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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My father recently gave me a computer which had failed due to suspected corrosion - he lives near the beach and often left his balcony doors open so the salt air eventually got inside the case.

The processor on the PCI-E graphics card had indeed ceased so I presumed that replacing it might be all it needed. However, a brand-new video card (PCI-Express) made absolutely no difference. The computer still boots up, the LED light on the motherboard itself lights up and there's power to the HDD, CD/DVD drive etc, but NO OUTPUT to the monitor whatsoever!

I tried plugging in several normal (proven) PCI cards to no avail. Removed and replaced the RAM chip - no effect. Sprayed all effected surfaces with circuit board cleaning spray - nothing. I also tried several different monitors (CRT and LCD) and still have nothing but a blank, dark screen. Very depressing.

Now, interestingly - when I disconnect any monitor from the computer (with power on) I'll get a `no signal' message on the screen. Plug it back in, and that message disappears. The light on the monitor goes to orange instead of green as soon as the computer is fired up and connected.

I suspect that the motherboard is kaput, but would like to check every possibility before I invest any more money as the new graphics card was quite expensive. The motherboard is an Asus P5VD2-x which supports a socket LGA775 CPU with DDRII RAM. No on-board graphics in case you're wondering, and the OS on the Hard Drive is Windows Vista (alas) - not sure if its 32 or 64-bit version, it that is relevant.

I also tried booting from the motherboard's CD-ROM and had no result with that either. I believe the computer is worth `saving', in fact it is better than the one I'm currently using so I'd like to resolve this issue. Does anyone have any ideas, suggestions?
 

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Hi,

It's very common to have a bad motherboard and see these symptoms= no video but lights come on, drives may spin, etc but absolutely no video. I start out changing the power supply.

Bad capacitors on the motherboard are one cause- you can look next to the processor, there should be a couple of rows of caps there, see if any are anything but perfectly flat across the tops...if they are, then you need a new motherboard or a different computer. You can replace with the same exact model (and this can be tricky, pinpointing and finding one) without affecting Vista Activation in most cases...I've done a few XP's with used or new boards I found usually on Ebay for around $48 each. At online stores, they are usually a lot more....
If you change the motherboard, best advice is to also get a new power supply.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/quick-start/activation-faq.aspx

There have been a few times I thought I did have a bad motherboard, but after just disconnecting everything, checking cables, reseating RAM modules, cards, etc, I got the system to boot up. Once in a while, I find that a jumper on the motherboard has been moved. It pays to use the motherboard or system manual to ensure that things are set correctly. For your Dad's if no one was tinkering around, I have also had computers brought in with jumpers that apparently had come off during transport- video cards can also, but you have checked yours and tried another....

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Byteman

Checking the capacitors was on my `to-do' list and they appear to be okay. Checking jumpers and so on as per your suggestion. Perhaps it needs someone to run a multi-meter over various points to see what is happening - including the PSU. Unfortunately I don't have a spare (compatible) PSU to try on it, otherwise I would, so my first option might be to test the existing one as mentioned above. In any case, thanks again for your help.
 

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There are PSU testers sold in good supply stores and of course online, also most tech shops will test the PSU for you so consider it.
 
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