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No Signal to monitor after motherboard upgrade

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Imrix

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Jan 3, 2017
A few days ago I finally started the hardware upgrade I asked for help shopping for here, after many, many delays. After backing up my data to a secondary hard drive and swapping out the motherboard, CPU and RAM, the monitor (an old Acer X193W) shows the Acer logo, then aborts to a "No Signal" message before turning completely blank. No startup screen, no BIOS, nada. The new motherboard is a Z170M PRO4S, with an i5 Intel CPU.

I've tried using another monitor (an equally old Flatron W1943SB), to no effect. Both monitors DO function on other computers, so both they and their cables are in working order, but they won't talk to the new motherboard, either through the the graphics card (a Radeon 6950 - yes, it's old, but it still lets me run modern games well enough for my tastes) or the onboard DVI port, with and without the graphics card disconnected from the motherboard. The graphics card also works, judging by the active fan.

I've tried removing the RAM; no effect. I've tried disconnecting the power cord and holding the ON button for a slow count of a minute; still nothing. I can confirm that the computer otherwise boots up fine; all the lights show, the chassis, power and CPU fans run, the capslock light for the keyboard is responsive, so the internal wiring is set up fine.

The optical disc drive is old enough that its wiring seems to be incompatible with the new motherboard; the data cable is a 4-pin job rather than the SATA cable the new motherboard expects, so I haven't been able to insert the driver DVD, but checking around tells me that if drivers were the problem, I'd at least be able to see the BIOS before anything failed. I'm looking into an external disc drive, nonetheless.

So, um, help please? I'm worried the monitor or graphics card might just be too old to be compatible with the new motherboard, and I'm already scraping up against how much I was comfortable with spending on this.
 
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trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
The next dx step would be to find a newer monitor to plug into the new system. Take the system to a computer store if you don't have another monitor to test that out.

Another thing to try would be to connect your flat screen tv to the new system and see if it works. Remember to choose the correct mode "Computer" and correct input on the TV.

Also, can you get into bios? If so, make sure the IGP is disabled if using the discrete video card.
 
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OP
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Imrix

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Jan 3, 2017
The next dx step would be to find a newer monitor to plug into the new system. Take the system to a computer store if you don't have another monitor to test that out.

Another thing to try would be to connect your flat screen tv to the new system and see if it works. Remember to choose the correct mode "Computer" and correct input on the TV.

Also, can you get into bios? If so, make sure the IGP is disabled if using the discrete video card.
Bizarrely, plugging into an even older monitor seems to have made some progress. After digging around in storage, I found an ancient Relisys SH777 that has a native DVI port. I don't actually have any DVI-to-DVI cables, but on the basis that if it has its own DVI port it might be better set up to handle the adaption, I tried that as a 'what the hell' move and while it hasn't fixed the problem, it will at least show the BIOS. Following that to Windows Startup Repair leads inescapably to a demand for System Restore. This would be... Not terrible, since I did back up my data beforehand, but I'd rather avoid it if possible. Alternatively, I could try to boot from the Windows disc now that I've sorted the optical drive (don't ask, I was being dumb). Or maybe there's something I can do in the UEFI?
 
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Imrix

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Jan 3, 2017
Wait a minute. The Acer X193W has native DVI according to the research I did. https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009127.

If you don't have any DVI to DVI cables, what were you using? You can't go from VGA on the output side to DVI on the display side by the way, using an adapter. But you can go from DVI on the output side to VGA on the display side.
The Acer has DVI support, yes, but it doesn't have a port for a DVI cable. The Relisys does... which I'm not using. I'm still plugging a VGA cable from the monitor into a DVI port on the processor, via an adapter. This is, in point of fact, exactly what I was doing with the Acer X193W. No, I don't understand it either.

If I had to guess, I'd speculate that the Acer is just a pile of tripe when it comes to displaying error messages/BIOS screens when something goes wrong. I have a dim memory of something along those lines from when I first put the rig together.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
No, I'm wrong. I referenced the +BD version of that monitor. Sorry about that.

I still say try it on a big screen TV.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
If you can get into bios now I would check on upgrading the bios to latest version with a flash drive.
 
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Imrix

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Jan 3, 2017
No, I'm wrong. I referenced the +BD version of that monitor. Sorry about that.

