On a related question to this one, now I have a file server whose power supply and fans spin up, but gets no video and no beep codes.

I have tried two different video cards in the system, and neither one sends any signal to the monitor. The monitor is a known good one; just borrowed it from a working server. The system does not have any hard drives connected to it -- just a power supply, motherboard, CPU, CPU fans, full memory, and the video card.

I've tried the obvious "swap the cards" trick. Are there any other reasons I can troubleshoot for dead video? CMOS? Memory?

6 Answers 6


A blank screen does not necessarily indicate a broken video card, it could be anything in the pre boot sequence. The fact that you are not getting an CMSO beeps indicates that it is not even POSTing properly, so it could easily be CPU, RAM, Motherboard.

Unfortunately the only way to find out what is wrong is to swap out components and see what works.


Yes.. I don't think there is a better mechanism than "Swap the Cards". However in some cases you gain more ability to troubleshoot when the system is partitioned. As an example I have seen some occasions that the mother boards make beep tones when the PCI cards are removed.

There are some pluggable devices called "Diagnostic cards". The manufacturer claims they can be used to diagnose such issues. I tried one card but not happy with the result. You may find some cheap Chinese stuff here.

  • +1 for the link - it's another tool and they're cheap enough to be worth a go
    – Draemon
    May 25, 2009 at 16:10
  • But the thing is the error code is highly depends on the BIOS type etc. By Nature chinese items are poorly documented. I think if we can find something "Genuine" (A quality product) then it will be a nice solution. May 25, 2009 at 16:13

Keep removing hardware until you do get a beep.


You could certainly test the video card by trying it in a working system.

  • I would, but I don't have an AGP system here; the working systems all have PCIe video cards.
    – romandas
    May 25, 2009 at 16:38

It does sound like it's not even POSTing. Bad memory is unlikely to prevent it at least getting to POST, but it's easy enough to test by removing all but one DIMM, then trying again with a different DIMM just to be sure. It could be the CPU but in my experience it's more likely to be the motherboard - anything that fries the CPU is likely to take the board out with it too. Probably not the PSU if the fans work, but you can't rule it out.

  1. Check with two different DIMMs one at a time - unlikely but easy
  2. Check with different PSU, CPU if you have spares
  3. Replace the motherboard.

I had similar problem with no video signal after just entering in the BIOS and changing boot priority (in order to re-install new OS ).There was no changing hardware at all. What was most weird, there was POST-ing sound, even the Windows could boot (I could hear the Windows welcome sounds), but there was no video signal on the monitor at all(nothing on the screen, just black screen). The solution was resetting the BIOS (cleaning the CMOS with jumpers) and changing the MB battery . I had to change the battery(probably was worn out, or maybe just loose, I'm not sure )because without new battery the problem with no video (black screen) was repeated after every entering in the BIOS menu . So try to reset the BIOS and to load defaults, and change the MB battery, this is one minute simple job and will cost you nothing .

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