Black Screen When Tower On


Rear Admiral
My graphics card is no longer sending video to my Sony monitor. One day I turned on my machine and all I got was a black screen. The monitor would wake back up for a couple of seconds (the light would go from amber to green) and then say power save mode and go back to amber. After that my surge protector didnt even have enough power to turn on the on light on my speakers. And yes the "protected" light on the protector was still on.

I plugged everything directly into the wall. And still got the black screen. I'm thinking my graphics card shorted out. And I'm also worried that my harddrive isn't spinning up. I tried unplugging all the drives to reduce power requirements and still got that black screen. What's the course of action? Should I just buy a new card or what?

Here's my slightly dated machine:

Win Xp
AMD Athlon Xp 2800 (about 1.8 ghz)
2 Gigs of ram
Maxtor 120 gig harddrive
ATI Radeon X700 (AGP) 256 Mb
Antec 500 watt PSU

Afterthought: I have an old 350 watt psu back in storage (in a different town) I'll try putting that in and seeing if windows will start up.

Thanks in advance for any help


Vice Admiral
If your monitor has built in graphics controls - brightness, hue, etc. - see if the options menu for that will come up through onboard controls. If it does then worry about your graphics card, because what you described sounds like power problems with the monitor. Concurrently you may want to try a different monitor with your system for the same reason.

As for your hard drive, if you have a blinking system light it should be spinning just fine, if not check to make sure all your cables are tight and try it again. If it you still don't get the light you could try swapping out the case power supply.

At the very least, from what you described, it sounds like you have a bad monitor.


Rear Admiral
My monitor is ok. I plugged it into my roomates machine. When I built my computer I never could get that daggum hardrive light to work. I got the front usbs and fire wire ports to work.

Thanks for the quick reply Shaggy.


Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Have you tried powering down the tower and restarting it? I know once and a while a crash due to a power outage or something will make the computer be on but unresponsive and the monitor won't come on. Even the mouse will power off and I have to restart the machine (that kind of crash is extremely rare on my PC).

If you have tried that, does the harddrive or CPU light blink when restarting or pressing buttons? It's entirely possible that the video card is shot.

Also, when restarting, do you get info and then it goes black when windows loads? Maybe someone set it to an unsupported resolution.


Rear Admiral
Have you tried powering down the tower and restarting it?.

I actually tried that repeatedly. I turned the tower on and off about 5 or 6 times last night and now when I turn on the tower the case fans wont even turn on. I think my psu was just slowly dieing. I should still have an extended warranty on the psu I just need to find the receipt from Staples.

Thanks guys


Rear Admiral
Can you hear your hard disc turn on and start spinning? If not than it could be your power, but it could also be your bios. I had a problem earlier this year when my apartment lost power while I was updating my bios. It burned out the chip and basically none of my hardware was being told to turn on. I got a new chip from the manufacturer (under warranty) and everything worked fine.


Vice Admiral
I've had this happen before when the monitor refresh rate (Frequency) was not set the same as the monitor in the software options.


Rear Admiral
Putting in a new power supply and resetting bios did the trick. I'm so happy. Thank you wingnuts woo hoo!