I still say try it on a big screen TV.
Sadly, I don't have one. Odds are good I'm just going to have to shell out for a new monitor anyway, since the Relisys is functional garbage and the ACER seems to be dangerously unhelpful when something goes wrong.
If you can get into bios now I would check on upgrading the bios to latest version with a flash drive.
Mm, I can currently access the UEFI and boot menu, so I believe that may be unnecessary? I'm currently trying a system restore on the old hard drive, and if that fails (as it's looking like it might) I think I'm stuck with a fresh Windows 7 install, aren't I? I might even upgrade to Windows 10, now I've done my research.

EDIT: Yeah, system restore fails, fresh Windows install it is. Tomorrow for that, I think.
 
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Imrix

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Success! I've still got to import my old user profile and preferences, then set up the SSD, but it seems to work now.

EDIT: Also, here's a fun fact - now that everything else works, the Acer does too! It's marginally less crap than the Relisys, so I'll use it for now.
 
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trents

Senior Member
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Dec 27, 2008
So the whole problem seem to have bee a corrupted Windows install. Correct?
 
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Imrix

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Jan 3, 2017
That or the old windows install was incompatible with the new motherboard, yes.

buuuuut it's doing it again. ****ing... All I did was remove the graphics card to fiddle with a couple of SATA cables to hook up an external hard drive so I could import my old stuff, and now even the Relisys monitor won't show the BIOS/UEFI.

I'm at my wit's end here. I don't think I've got any options left beyond either taking it to a professional or just ordering a new graphics card and/or monitor.
 

trents

Senior Member
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Dec 27, 2008
Are you sure the system drive and it's SATA cable are both good? I would check that drive with CrystaldiskInfo. If you have an cradle or an external drive enclosure you can check it on another computer if necessary.
 
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Imrix

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Okay, I took it to a local fellow who fixed it up. He didn't actually have to do much, although he at least managed to confirm that the parts are still good, so there's that. I am tentatively willing to call this fixed.

My issue now is that I have an old hard drive with a fresh installation of windows that will talk to the new motherboard, but has none of my old user preferences or registry files to make things like Steam work, and a newer, backup hard drive which has an older installation of windows that won't talk to the new motherboard, but does have all my preferences, registry files, etc.

D'you have any ideas for how I can cleanly merge these without having to go through everything program by program? Ideally, I want to end up with the new windows installation plus my old preferences and whatnot on the new hard drive, so I can boot from it cleanly.

Currently, my plan is to dump an image of the new hard drive's backup onto an external hard drive, import that to the old hard drive via Windows Easy Transfer, then clone the result over to the new hard drive. Given the literal month of delays and problems and AAARGH this computer has given me though, you'll understand if I'm a bit skittish of proceeding without confirmation that this both will work and is my best option.
 

Suppressor1137

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May 4, 2011
I've only ever done drive cloning to ssd, or fresh reformats. I have a file drive that has my steam library folder. the most i had to do to get it working was assign a drive letter in the drive manager for Windows.

as for the registry, it's a bit too late to make a registry overwrite file from your backed up system, but you don't want to do that if any hardware has changed anyways.
 

trents

Senior Member
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Dec 27, 2008
Okay, I took it to a local fellow who fixed it up. He didn't actually have to do much, although he at least managed to confirm that the parts are still good, so there's that. I am tentatively willing to call this fixed.

My issue now is that I have an old hard drive with a fresh installation of windows that will talk to the new motherboard, but has none of my old user preferences or registry files to make things like Steam work, and a newer, backup hard drive which has an older installation of windows that won't talk to the new motherboard, but does have all my preferences, registry files, etc.

D'you have any ideas for how I can cleanly merge these without having to go through everything program by program? Ideally, I want to end up with the new windows installation plus my old preferences and whatnot on the new hard drive, so I can boot from it cleanly.

Currently, my plan is to dump an image of the new hard drive's backup onto an external hard drive, import that to the old hard drive via Windows Easy Transfer, then clone the result over to the new hard drive. Given the literal month of delays and problems and AAARGH this computer has given me though, you'll understand if I'm a bit skittish of proceeding without confirmation that this both will work and is my best option.

What did he do to fix it? What was the issue anyway?
 

trents

Senior Member
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Dec 27, 2008
How weird! I wonder if unplugging all the equipment and taking it to the shop allowed capacitors to discharge and reset the system in some way that hadn't happened before?