no video from new graphics card

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I decided to try and resurect the old Dell Dimension 8100 that my son
gave me.  He said the hard drive failed.   He took out the video and
sound card--otherwise it was complete.

I ordered and installed a low cost graphics card (Assus Radeon 7000,
64 mb) for about $30.

The trouble is that when I started it up--no video on the
monitor--just a black screen.  When I turn off the monitor and turn it
back on, the switch light turns green, then I hear a click and the
light turns to orangeish red.  I have tried several different hard
drives--same result.

I think the problem is that the motherboard or hard drive does not
recognize the new graphics card hardware.  But how do I install
drivers or answer plug and play questions, etc if their is no monitor
to view??

I think that the mother board

Re: no video from new graphics card

On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 17:29:05 -0800, Bob <> wrote:

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In order to be thorough, I have to wonder if the problem was
really, _onlly_ that the hard drive had failed.  Had the
system worked again after the hard drive was replaced, or
was the box merely declared non-functional and then the
aforementioned parts were stripped out, leaving behind a
possible unknown, yet undiagnosed problem?

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Clear the CMOS while AC power is disconnected from PSU.
Motherboard manual will detail location of this jumper, or
pull the battery for 10 minutes, also with AC power
disconnected, then retry system.

I presume this "new" video card, was actually new?  Is it
possible to try it in another system to confirm it working?

If possible (if you have a multimeter) check the voltages of
power supply output.

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That is merely a sign that after an interval of time
deterimined by the monitor, that it goes into a power
savings mode due to no video signal going to it.

The lack of video signal "could" be a bad or (rarely)
incompatible video card but more often it's a general
failure to POST the system at all.

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Forget about the hard drive- you can completely unplug it as
it is not needed to get the system to POST and have output
on the monitor.  Likewise, after the original hard drive
failure, if that hard drive were unplugged and rest of
system remained operational, it would POST and display
output.  If it had never done so, that would tend to suggest
more than just the hard drive failing, leading back to my
original comment about determination whether it was really,
only a hard drive failure.

If clearing CMOS and/or pulling battery for 10 min. doesn't
help, I would tend to suspect the motherboard itself or
power supply is bad.

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There is no software nor plug-n-play from the operating
system necessary at this stage in the system initialization
and pre-boot sequence.  You could disconnect all drives and
it should still POST and proceed up until the point when it
could not find a boot device to progress any further- and
there would be monitor output all the while.

You might examine the inside of the system, perhaps
something (cards, cables, memory, etc) has been dislodged
when the other components were removed or added.  Examine
capacitors on the motherboard, particularly around the CPU
socket, memory and video card slot for signs of failure-
vented tops, swelling, discharge out the top or bottoms of
the (usually) larger capacitors.

Of none of the above helps, begin disconnecting all
non-essential parts leaving only CPU, video, 1 memory module
(2 if they're RIMMs) and try turning on system.  Keyboard,
mouse and all drives disconnected, all other cards removed.

Lastly you could find another compatible system and swap
parts trying to isolate the variables and find the failure.

Re: no video from new graphics card

Thanks for the tips.  I will try them and let you know.  I did forget
to mention that I too suspected that the trouble might be something
else like the mother board.  I was suspicious why my son would build a
new system when just the hard drive was bad (he did want to upgrade).
He may not remember exactly what the problem was.

Re: no video from new graphics card

Thanks Kony and Darklight for the advice.  I appreciate it because I
know just enough about computers to get myself in trouble.

I tried the checks Kony suggested with no success.  I am assuming now
that the mobo or the cpu is faulty.

I thought I could save some money upgrading the Dimension 8100.  I
wouldn't have to buy a mobo, cpu, or memory.

Since my original plan was to use only the case anyway, I guess I will
go ahead and order a motherboard, cpu, modem, and memory.  I will end
up with a better system.  So I  will probably be happier in the long

Any suggestions for components?  I am not a gamer--just Internet,
music, e-mail, etc.--but I do enjoy fast computers that work well.  I
wish that I could use my old ISA modem (it works so well) but I guess
that is out.

Thanks again,


Re: no video from new graphics card

On Sun, 18 Dec 2005 09:31:36 -0800, Bob <> wrote:

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With new parts you'd most likely "require" a new PSU anyway,
so I'd go ahead and buy that, and "if" the Dell PSU is
standard, try the new PSU in that system.  That could be all
it needs.

If the Dell PSU has the standard ATX connector AND follows
same pinout (though sometimes an OEM will make single-color
substitutions that still correspond to the same pin
positions), a standard PSU should be compatibe- unless the
Dell board uses a secondary power connector too then you'll
have to consider it as well.

A Dimension 8100 presumably has an early P4, in the
Pre-1.8GHz range?  If so it's relatively slow by modern
standards, and yet, plenty fast enough for all your
described uses.  It could be cost effective to buy a
motherboard after the presumed-necessary power supply,
especially if it's found at an attractive price.  There are
some 8100 parts at the following 'site, /

As for more modern parts, I don't recall the airflow
potential of that case, it could be a limitation to support
for more modern parts.  The best path would be to avoid a
modern P4 or Celeron, sticking with Athlon64 or Pentium-M.
Motherboard depends on your needs, I generally suggest
whatever suits the budget from Asus, MSI, Gigabyte or Abit.
You should be able to get by with 512MB memory for the
described uses, or move up to 1GB for longest term viability
of the system.  Choice of CPU and motherboard will determine
memory type needed.

Re: no video from new graphics card

Bob <> wrote:

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Sounds like the cpu to me

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Re: no video from new graphics card

On Sun, 18 Dec 2005 08:49:51 +0000 (UTC), Darklight

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Based on that?
Unless something unusual happened like heatsink fell off or
system ran without a fan working for a long time, the odds
are very low that it's CPU... CPUs don't just spontaneously
fail in otherwise normally working systems.

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