- motherboard : ASUS p4p800s
- CPU : Intel Pentium4 2.4GHz
- HDD#1 : Western Digital WD800JB
- HDD#2 : Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 ST340014A (40 Gbytes)
- HDD#3 : Western Digital WD5000AAKB
- videocard : Zotac 6200 ZT-62AAH2N-HSL
- monitor : Samsung SyncMaster 940n
The Story So Far:
To start with, the system used to be dual-booting some version of ubuntu and some service pack of Windows XP. Then I got the bigger HDD#3, got a Dreamspark subscription and decided the time for a hardware/software update had come. It should have been simple: I backed everything up, swapped HDD#2 for HDD#3 and attempted to install Windows 8, which failed to boot from liveCD (I think the hardware is way too weak). So I threw this Windows idea away and proceeded installing ubuntu 13.04, which booted from liveCD fine, installed in the usual manner but, and here is the tricky bit, after installation booted into black screen. By black screen I mean POST goes fine but after that the screen goes completely black (no blinking cursor, no "Unable to locate bootable media" message, no nothing). Naturally, I googled all the easy places, but they all assume that the user can change something (kernel boot parameters and so on). Well, I tried various keyboard combinations to get out from this "black screen" state but to no avail. The only thing I can is get to BIOS from POST by hitting del (which is right before the system goes to black screen).
At this point I realized there is a problem, so I tried to simplify it and get more data:
- Unplugged the HDD#3, leaving only HDD#1. Adjusted pins accordingly (these PATA drives need to be told who is master/slave and so on). Tried to boot - same result.
- Unplugged HDD#1, plugged HDD#3 back. Adjusted pins accordingly, installed ubuntu 13.04 on HDD#3 (again, liveCD boots fine, install goes ordinary). Booted to the very same black screen again.
- Plugged HDD#1 back, adjusted pins accordingly, installed Archlinux on both drives, wiping everything out beforehand. The story remained the same: Archlinux liveCD boots fine, installation goes fine, booting from hard drive leads to black screen right after POST. Again, no chance to change any kernel parameters, no messages, not responsive to a number of keyboard combinations (Ctr+Alt+F2 to get another console, for instance)
- Unplugged HDD#1, adjusted pins accordingly, freshly installed Archlinux to HDD#3. Same story
- Changed cable to the one from another machine I know to be working, attempted to boot. Same story.
I know that by now some of you might be thinking "Hey, this guy doesn't know how to switch his monitor on". Well, unfortunately I do. I actually am hoping that I am missing out something very trivial. Does anyone have any idea what might be the problem that causes a completely black screen right after POST?