: Computer setup question



hueterm
07-31-10, 01:19 PM
OK, I was up until 3:30AM screwing around with this, and talking to like 3 people from India....so I just got up and my schedule is all screwed up for the day...

I'm redoing my computer setup: new auxiliary computer, new main computer, 4TB NAS and new monitor. I bought all this crap almost 3 months ago, and never got around to installing it.

The auxiliary is a refurb eMachines slim form factor tower. It works fine (am using it now, in fact).

The monitor is a 26" Samsung LCD TV/Monitor. It is working fine (am using it now, as well).

Haven't even dealt w/the NAS yet...

However, my main computer is some kind of HP (again a refurb from Tiger Direct) 1TB HD, 8GB memory, fast, extra graphics, etc.... HOWEVER -- it does not recognize a monitor. I have a KVM hooked up to the Samsung and the eMachines. It works fine for the eMachines, but the HP just keeps the monitor in no signal mode. It does the same thing if I plug it in directly via the VGA or DVI cables and bypass the KVM.

I also dug back out my 90 lb 19" Sony Trinitron CRT monitor that I had just swapped out for this Samsung LCD. It won't recognize it either.

HP Mumbai had me unplug everything, plug it back in, hold down the power button for 60 seconds, and all kinds of shenanigans and of course, nothing. They then wanted me to open the case and screw around inside it, and I told him hell no.....it's under warranty (at least for another 10 days) and they can either replace or fix it.

So am I looking at a bad video card or any other ideas???

Kev
07-31-10, 01:35 PM
Is there a power connection to the video card?
Is the card getting the power it needs?
Do you have another video card that will plug into the mother board for testing?
Does the motherboard have integrated video? If so, maybe you could pull the expansion video to see if the integrated is working, then you can check the cmos for video settings.

hueterm
07-31-10, 01:38 PM
I have no idea on any of the above -- which I'm sure the guy from HP Mumbai wanted me to look at. And no, I don't have another video card.

I don't know from taking a computer apart...

Jesda
07-31-10, 01:42 PM
Oh, HP.


Yeah just rope it to your bumper and find a gravel road.

Kev
07-31-10, 01:45 PM
Do you know the HP model number? We can look up the original specs to see if there it has integrated video on the motherboard.

hueterm
07-31-10, 01:45 PM
Who do you recommend? I won't buy another Dell. And don't say Apple...

hueterm
07-31-10, 01:45 PM
e9220y -- it's not integrated

hueterm
07-31-10, 01:53 PM
If it is likely the video card, should I just swap it? Would this work? BB has it in stock...

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/XFX+-+ATI+RADEON+HD+4650+1GB+DDR2+PCI+Express+Graphics+ Card/9254585.p?id=1218069451494&skuId=9254585

Kev
07-31-10, 01:58 PM
e9220y Specs; (http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&docname=c01859815&product=4007333&lang=en)
Indicates a Radeon HD4350 card, does it have dual DVI outputs? Or one DVI, one analog?

System requirements show 300w as minimum which is what your tower has. AMD recommends 350w. It should still run with that though.
It's possible that the video card was the reason it was a refurb. Maybe HP didn't really fix the problem. If it were mine, I'd try plugging in another known video card while trying the HD4350 in another tower as well.

Have any nerdy friends nearby that might help you with this?

Kev
07-31-10, 02:06 PM
If it is likely the video card, should I just swap it? Would this work? BB has it in stock...

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/XFX+-+ATI+RADEON+HD+4650+1GB+DDR2+PCI+Express+Graphics+ Card/9254585.p?id=1218069451494&skuId=9254585
no, it requires a 400w power supply.

hueterm
07-31-10, 02:11 PM
It's one DVI, one VGA. I should be able to swap the video card -- if that's what it is. I just have to go get one. Just find one that takes 350W? Any recommendations or something to NOT get?

hueterm
07-31-10, 02:14 PM
What about this one? 1GB and 300W -- and in stock in Fayetteville.....

