Computer on but monitor not picking up signal

  matth321 09:30 12 Jun 2012


I'm just wondering if anyone can diagnose a problem that happened to my computer a couple of days ago.

I had just started to play a game demo when my monitor went into power saver mode (orange light). Without any other option, I turned the computer off and on again. This time the monitor stayed on (green light) but remained on the test screen, as though there was no signal from the computer.

My current theory is that the game I was playing put a strain on my aging video card and it gave up on me. I tried unplugging the monitor cables and plugging them back in with no luck. I tried the monitor with another PC and it worked fine.

Does anyone have any thoughts/advice on how to test a video card?

For info my specs are: Dell Inspiron 530S, 2.33 GHz dual core processor, 2Gb RAM, 256Mb ATI Radeon graphics/video card (I think), Windows Vista.

Any help appreciated!

Thanks, Matt

  KRONOS the First 09:55 12 Jun 2012

Sounds very much like you are having graphic card problems, although you say aging you do not actually post your model of graphics card. As for testing,I would imagine that you could try the card in another PC,other than that there really is not much else to try.

If you can remove your graphics card there may well be a make/model number on a sticker.

But it looks like a replacement GPU.

  birdface 09:57 12 Jun 2012

Try Starting in safe mode[Just keep tapping F8 as the computer starts to see if it works on there.

If it does try last good configuration or a system restore.

Just something to try till someone can give you the advice that you need.

  matth321 10:12 12 Jun 2012

Thanks for the quick replies. I'll try the F8 thing.

My PC is over four years old and the graphics card, which I think is a 256Mb ATI Radeon, wasn't exactly top of the line even then! If safe mode doesn't work I'll take it out and have a look at it, then maybe try reseating it before getting a new one.

  birdface 10:16 12 Jun 2012

Some computers have also got on board graphics so maybe take your graphics card out and try without it.

Not sure if Dell is one of the company's that have on board graphics or not.

I am sure someone will be able to tell you yes or not.

  KRONOS the First 10:32 12 Jun 2012

256Mb ATI Radeon

That actually does not tell me what your graphics card is. Just remove it hand have a look.If it is knackered you will have to do it at some point anyway.

  KRONOS the First 10:41 12 Jun 2012

I seem to be finding info that you have integrated Video so I would remove the graphics card and plug the cable into the other blue VGA socket. that's assuming that you do have a separate graphics card.

These seem to be your specs. Dell Inspiron 530S

  matth321 12:30 13 Jun 2012

Thanks both for your suggestions. Last night I took the graphics card out and used a VGA cable to connect the monitor and it worked, so it seems the graphics card is definitely the problem. Weirdly though, when I put the graphics card back in (to see if it just needed re-seating), the computer carried on working as though it wasn't there. I guess it's possible I didn't put it back in correctly.

Can anyone recommend a half-decent budget graphics card? I'm not using the computer for anything too strenuous (no games, anyway), so not looking to spend more than about £50 really.

This one seems like it would serve my purposes: Sapphire 11166-02-20R HD 5450 1GB DDR3 PCIE HDMI Graphics Card. Cheap and good customer reviews on Amazon, but I know you can't always rely on them. I assume it would work with my computer but is there anything I need to consider?

Cheers, Matt

  KRONOS the First 16:18 13 Jun 2012

The HD 5450 1GB DDR3 PCI-E should be great. As I can see it is a low profile card so will fit in your slim PC just fine.

  matth321 10:51 14 Jun 2012

Damn, I've just noticed that the wattage needed for that graphics card is 400W, and I think the power supply in my PC is only 250W, which I'm guessing is a problem - new power supply needed also?


  KRONOS the First 11:03 14 Jun 2012

To be on the safe side yes you will need a bigger PSU, If you were just using the card in a HTPC you could have run it without any bother, but once you start to game then unfortunately the 250W PSU is not going to be enough.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Dell XPS 13 9370 (2018) review

The art of 'British' pulp fiction

Best password managers for Mac

TV & streaming : comment regarder le Tournoi des Six Nations 2018 ?