My monitor won't display anything
January 12, 2007 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Why does my monitor randomly give out on me? Furthermore, why does it say "NO VIDEO INPUT" when I turn it on after starting my computer up?

Brief history: I'm a college student, so I live at home then move at college. My computer gave me zero problems until a few months ago, when I did something to it while moving in, so when I finally moved in, I had the classic "my computer won't turn on no matter what I do" problem. I had to the motherboard and I had to get it replaced from a place back home since it was 1) cheaper and 2) not run by totally incompetent buffoons like the place at school here. Flash forward to last month. It was working fine until it gave me the same problem: it won't turn on. Apparently, the motherboard they replaced it with was faulty but they replaced it for free.

I move in after Christmas break doesn't work with my monitor. It worked well with my old CRT monitor I had back home but my flat screen LCD monitor wouldn't start. I would turn on my computer, then turn on my monitor, but the monitor wouldn't show anything. I check the connections and such but no luck. A few days later, I buy a brand spankin' new monitor and I have the same problem.

I have it sent home (yes, it is inconvenient) and from what my mom told me, they were like "Look, see, it works!" and they give me a new monitor to work with it (trading in the new monitor I just got).

So this new monitor works for a few days until about about a day or two ago when it gives out while I'm online and says "NO VIDEO INPUT" and not start up when I turn turning it on and off. I try in vain, rebooting my computer several times, and when I was calling home about it, it just magically started working again. I figure it was a fluke kind of a thing, when last night, I try to turn my monitor on but it gives me the same problem.

My question is: what the hell is wrong with my computer and/or monitor? Apparently, the computer place suggests that I just replace the keyboard and mouse (I have no idea how that is suppose to help), and I've heard that it's probably the video card. So what exactly is wrong with my computer and/or monitor (and yes, I am thinking of a new computer repair place, obviously)? Do I just need a new video card or is it something else?
posted by champthom to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
Do you know if your motherboard has built-in video, or if your monitor connects through a video card? The way to find out would be to open the case - if the monitor plugs into something that looks like a card, then you know it is not part of the motherboard.

I ask, because it almost sounds like you have a video card that won't sit properly in its slot. I've had problems like this with a PCI card, because I had to finagle with it to get it to fit properly in the case I was using. It would disconnect every now and then, and I would experience something like what you describe. This was not remedied until I bought a new card, but if this is indeed your problem, you might try simply plugging the card into a different slot.

Then again, it may be something totally different.

posted by gaiamark at 9:44 AM on January 12, 2007

It sounds to me like a bad cable (from video card to monitor), but if they've replaced your monitor, chances are the cable has been replaced, too.

Second guess would be bad connector in the monitor itself (where the cable connects to the internal circuitry), but having had the monitor replaced would seem to rule that out.

Third guess would be bad video card. If the video is integrated into the motherboard, even that would be ruled out (you've had the motherboard replaced), but if the video is on an add-in card, this would be my best guess.

You don't have to open the computer to see if it's integrated or stand-alone -- just look at where the video port is on the back of the machine. There will be a cluster of ports (mouse, keyboard, speaker/microphone, usb, possible ethernet, firewire, etc). These are the ports that are built into the motherboard. If the video port is among these, it's integrated.

Above these ports (if it's a tower system -- they'll be to the right if it's a desktop [horizontal] system) there will be several slots. Most (or all) will be covered with metal plates. If the video port is in one of these slots, it's a standalone card, and your next step would be to try replacing the video card.

I fail to see how replacing the keyboard and mouse would have any effect on this problem, and the fact that the computer place suggested replacing those would seem to indicate that you ought to try a different repair place, but don't be too hard on them for having failed to fix the problem so far -- intermittent problems that can't be easily or consistently duplicated are a huge pain to troubleshoot, and it sounds like they've taken some proper steps so far in trying to nail down the problem.
posted by scottnic at 12:59 PM on January 12, 2007

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