[SOLVED] PC turns on but no display - 8 troubleshooting steps

[SOLVED] PC turns on but no display - 8 troubleshooting steps

If your display suddenly doesn't respond while your PC is turned on, there are a number of reasons why this happens. In this article, we will explore all reasons and eventually, fix the problem!

So yesterday, your PC was working fine. Today, you woke up, went to your office, turned on the computer and the first thing you realised was that, your monitor screen is black and remains black. Here's the deal. It happened to me a few days ago and after managing to fix the problem, I got inspired to create another tutorial and video hoping to help many people resolve this issue, without having to take your computer to a repair center.

So long story short, in this article, we will go through as many potential fixes as possible to help you resolve this issue.

What do I need?

  • A clean environment.
  • A bright environment.
  • A screwdriver.
  • A second display or second computer for testing purposes (recommended but not required).
  • A rubber (for pencil).

As part of this article, we have created a video showing all the fixes which we explain below. This is only for visual references.

So, how do I fix my black screen display while my computer is on?

There are loads of reason why this might occur. The most obvious would be your display is faulty, but don't begin counting your savings yet. The problem could be actually within your computer. You may have put the HDMI to a wrong HDMI input, a hardware issue etc. Don't worry though, below, I am listing all potential reasons why you get a black screen, starting by investigating you display, then going to your computer.

Fix 1: Check your monitor

That's right, the first step is to check what's up with your monitor. Although rare, it could be the case that your monitor has burnt out, but that certainly won't be the case if you can turn on your monitor. Here is what you can do to confirm that your monitor is working properly:

  • Turn on your monitor. Usually you will see a light on the button, or somewhere on your monitor indicating that the monitor is on.

  • Switch the input. Are you connecting the monitor to your computer via a HDMI cable, or DVI, or VGA? Make sure to check all the inputs to see whether you get any picture in your screen.
  • Is the cable connected properly to the monitor? Give it a small push to confirm.

If you have tried all the above and the monitor works, but still no picture, then try to connect your monitor to another computer.

  • Disconnect the HDMI cable from your computer.

  • Connect it to your second computer.

  • Turn on the second computer.
  • Remember to switch the monitor to the correct input channel.

If the display works, then the display and the cable are functioning properly. If still unsure, move to Fix 2, otherwise move to Fix 4.

Fix 2: Check your HDMI cable

So, the display works, but you are unsure whether the cable works. Overtime, the cable may bend, accumulate dust in the heads, so the pins and of course, build up rust. So how do we check whether the cable is functioning properly?

  • Disconnect the HDMI cable and connect it to another computer or display.



  • If you don't have another computer, then try to connect the cable to your local library or to your friend's computer.

  • Change the monitor input channels to HDMI/DVA/VGA etc.

If your cable is a HDMI to VGA, then make sure that you screw in the cable to the monitor. Without screwing them, the cable may accidentally get disconnected from time to time. 

Fix 3: Try another monitor/display

If you're confident that your cable and your display works, then it's a good idea to try a different monitor. Although this step may not do too much of a difference in this case, but it's always a good idea to try extra things in our agenda.

  • Disconnect the HDMI cable from your current monitor.

  • Grab another monitor or your personal TV.

  • Connect it to your computer via the HDMI cable.

  • Change the monitor input channel if needed to see if you get any picture.

If you managed to get your other monitor or TV to work, then there has to be a problem with your current display. Maybe the HDMI input of your display has some dust or something is wrong with the HDMI input in general.

Fix 4: Connect monitor to the correct HDMI input

If you still don't see anything with your second display, then the problem has to be with your computer. Initially, we will check whether you have connected the HDMI cable to the correct HDMI input on your computer.

Your computer may have two HDMI cables:

  • One for your motherboard, which is useful if your CPU also has an integrated graphics card.
  • One for your graphics card.

What is a motherboard?

