Screen not responding

  crumbleeze 20:11 03 Nov 05

My husband's computer has gone "on the blink". He was in a programme and before he went out of it he inserted a floppy disc ready to download some photographs from it afterwards. He got some colours on the screen which then disappeared and he is left with a black screen just containing a large square area of three downward coloured bands. He has tried an old tower and the monitor works perfectly but when he puts his new tower back on he gets just the coloured screen, no mouse, no controls, nothing. Please, is this fatal??

  LastChip 21:56 03 Nov 05

1. If you haven't done so already, turn the computer off.

2. Now turn it back on and depending how it is set-up, you should get a "beep" and may get some writing on the screen. Is this happening?

Note: some manufacturers just provide a "splash" screen, but we need to know if this part of the process is happening.

3. If you are not getting any screen at this time, turn the computer back off again.

4. If there was NO BEEP, the rest of this does not apply for now, so post back please.

5. Depends on whether the computer is under warranty or not. If NOT, remove the left hand cover as you face the machine. Now look for the connection the monitor uses. If this is integrated into the large circuit board that everything else connects to, there is little more you can do at this time.

If however it is a separate card plugged into a socket, you should remove the single retaining screw and gently remove the card. Try to avoid touching any of the connections along the bottom, but make sure they are all clean. Now replace the card into it's socket by giving it a firm push. Make sure it is fully seated back into the socket and replace the screw. If you can't replace the screw, you have done something wrong, so take a close look and repeat the procedure.

Sometimes, just the re-seating of the graphics card can be enough to solve problems like this.

Please post back with how you get on.

  crumbleeze 22:26 03 Nov 05

Thanks for that reply.
We have turned the machine on at the wall again, then the tower, then the monitor. You can her the tower working and little lights flash. There is no beep but a message flashes up very quickly when the monitor switched on, I think it was something like "no signal or cable connected". Then just the coloured bands on the screen. The colours stay the same for a few seconds then change,this happens continuously but nothing else. It is a complete mystery because the computer was working perfectly until my husband inserted the floppy desk then everything went.

  LastChip 22:59 03 Nov 05

If you are not getting a beep (and I assume you were before), it can be a number of things causing the problem.

The fact that you have little lights flashing indicate the power supply is working, but something else is stopping the "boot" process.

My gut feeling is the floppy has little to do with your problem, but who knows? Stranger things have happened in the computer world.

You really need to remove the cover (as above) and make sure everything is seated properly in it's slots. With the symptoms you have, it is particularly important to make sure the memory module(s) are seated fully home, as this would be my first suspect. No beep, is often a result of faulty or badly seated memory and these various cards do move slightly with use (switching the machine on and off).

As you feel the floppy issue may be significant, I suggest you look at the rear of the floppy drive and trace the data cable to the socket on the motherboard. Remove the cable and then go back to the rear of the floppy and remove it's power supply. Don't worry, there's nothing here that can hurt you! What we are doing here, is eliminating the floppy from the boot sequence to see if the computer now boots correctly.

IMPORTANT NOTE: when you remove the data cable, down one side will be a RED tracer line. Note which end of the socket this connects to for re-connection. Most machines these days have data cables that are "keyed" and therefore avoid incorrect assembly, but it's not always the case. The RED tracer ALWAYS goes to pin 1 on both the drive and motherboard (large circuit board).

Now, having checked all the connections and cards, and temporarily removed the floppy, try the machine again and see if it will boot-up.

  crumbleeze 07:50 04 Nov 05

Thanks very much for that again. Before we try any of the above, however, I need to tell you that I have a more detailed description from my husband as to what happened. He says he was experimenting trying to recover a photograph from an XP picture card through a recovery programme (PC Inspector Smart Recovery) which, he says, he thinks is not for picture cards but was trying it anyway. He wanted to "copy to floppy". When he inserted the floppy the screen went into narrow horizontal bars before everything vanished. Does this mean he has "crashed" and, if so, will any of the above help.

  crumbleeze 09:45 04 Nov 05

Dear LastChip,
Further to my previous reply above. My husband, who was getting pretty fed up with everything, decided that he had nothing to lose and took your advice. He opened up the tower and, as he said, "waggled everything about like the man said", put it back together again and, lo and behold, everything works. We really do appreciate your advice and help. Thank you very much.

  LastChip 18:37 04 Nov 05

Glad it's OK now :-)

If you're happy there are no further problems, would you please tick the resolved box. This helps other members to know you no longer have a problem.

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