Question Odd No POST On Boot Issue

dukeofcrydee

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So my wife's 4.5 yr. old pre-built PC wouldn't load Windows last week. The POST on boot showed no HDD. I got a SATA SSD and swapped them out.

Now, I can't see anything on boot. No POST information. Nothing. Can't get into the BIOS either. Just a black screen.

I have on board video and a graphics card. I used both and the card gives a "lit up" black screen, when mobo connection is jet black.

I popped out the CMOS battery, and same issue when putting it back.

I made sure all connections are firm.

I'm at an utter loss as to how this is happening when last week POST showed and I went into the BIOS. I did nothing but swap the drives.

Any ideas or am I buying a new PC?
 

jason201

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Please provide your full system specs. Also, when you were swapping the drives, you sure you didn't accidentally disconnect anything by accident? Meanwhile, I suggest you try the following:

1. Check the CPU power connector (4 or 8 pin near the socket), if it's loose or disconnected, this can cause a black screen. You might wanna disconnect/reconnect it to be on the safe side.

2. Reset the BIOS settings as described on the following post:
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/pc-wont-boot.3489053/post-21088572

3. If you have more than one stick of memory (RAM), then try each one standalone (could be a bad stick)

4. Try a different monitor (or connect the computer to your TV) just to make sure that's not the issue.
 

dukeofcrydee

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Please provide your full system specs. Also, when you were swapping the drives, you sure you didn't accidentally disconnect anything by accident? Meanwhile, I suggest you try the following:

1. Check the CPU power connector (4 or 8 pin near the socket), if it's loose or disconnected, this can cause a black screen. You might wanna disconnect/reconnect it to be on the safe side.

2. Reset the BIOS settings as described on the following post:
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/pc-wont-boot.3489053/post-21088572

3. If you have more than one stick of memory (RAM), then try each one standalone (could be a bad stick)

4. Try a different monitor (or connect the computer to your TV) just to make sure that's not the issue.
Thanks, I'll try 1 and 2 later tonight.

There's only one stick of RAM, and I tried it on two different monitors that I know to be fine.

When I opened the case to swap the drives, I did do a bit of dusting with a q-tip in the CPU and video card fans/heatsinks. Also the mobo in general.

So maybe I messed something up doing that? We'll see how it goes later.
 

jason201

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When I opened the case to swap the drives, I did do a bit of dusting with a q-tip in the CPU and video card fans/heatsinks. Also the mobo in general.

So maybe I messed something up doing that? We'll see how it goes later.
It depends really. Was the power cord connected while you were doing it? Was the Q-TIP wet? And if so, with water or alcohol? And did it came in direct contact with the motherboard/video card components?
 

jason201

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Noooo, just dry while unplugged.
I see. Few more questions, were you wearing shoes or barefoot while you were doing it? And is there a carpet in the computer room? Also, did the Q-Tip at any point came in contact with your hair or clothes? Just trying to determine if static electricity was involved here (as this is very bad for electronics). Also, did you use any force on the CPU cooler (grabbed/moved it)? If so, then you should remove the CPU cooler, clean up the thermal paste, remove and re-seat the CPU, apply new paste and put the cooler back on it.
 
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dukeofcrydee

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I see. Few more questions, were you wearing shoes or barefoot while you were doing it? And is there a carpet in the computer room? Also, did the Q-Tip at any point came in contact with your hair or clothes? Just trying to determine if static electricity was involved here (as this is very bad for electronics). Also, did you use any force on the CPU cooler (grabbed/moved it)? If so, then you should remove the CPU cooler, clean up the thermal paste, remove and re-seat the CPU, apply new paste and put the cooler back on it.
All good suggestions but since the early days of computers I've tried to always minimize static electricity. Never could remember to ground myself with one of those wrist straps.

Anyhow, I wanted to post again and say thanks for the help. I actually solved the issue...kind of. As I was trying to boot without and then with the CMOS battery, re-seating nearly every component, etc.. I noticed something odd on the razor's edge of my display. Flickering red pixels.

Then it hit me. Something is trying to get through and likely was on both monitors. So if not the monitor, or the cable....

After yanking the video card and plugging into the mobo's onboard DVI port, everything worked. Oh, when I figured it was the video card, I put back the HDD the BIOS said didn't exist. I ran a Windows update and it found updated drivers for the chipset and I got 1080p resolution back. It even fixed an odd Windows problem on this machine that my wife's had for a few years (the image not filling the entire display, regardless of display).

However...

The initial issue that caused me to buy a new SSD and think it was a hard drive issue was the BIOS showing no drives at all. When I removed the video card, but before putting back the old HDD, I had the SSD in. The BIOS showed it and the optical drive as SATA 2 and 3 masters. There's no cable in 2 or 3. Only 0 and 1.

That got me not to trust the initial BIOS reading and put the old drive in, which again, worked. And again, worked even though the BIOS says nothing's there.

In all my years I've never gotten wrong readings from the BIOS, but there you have it. Two separate weird glitches from the vid card mixes with a weird BIOS throwing me off. At least it saved me $400 on the new PC. :)
 
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