The motherboard provides the connectivity of all the hardware components of your computer, such as the CPU, RAM, Graphics card, Hard drive, power source, as well as external devices, such as a monitor, USB devices, such as mouse, keyboard etc.

Maybe you accidentally connected the HDMI cable to your motherboard HDMI. If that's the case or you are not sure which HDMI port is which, unplug the HDMI cable and plug it in to the other HDMI input.

Turn off and turn on the display to see if there's any picture.

Fix 5: Remove RAM components and re-install them back to the motherboard

Now that everything we tried above failed, now we have to move and check what's up with the components inside your computer. In this case, we will check what's up with the RAMs, so the memory sticks. We will remove and put back the RAM sticks. Maybe the RAMs are not connected properly, or there's a lot of dust around the connectors making it harder for the motherboard to "communicate" with the RAMs, which can be the result of why the display is pitch black.

Caution: Whatever I am about to show you, please make sure to know what you are doing, as a mistake can be costly. I highly advise you to watch my YouTube video for this step, if you are unsure or stuck on any of the following steps. If something is done incorrectly, you could end up temporarily or permanently damaging your computer.

  1. Turn off your computer by long pressing the on/off button on the front.

  2. Turn off the switch on the back of your computer if any.
  3. Unplug the power source cable, or unplug your computer completely.

  4. Unplug all devices connected to your computer, such as USB, HDMI cables etc.
  5. Take your screwdriver and unscrew the screws to remove the side cover. Note, that the way you remove the cover may vary from computer to computer.
  6. Lie down the computer flat so you can see what's inside from top view.

  7. Look for some cards which are placed vertically to the motherboard from the top. They will look like 2 or 4 parallel cards. These are the RAMs of your computer.

  8. Press down gently on the white (or black) holders located on the side of each RAM.

  9. Gently take off the RAM each at at time.
  10. Clean up any dust that's around the RAMs or the slots where the RAMs go in.
  11. Wait for a minute or two and place the RAM back to the slots by pushing downwards gently until you hear a "click" sound. Don't push too much, if the RAM doesn't fit in, turn it around and try again.

  12. Put back the cover.
  13. Re-connect the power source cable and all the other peripheral devices including the HDMI cable to the graphics card HDMI input.
  14. Turn on the computer and see if you can see anything on the display.

Once that's done and that was the problem, you should see light again on the display. If not, don't worry. We still have many more ways where the problem could be fixed.

Fix 6: Clean up your RAM sticks

While we dealt with dust accumulating around the connectors and even, inside the slots, the RAMs may have some dark spots on their connectors which makes them also difficult to communicate with the motherboard. So all we have to do, is to clean the RAM connectors! For this, you will need to have a rubber. Any rubber will do, as long as it's clean.

Caution: Whatever I am about to show you, please make sure to know what you are doing, as a mistake can be costly. I highly advise you to watch my YouTube video for this step, if you are unsure or stuck on any of the following steps. If something is done incorrectly, you could end up temporarily or permanently damaging your computer.

  • Repeat steps from a - i from Fix 5. You should have the RAMs in your hand now.
  • See if you can spot any dark spots on the bronze pins on the edge of your RAM.
  • Grab the rubber and gently rub them off. Don't put too much pressure and avoid touching the circuitry of the RAM.

  • Repeat steps k - n from Fix 5.

If your RAMs were causing the black screen problem, this should have got it fixed now. The RAMs are not going to be the only component that's causing this mess though. If you still get a black screen, we still have a few more options to explore!

Fix 7: Clean up the graphics card

Well, no graphics card, no graphics. If something's wrong with your graphics card, then the number one problem you will most likely get, will be a black screen. So all we have to do, is to repeat what we did on the RAMs to the graphics card!

Caution: Whatever I am about to show you, please make sure to know what you are doing, as a mistake can be costly. I highly advise you to watch my YouTube video for this step, if you are unsure or stuck on any of the following steps. If something is done incorrectly, you could end up temporarily or permanently damaging your computer.

