So you have found yourself in a pickle. Your computer seems to turn on but there is no signal to the monitor. Let us see what could be causing this bizarre behavior.
In this article we will try to troubleshoot a common issue: Computer Turns On But No Signal to Monitor.
In short, there are three possible causes of no signal. These include
- 1Computer Hardware issues
- 2Monitor issues
- 3Failure to transfer the video signal from Computer to Monitor
Before we begin troubleshooting, let us take care of some of the preliminary steps. Chances are that your issues may even get resolved by following these.
After all, if there is one thing you need to know about troubleshooting a digital device is that the simplest explanations are the best solutions.
This also happens to be the central precept of the famous Ockham’s Razor. Anyhow, without any further digression, let us dive right in.
1. Is the Monitor On?
Please, I am not trying to judge you, but have you checked if your monitor is even turned on?
Ensure that the monitor is powered on and that the light is on when power button is pressed. If there is no light, then it indicates that the monitor is not receiving power from either the power adapter or the wall outlet.
2. Check the Cable
More often than not, with this issue “computer turns on but no signal to monitor”, cable is the culprit.
In case the video cable for the monitor is detachable, try using a different video cable to test in case the cable is faulty.
Replace the HDMI, VGA or DVI cable if you have on in spare and check again.
3. Reset The Monitor
If you are using a flat panel LCD monitor, disconnect the power cable connecting the monitor to the outlet and wait for approximately 30 seconds to allow the monitor to reset electronics.
4. Disconnect All Unnecessary External Devices
See, the computer has a brain of its own, and sometimes it goes haywire when it sees unnecessary external devices connected.
So please ensure that the computer is not connected to external devices other than keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
Remove external drives, memory cards, printer, scanner, USB drives, etc that have been
Computer Turns On But No Signal to Monitor
If you have tried the preliminary steps and the problems still persists, then it is time to put our thinking hats on.
1. Listen as You Power on the Computer and Observe the Lights
The first step to solve the “computer turns on but no signal to monitor” issue is to physically see if the monitor is functioning.
To determine the cause of no signal to monitor, listen to the sound produced by computer and observe the lights.
If a beeping sound is made by computer when it’s powered on, then there are high chances that there are some loose internal components. You need to check whether the video card, memory card module, processor or internal cables are loose.
If you listen and do not hear the computer fans spinning, then again the problem originates from computer.
The key point here is that the computer may seem it is alive on the outside but completely dead from the inside.
Hence, you need to troubleshoot the computer. On the other hand, if you hear the computer fans spinning, while there is light on it and you are positively sure that nothing is wrong with your computer, then let us move on.
2. Connect CPU to a Different Monitor
If you have another display laying around, then try connecting your CPU to that or vice versa. This is perhaps the best way to determine where the problem actually lies.
Of course, not all of us have the luxury to have multiple monitors or CPU’s laying around, so it is advisable that you call one of your friend over with their laptop/PC.
3. Notice the Changes in the Screen
Closely take note of what happens with the screen when you connect it to a computer that is turned on. If the monitor screen remains blank from the get go, then the issue lies somewhere else.
However, if the connected monitor displays STARTUP screen temporarily and THEN monitor screen goes blank, the problem most certainly lies in your operating system. A few issues could be causing this:
4. Check the Display Adapters (If you are using them)
If you are using adapters like HDMI-VGA or DVI-VGA etc, then they could well be the cause of the issue. Since you have already checked the cable (if you followed our preliminary steps above), then it is worth checking the adapter as well (if you have one)
Speaking of adapters, do you have an active or a passive adapter? Active adapters tend to support higher resolution and passive adapters tend support lower resolution for a given port type.
What this basically means is that if your operating system was set at a higher resolution and now your connecting via a passive adapter to a monitor, the adapter might be the culprit.
Say that you have a passive adapter with a maximum resolution of 1920×1200, but the resolution in your operating system is set to 2560×1440, then naturally this can cause issues.
If you don’t have any adapters then no need to worry. Let us move on.
Related: How To Play Sound Through A Monitor
5. Fix Loose Internal Computer Components
The internal components of the computer such as memory module, video card, processor or internal cables may become loose in case the computer is moved or serviced.
Such a situation may result to production of beeping sound and failure in video signal transmission.
Therefore, you need to unplug all the cables except the power cable, power off the computer by pressing the power button continuously for 5 seconds, remove the screws that attach the rear panel to the computer and slide it off to remove.
Fix the memory modules and video cards that may be loosely seated on the motherboard and press the flat ribbon cable to ensure they are not loose.
Replace the cover and screw and power the computer. If there is still no signal, then the problem is within the video card.
It needs to be replaced or repaired. If monitor display initial startup but does not launch operating system then powers off, proceed to the next step.
6. Reset BIOS to Default Configuration
So here is the thing. Probably, one or more properties of the BIOS may have changed, thereby affecting monitor display, and so you need to reset the BIOS to default manufacturer settings. This is fairly simple.
Firstly, Power on the computer and then press the F10 key repeatedly for 10 seconds, press arrow down key three times and Enter Key two times. The computer will then restart.
7. Disable the BIOS Power Settings
Your issue still hasn’t been fixed. Well let us try out the last resort stuff.
Okay this is a fairly tough step and normally we do not recommend tinkering with BIOS unless you are absolutely sure about what you are doing. Please get professional help with this if you have to.
In some cases, especially after upgrading the operating system, the system may get into power saving mode before restarting. In such a case, a blank screen is produced for about 2 minutes before it loads.
If computer keeps opening in power saving mode, disable the power saving mode in BIOS by performing the following steps: power on the computer and press F10 key to launch BIOS setup utility, select the power tab, and then select hardware power management and press Enter key.
Disable SATA Power Management by pressing right arrow keypad. Save settings by pressing the F10 key. Go to File tab and save settings.
8. Replace Video Card or Repair the Hardware
After you have tried all the above steps and you still have problems with signal transmission between computer and monitor, then I regret to inform you that either the monitor is defective or your video card has died.
I know this is the last thing that you wanted to hear. I would strongly recommend that you consult an expert and try out replacing your video card or even replacing the monitor to see where the problem lies.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.