How to fix a computer that turns on but displays nothing

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Aina Martin
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What to do if the computer boots but the screen is black. The most common problem when a computer "does not turn on" and when the PC turns on but does not display anything on the monitor. You see the lights on the computer case on, you probably hear the fans running from inside, and you might even hear sounds, but nothing is displayed on the screen.

How to fix a computer that turns on but displays nothing

What to do if the computer boots but the screen is black? Try these common fixes in the order we present them:

Test your monitor. Before starting the more complicated and time-consuming troubleshooting with the rest of your computer, make sure your monitor is working properly. With the monitor disconnected from the computer, turn it on and off. If the display shows diagnostic information of any kind, you know that the display has power and is capable of showing the content.

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Make sure your PC has completely restarted and that it turns on from a completely off state. A computer may appear to be “not turned on” when in fact it is having trouble resuming from standby / hibernation or hibernation power saving mode in Windows.

Turn off your computer while you are in a power saving mode holding down the power button for 3-5 seconds. After turning off your computer completely, turn on your PC and see if it boots normally.

Clear CMOS. Clearing the BIOS memory on the motherboard returns the BIOS settings to their factory default levels. Wrong BIOS setup could be the reason why your PC won't boot completely. If clearing CMOS solves the problem, make sure all changes made in the BIOS are completed one at a time, so if the problem recurs, you'll know which change caused the problem.

Verify that the power supply voltage switch is configured correctly. If the input voltage for the power supply is incorrect, the computer may not turn on completely.

  • Reseat all monitor power cords
  • Reseat the memory modules
  • Replace any expansion cards inside the computer

Reposition everything possible inside your PC. Resetting will reset the various connections within the computer and it is often one "magic" solution to problems like this.

Check that all cables are connected correctly. For example, if the integrated video card has been disabled, plugging a VGA cable into it will have no effect on the monitor even if the computer is turned on. In this case, we recommend that you connect the VGA cable to the correct video card.

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How to fix a computer that turns on but displays nothing

What to do if the computer boots but the screen is black? Try repositioning the following components and then see if the computer displays anything on the screen:

  1. Reseat the CPU only if you suspect it may have come loose or may not have been installed properly. We only address this component separately because the chance of a CPU coming off is very small and because installing one is a delicate task.
  2. Check for signs of electrical shorts inside the computer.
  3. Test your power supply. Just because your computer's fans and lights are working doesn't mean the power is working properly. The power supply tends to cause more problems than any other hardware and is often the cause of selective or intermittent operation of a computer's components. Replace the power supply immediately if it fails the tests performed. After replacing the power supply, assuming it is, keep the PC plugged in for 5-10 minutes before turning it on. This delay provides time for the CMOS battery to recharge, which may have been discharged.
  4. Start your computer with essential hardware only. The purpose here is to remove as much hardware as possible while keeping the PC's power-on ability. If your computer boots normally with only essential hardware installed, skip to step 5. If your computer still doesn't display anything on the monitor, skip to step 6. This step is easy enough for a beginner to complete, requiring no tools. special and could provide a lot of valuable information. This is not a step to skip if, after all of the above steps, your computer is still not fully turning on.
  5. Reinstall any hardware removed in step 4, one piece at a time, testing after each installation. Since the computer is powered on only with essential hardware installed, these components must function properly. This means that one of the removed hardware components is causing the PC to not turn on properly. By reinstalling each device on the PC and testing them each time, you will eventually find the hardware that caused your problem. Replace the defective hardware after identifying it.
  6. Test your computer hardware using a power-on self-test card. If your PC still doesn't display any information on the monitor with other than essential computer hardware installed, a POST card will help you identify which remaining hardware is causing the problem. If you don't have and are unwilling to purchase a POST card, skip to step 7.
  7. Replace any essential hardware on your computer with an identical or equivalent piece of hardware that you know works, one component at a time, to determine which piece of hardware may be at fault. Test the hardware after each replacement to determine which component is defective.

If you don't have a POST card or spare parts, you may not know which essential PC hardware component is faulty. In these cases, you have little chance to fix the problem, you just have to take your computer to a technician.

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