  • Repeat steps from a - f from Fix 5. You should have the RAMs in your hand now.
  • Look for a large card-like component connected to the motherboard (the big plate at the bottom) vertically. It may contain a small fan on top. This is the graphics card.

  • Usually, the graphics card will be screwed to the computer on the back, so grab your screwdriver to unscrew it.

  • If there's a (white) holder near the slot, gently push it downwards and pull off the graphics card.

  • Clean up any dust that may have accumulated around the area.
  • Check the bronze pins to see if there are any dark spots. If yes, grab your rubber and rub them off.

  • Once done, wait for a minute or two and then put back the graphics card. Remember to gently push it downwards until you hear a soft "click" sound.
  • Screw the graphics card to the computer's skeleton.

  • Repeat steps from l - n from Fix 5.

If the graphics card was the issue, which could be the case in some cases, now you should have picture in your display. Make sure to reconnect the display back to your graphics card HDMI input on your computer. If still pure black, then the next step may resolve this issue, as it's the only step that managed to resolve this problem in my case!

Fix 8: Reset BIOS Settings (Reset CMOS)

This is the last chance where we can solve this problem free of cost. Let's hope we can get rid of the black screen "flexing arm emoji"!

While using your computer too many times, you may have done some customization on the BIOS settings, which is perfectly fine. You could have changed the booting settings, so your external hard drive will be on the top of priority to boot, or perhaps you may have got your hands dirty with other settings. Regardless, after a while, BIOS settings may get corrupted and cause issues with the peripheral devices, such as the mouse, keyboard not responding, and in this case, the display. In such cases, we need to reset the BIOS settings and hope this will resolve this issue. For this, we will need to remove the CMOS component, which looks like a battery from the motherboard and put it back again to reset the BIOS settings.

What is the CMOS?

The CMOS (stands for Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) is a small amount of memory on a computer motherboard that stores the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) settings. 

Caution: Whatever I am about to show you, please make sure to know what you are doing, as a mistake can be costly. I highly advise you to watch my YouTube video for this step, if you are unsure or stuck on any of the following steps. If something is done incorrectly, you could end up temporarily or permanently damaging your computer.

  • Repeat steps from a - f from Fix 5. You should have the RAMs in your hand now.
  • On the motherboard, look for a silver shiny circular thing. It may be below your graphics card, but usually it will be close to the edges of your motherboard. This is the CMOS.

  • Gently push backwards the holder on the side then downwards on the opposite side to lift it off and remove it.

  • Wait for a few minutes for the BIOS settings to be completely reset.
  • Put back the CMOS component back to the same place.

  • Repeat steps from l - n from Fix 5.

Now that we have reset the BIOS settings, there is a high chance that we can see some life on the display. You may need to reconnect the display to your computer and/or turn off and turn it on again. If you see colors, then congratulations! You managed to fix this very "scary" issue at home.

If you still haven't managed to resolve the problem, then my top recommendation would be to see whether your RAM and graphics card work. Perhaps would be a good idea to remove them and install them on a different computer and see if the other computer can produce graphics on the display.

However, don't worry! I will make sure to keep this article alive, so I will make sure to keep updating it for the many months or years to come. If I come up with another potential fix, I will make sure to add it on this article.

Conclusion

While this was a difficult or scary problem, we managed to go through it step by step and I hope I managed to help you in this case. If however you still see black screen, please leave a comment below so you can give me an extra "push" to look further for more solutions.

Of course, if you managed to resolve this problem, don't forget to comment below which step managed to get you this problem fixed? In my case it's "Fix 8". 

Finally, if you have any feedback where I can improve these articles, don't hesitate to leave me a feedback in the comments below! I enjoy hearing from your feedback as much as writing these articles.

In the end, I hope you stay safe and healthy!

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About the Author

...
George K.

Admin of TechLunar

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