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Need help troubleshooting complex "No signal" boot problem

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

I have a seemingly complex problem and would greatly appreciate your assistance in troubleshooting it.

Last week I purchased a new computer with the following specifications:

Motherboard: ASUS Z87-A, Socket-1150 ATX, Z87, DDR3, 3xPCIe-x16, SLI/CFX, VGA, DVI, HDMI, mDP, Haswell

Processor: Intel Core i5-4670K Processor Socket-LGA1150, Quad Core, 3.4GHz, 6MB, 84W, HD4600, Boxed w/fan, Haswell

Memory: Crucial DDR3 BallistiX Sport 16GB KIT 16GB kit (8GBx2), Sport,1600MHz, 1.5V, CL9-9-9-24

Graphics card: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 770 2GB PhysX CUDA PCI-Express 3.0, GDDR5, DL-DVI-D + DL-DVI-I, HDMI, DisplayPort, 1059MHz

Hard drive: Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB 2.5" OEM SATA3.0, 7mm, 450MB/450MB/s read/write, SandForce®

Monitor: Acer 24" LED G246HLBbid.

Operating system: Windows 8 Pro

For reference, these are the output sockets on my graphics card:


The first time I booted my new system, everything went well. It was late, so I only browsed a bit then shut it down. The next time I tried to boot it, the monitor quickly displayed the Acer logo as usual, but then displayed the message "No signal". I checked the cables and tried rebooting a couple of times, but that didn't make a difference. Trying to access the BIOS would be pointless as I wouldn't be able to see it.

I tried booting using the VGA-cable, the DVI-cable, and the HDMI-cable, but it made no difference. I tried using them on the motherboard sockets instead of on the graphics card sockets (one by one of course), but again, no difference. I've tried using various cables of each type as well, so I can safely rule out that the problem is caused by a defect cable.

I suspected that the fault was with the Acer monitor, especially because of the numerous relevant results I got when I googled "acer no signal". In example, this seems to accurately describe my problem. I followed some of the hints there, and managed to occasionally boot my system after long processes of trial and error. I still can, but it takes a while. The process includes pulling the power cable out while the screen is on, then reinserting it and rebooting, or using the monitor with a different computer and then switching back, or switching between random cable types (VGA, DVI, HDMI), and so forth. Basically pulling things out and reinserting them, over and over (not as pleasant as in other situations). I haven't found any logic to it, but the signal is certainly "revived" at some seemingly random point during the trial and error process. I don't want to continue doing it though, as it's no doubt unhealthy for the CPU to be rebooted so often (perhaps 8-10 times before I gain the signal).

When I manage to get the signal and thus boot successfully, the signal remains even if the computer is rebooted or put into hibernation mode. The problem only reoccurs after I've shut the computer down.

Because I was so certain that the Acer monitor was to blame, I purchased a new monitor: Dell UltraSharp U2312HM 23" LED. However, as it turns out, I still have the exact same problem. And incidentally, I've been very mindful about selecting the correct input type (VGA/DVI/DHMI) on the monitors.

Furthermore, if I plug either of the two monitors into a different computer, they both work perfectly, each and every time.

So, the hard truth is that my computer must be to blame. I doubt the fault lies with my graphics card, because I get the same signal problem if I connect the VGA-, DVI-, or DHMI-cable directly into the motherboard sockets. So, I have a faulty new motherboard I suppose... although when it works, it works.

Do you have any suggestions on things I may have overlooked, or on how I might do to troubleshoot this problem further? I don't like the thought of sending my new computer back for service, but I suspect it may end up that way. Any sagelike advice is very welcome!

Thanks so much for your time.

EDIT: Unfortunately this thread ended up in the wrong forum. Mods, please move it to a suitable one. Thanks, and sorry for the inconvenience.
Edited by eriknm - 7/8/13 at 1:13pm
post #2 of 4
Hello eriknm.

Have you tried using a different graphics card that you know works? If not, it would be worth a try as if it still doesn't work you know it's not the graphics card. You usually get the "No Signal" message when your monitor is plugged into a power source but not plugged into a video port (like on the back of your graphics card).
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback. Alas I don't have access to another graphics card that I use use for such a test. However, I've made a couple of new observations that will help narrow down the troubleshooting process:

1) When I boot the computer and the screen doesn't get a signal, the keyboard doesn't light up either. Can't believe I forgot to check that straight away.

2) It seems absolutely random whether the computer boots or not. If it fails to boot now, it may successfully boot when I try again in 10 minutes, even though I haven't touched anything in the meantime. I'd say it successfully boots around 20% of the time.

I forgot to list my power supply:

XFX ProSeries Core Edition 850W PSU ATX 12V V2.31, 80 Plus Bronze, Standard, 2x 6pin PCIe, 2x 6+2pin PCIe, 11x SATA
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by eriknm View Post

Thanks for the feedback. Alas I don't have access to another graphics card that I use use for such a test. However, I've made a couple of new observations that will help narrow down the troubleshooting process:

1) When I boot the computer and the screen doesn't get a signal, the keyboard doesn't light up either. Can't believe I forgot to check that straight away.

2) It seems absolutely random whether the computer boots or not. If it fails to boot now, it may successfully boot when I try again in 10 minutes, even though I haven't touched anything in the meantime. I'd say it successfully boots around 20% of the time.

I forgot to list my power supply:

XFX ProSeries Core Edition 850W PSU ATX 12V V2.31, 80 Plus Bronze, Standard, 2x 6pin PCIe, 2x 6+2pin PCIe, 11x SATA

Here is a link that says about what you are experiencing http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows-xp/help/setup/how-to-fix-computer-that-will-not-start.
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