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My grandparents have a HP Pavilion a6603w desktop computer with a HP w2007 monitor. This week, out of nowhere, the computer stopped booting up. I looked at it the following happens: Whenever you turn it on, the fans run, but the monitor goes straight into Sleep mode--it does not even display the default "Press F-something or other to change settings" or whatever it says. Also, there is no beep sound like there normally is. I'm a bit flabbergasted. I'm more of a software than a hardware guru--any ideas?

EDIT: This is a little odd, but when my one cousin plugs in his laptop, the monitor works. But, if my brother plugs his in, it won't work at all via the monitor--it goes right into sleep.

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does it sound like the computer is running even with no display? Can you hear the hd spinning occassionally? Lights blinking? Try a different display/monitor? or different display port on the monitor? –  Logman Jul 21 '12 at 18:42
    
There are lights in the front, but I don't hear the spinning. All that I can notice running is the fans. The lights are normal, not blinking or anything odd. Also, I only have one monitor here--so I really can't check that –  Ryan McClure Jul 21 '12 at 18:43
    
does this computer have an add-in video card, or is it the standard on-board video? ( h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/… ) figure 5 is shows a pair of hands on an add-in agp card. –  horatio Jul 27 '12 at 15:31
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4 Answers

Your problem is most likely one of 4 things: 1. You have a bad video cable. 2. The monitor is broken. 3. The video card (GPU) is broken. 4. The motherboard/cpu/memory/bios is bad.

Let's assume for now that option #4 is not the problem (because if it is, I offer my condolences.)

'1. Get another/new monitor cable and see if this works. No?...

'2. Get another monitor from a friend and connect it (I recommend trying another cable too - see #1). Also, you can connect your monitor to another computer that is working. Either way of testing this should tell you if your monitor is bad. (Some monitors have a power supply adapter, like a laptop. This can also be replaced.) If it is broken, get a new one.

(If you are not comfortable with working on replacing computer parts... STOP HERE and contact a repair tech or buy a new computer.)

'3. What video card are you using?
If it is a video card in one of the slots on your motherboard, perhaps you have onboard video chip too? If so, remove the video card and try the onboard video jack. (Windows may have to reinstall or configure your video drivers to work correctly.)

If you have only onboard video, or only a video card, then you can try buying a video card, which would be less expensive . (AMD Radeon HD 6850 is an excellent high-end card at a reasonable price.)

Of course if you are not looking for an excuse to upgrade, or don't want to throw money at it, only do this AFTER you have ruled out a bad monitor or video cable.

'4. The FINAL STAND: If you have not taken a sledgehammer to your PC, and you would like to still fix it, then kudos to you! However, I regret to inform you that it will probably be less costly in time and money at this point to replace your computer. But if you have time, money and are brave... let me still try to dissuade you:

There is a small chance the memory (RAM) is bad, so you can try buying new RAM. (I say small, because bad memory usually has other symptoms.) It is not too expensive.

Replacing the CPU is not something I can adequately instruct you to do in this post, and is IMHO very rarely the cause of a no-video issue. But it is possible....

The motherboard, like the CPU, is costly and difficult to replace for most people.

You could try flashing the BIOS, but without video, how can you be sure it is being done? Troublesome, and again unlikely.

I hope this has helped you find the problem and given you some ideas on what can be done to fix it. Good luck!

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Are the lights in the front on. And if they are try to re-seat the ram. Also check if the vga cable is plugged in (just in case) And if you see that the computer is on and nothing is showing up on the screen then your motherbaord is messed up.

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Testing as we speak. The lights are on in the front, and reseating the RAM sadly did nothing. Now, as for VGA cable--what exactly is that? Is that the exterior cable that plugs in to the computer, or is it something on the inside? As I said, I don't know much about hardware haha! –  Ryan McClure Jul 21 '12 at 18:41
    
VGA is a monitor cable, otherwise DVI or HDMI are the other main types... which depends on the mobo and monitor ports. –  Logman Jul 21 '12 at 18:43
    
Got ya. Nope, plugging in the cable and unplugging it does nothing, sadly. It still goes right into sleep. –  Ryan McClure Jul 21 '12 at 18:44
    
Then its most probably something on your motherboard that is messed up. –  tko123 Jul 22 '12 at 0:17
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You mentioned your cousin's laptop, so if you have access to it, you could plug your grandparents monitor into the laptop to see if it works. Hopefully the laptop will have the same type of video connector as the desktop so you can test the cable as well.

