sneakycyber, 13 December 2007 - 05:38 PM.

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#3 mlongjohn

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 08:30 PM

Thanks for the prompts... I am answering some of your questions here while I try to work through some of the other steps.

You asked: Does the computer get past the post screen at least or is it completely blank from bootup?
Answer: completely blank

Q: Does the computer have an internal speaker that you can here the post beeps? Have you ever heard the post beeps?
A: Yes, I can hear the beeps.

You: My first suggestion before going shopping would be to try out your old video card if you still have it.
Me: I am going to try and swap them tonight.

Q: What model Alienware computer is it? Does it have onboard video ( on the motherboard ) If it does try and see if you get a signal from that.
A: It's an Area-51, Pentium 4 3.0Ghz, MOBO:Intel D875PBZ. No onboard video.


You: When was the last time the computer was cleaned out? Take this time to do a proper cleaning Computer Cleaning Tutorial.
Me: I did most of this today, but will now do some of the steps I skipped.

You: After you try all that we can go from there.
Me: Thanks again... I'll let you know if I have any success or new clues.

Let me know if the info above makes you think of anything.

ML

#4 garmanma

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 09:42 PM

Are you overclocking? Try resetting the CMOS and set the BIOS to restore default settings
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#5 Sneakycyber

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 06:18 AM

When you here the beeps what pattern are they..Beep then nothing, Beep, pause, beep, pause etc.. If there is a significant hardware failure (ram, CPU, etc) the beep code should tell us. As posted above if you are overclocking try resetting to factory defaults a problem with the system timings and clock speeds may have developed.

Chad Mockensturm 

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#6 mlongjohn

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 07:19 PM

Hi again,

I have followed your recommended steps (cleaning, resetting CMOS, swapping video cards, etc). Things have (I think) gone from bad to worse as I now am not hearing beeps on startup.

I appreciate the help, but I now recognize I am in over my head. I found a place in town that will do a $60 diagnostic, and am letting the professionals go from here.

Thanks again,

ML

#7 Sneakycyber

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 05:53 AM

Sorry we couldn't figure it out :thumbsup: . I am glad you did take the first step your self :flowers: . Thats the only way to learn. Let us know what they find

Chad Mockensturm 

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