What to do if your computer boots, but you get a blank screen

Start here if your computer does try to boot, and you hear noise, such as a fan running, maybe even a beep, or a clicking sound, but you do not see anything on the monitor.

If you turn your computer on and it immediately turns itself off, you probably have a bad CPU fan. More than likely it has a cooling problem. Check for dust in the fan, or a fan failure.

If you get ANY beeps the problem is probably not the processor.

If the little light beside the power on button on your monitor changes from yellow to green when your computer starts to boot, the problem is probably not the monitor or video.

Start here if your computer does try to boot, and you hear noise, such as a fan running, maybe even a beep, or a clicking sound, but you do not see anything on the monitor.
If you get one continuous beep, or a series of beeps that just goes on and on, the problem is probably memory.

If you get a pattern of different length beeps, the problem is probably the video card or the motherboard.

If you hear a rhythmic clicking sound, remove the cover and place your hand on the hard drive. If the click can be felt coming from the hard drive, the hard drive has already crashed. It will cost hundreds, possibly more recover the data if it were indispensable.
Ever wonder how do you recover data from an unrecoverable hard drive crash?

Take a look at your monitor. There should be a yellow light if the monitor is plugged in and turned on while the computer is turned off. When you turn the monitor on, the light will stay yellow for a second or two then turn green. It turns green when it detects a video stream from your computer. In some computers, the power button on the monitor serves as this light. What does this mean to you? It allows you to tell if the video card is working or not, and if the monitor is working. If you turn on the computer and you hear the fans running the light stays yellow, there is no video coming from the video card. Your video card, motherboard, or processor may be bad. If the light turns green, but you still see nothing on the screen, the monitor is probably bad. Use another monitor, or connect the suspect monitor to a different computer and see if it works there.

If none of that works use this troubleshooting procedure:

Lay the computer on it’s side, and open the case.

Pull out all the expansion cards except video (if you have onboard video, pull the video card also), and set them aside.

There are some small wires going to various locations from the motherboard, usually to the front panel . Leave all of these alone. Take all the cables off of the hard drives, CDROM’s, DVD’s, etc, but disconnect them from the drives, not the motherboard.. Except for the one or two sets of wires going from the power supply to the motherboard (see next item) , don’t pull ANY OTHER wires off the motherboard.

There may be one or two sets of wires going to the motherboard from the power supply. There will be one with a long white connector that will, if you count them, have either 20 or 24 pins, and the connector has a latch built into one side that must be disengaged in order to pull the connection apart. It may be one piece of 20 or 24 pins, or tho pieces with one side of the connector having 20 pins and a latch, and the other part having 4 pins, no latch, and the ability to be attached to the 20 pin connector. This will only fit in one place on the motherboard, and cannot be inserted incorrectly. There MAY be an additional set of 3 or 4 black and yellow wires with a small 4 pin white connector and a latch. It also has only one place and one way to be connected. Either way, Unhook them and re-hook them back up. They will have a small catch on the connector that you will have to push in order to remove them.

Pull all but one piece of memory, and test only one at a time.

You should be down now to only the motherboard, processor, 1 piece of memory, and video, and keyboard. Make sure that all connections are nice and tight.

Try to reboot the computer,if it does boot, start adding the removed items one at a time until you find the culprit.

If it doesn’t boot , one of the 5 components listed above is bad.

At this point, if the computer is still not booting, the repair of this computer has gone beyond the scope of this site. Take the computer to your local computer repair shop and follow their advice.

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