The troublesome thing is that you said you no longer get the beep when you turn the desktop computer on. This beep is generated by the motherboard BIOS "Power on Self Test" (POST). You should normally hear one beep when you turn the computer on. During the POST, if the a problem is detected, you would hear multiple beeps.

The motherboard BIOS (BIOS is "Basic Input/Output System") is a small program stored on a chip on the motherboard. The BIOS storage is "Permanent" memory, but it can be reloaded or updated by "Flashing" it.

During the POST, the BIOS tests various system components and peripherals, like keyboard, video, hard-drive (and floppy-drive), and other various parts. It also does a test of the RAM memory by writing to the RAM and reading it back to make sure it works.

Even if the monitor (or keyboard for example) is disconnected, or if there were a hard-drive or memory failure, you should still hear 2 or more beeps. Since you don't hear any beeps, it sounds like the motherboard BIOS is not able to complete the POST, or the POST is not running at all, which points to a motherboard failure.

The other (and actually more likely) possibility is the power supply. The power supply provides various controlled voltages for the motherboard, drives, etc. Various system components require different or multiple voltages to run. The power supply provides: +5Volts, -5V, +12V, -12V, and +3.3V. The hard-drives, floppy-drives, and CD-Rom-drives will use +5V and +12V. The CPU and RAM memory will use all or nearly all of these voltages.

It could be that the voltage that powers the fan(s) is functioning, but one, or more than one of the other power supply voltages has failed. The fan(s) will run, but the motherboard will not function and will not be able to perform the POST, so no beeps.

The power supply is rated by watts. It provides various levels of current for each of the voltages and these current*voltage levels determine the total watts. Faster computers and advanced video/graphics require more power from the power supply, so power supplies are available in various wattage levels.

A power supply for a "modern" desktop computer would likely be in the range of 350 Watts, to 650 Watts. It could be more, 850 Watts or 1000 Watts or more for a "Monster overclocked super gaming system". The average power supply provided with a stock name brand computer (like yours, HP) would probably be rated at 450 Watts or less.

The power supply is fairly easy to replace.

  1. Make sure to buy a power supply with a wattage rating at least the same as the one you are replacing, or preferably a higher rating to prevent future failures. If the one you are replacing is 350 Watts, I would find one that is 450 Watts to 500 Watts minimum.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the computer and remove the side cover panel.
  3. Take a few pictures of the location of the power supply mounting, and how and where the power supply cables are connected to the motherboard, drives, fans, etc.
  4. On the back of the computer, locate the 4 screws that mount the power supply to the case, and remove them.
  5. As you remove each of the power supply cables/connectors, make note of where each came from and the orientation (position/direction) of the connector on the motherboard/drive/... Again, take plenty of pictures.
  6. If you have never done this before, it is a good idea to label each cable/connector with where it was remove from, as you remove it, and label each cable/connector on the new power supply to make attaching the new power supply easier.
  7. After the new power supply cables/connectors are attached, mount it to the computer case as the old one was, and replace the computer side panel and power cord.
  8. No step 8, you are done.

If you have problems or concerns along the way, post pictures (links) here and ask away.

If all this seems too much for you to attempt, try to find a small computer shop in your area, hopefully one you have used before or recommended by someone you know.

They will be able to test your existing power supply and provide the replacement if necessary. They may even install it for free if you purchase the new power supply from them. Find out the cost ahead of time and decide if you want to have it done.

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Humans, I struggled with this all this year. I looked at everything I could fine on Google with no success. Finally last week I decided to take out the video card and look at it. To my amazement it was to hot to hold for more than a couple of seconds. Then I knew what was causing the super annoying problem. I went out and purchased a Galaxy GEForce GT 610 video card, installed it booted up the computer and all the problems disappeared. shocked Very simple solution. No need to go to the Geek squad and pay hundreds of dollars.for labor. The video card cost me $59.95 plus tax at Best Buy.

Not a single problem since then. End of story!

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