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/XFX+-+ATI+RADEON+HD+4350+1GB+DDR2+PCI+Express+Graphics+ Card/9270969.p?id=1218072892035&skuId=9270969

Jesda
07-31-10, 02:22 PM
Asus

Kev
07-31-10, 02:25 PM
What about this one? 1GB and 300W -- and in stock in Fayetteville.....

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/XFX+-+ATI+RADEON+HD+4350+1GB+DDR2+PCI+Express+Graphics+ Card/9270969.p?id=1218072892035&skuId=9270969That card is basically identical to the one currently in your tower, at least per the specifications, it should work. Your tower lists a 300w power supply. Any card you choose will have to work with that. Always check the card's minimum requirements and also check the recommended requirements too.

If your current card is no good then another working card should be the fix. If the problem is in the mother board ...

hueterm
07-31-10, 02:28 PM
All I've ever done is add memory and take out a hard drive -- is this about the same process, or should I just take it to the Geek Squad? I'll need to wait until I hear back from HP to find out what they'll do about fixing it, first......

Kev
07-31-10, 02:34 PM
It's a simple process. There will be a screw locking it down to the frame (or some other means to secure). Be sure to ground yourself out to eliminate any static electricity before touching components. Memorize (take a picture) of how the card is connected, if it has a power line plugged into it. Pull it out carefully, try to handle it by the sides of the card, try not to touch the circuitry or card components.

Line up the new card and plug it in firmly and carefully, plug in any power lines required. Close up the case and give it a whirl.

AMGoff
07-31-10, 10:48 PM
Mike - just give in already and buy an Appl.... err... oh nevermind ;)

First off... Do you know for a fact that machine has an operating installed with the appropriate drivers for the machine? Does it appear to boot up correctly with sounds and all while connected to speakers and if so - does it appear on your network?

Anyway, assuming the rest of the computer works fine - it's a simple plug and play process akin to swapping out memory... So if you can do that, you shouldn't have any problem with a video card. The chances of really screwing anything up is negligible, as said there should only be one small phillips retaining screw - beyond that just use slow, steady, deliberate force when seating and unseating the card. You can ground yourself prior if you have a strap readily available... If not, don't worry all that much about it - I rarely do if ever and have never had a problem.

Either way, you need to open it up and get in there seeing as it's still under warranty. Also because the last thing you'd want to do is box the whole thing back up and deal with shipping (which you may or may not have to pay for). Frankly, I'd get back on the horn with Mr. India, say it's indeed the GPU, ship the card back and demand they ship you just a new card or better yet, see if they'll issue you a credit to purchase a new one (that would be the optimal solution in my book).

However, before you do anything else there are a couple of things you should do first... Open the computer and remove the card. Clean the area on the mobo with compressed air, visually inspect for any obvious signs of damage - if all appears well you can also clean all of the connection points for the card with a non-caustic contact cleaner. Also note, if I recall correctly from the spec sheet, you have three PCI-E slots - two standard slots and one high speed 16x slot that is used for video. The high speed slot *should* be the uppermost (vertically looking at the rear of the machine while upright). Since it is a refurb, make sure that it is in fact the stock video card - an ATI Radeon HD 4350 (stranger things have happened) and that it is indeed in the proper PCI-E slot.

With card properly reseated and powered in the correct slot, leave the case open and plug the power back in. Generally, there will be a physical hard reset button somewhere on the mobo itself for the pram/nvram - press and hold this for 10 seconds (if there happens to be one on the card itslef, reset that as well). After the hard reset go ahead, power the machine back up and. see if there are any signs of life... If still nothing, then it is most likely that card itself or a faulty PCI-E slot (very unlikely). Personally, if it were me - I'd try removing a card from another machine and then install it into the faulty machine just to make certain of the problem.

Again, if it were me and I decided to go up to BB to purchase another card (only until HP ships a replacement - so keep the receipt!)... I would most definitely purchase a nvidia GPU over one made by ATI. To an extent it may be a personal preference, but I've always had better luck with nvidia cards and feel that ATI is not only currently playing catchup with nvidia, but that nvidia also offers more "bang for the buck" performance wise.

Lastly, speaking of performance... Unless you plan on some real, heavy duty gaming (which it isn't really a machine for it anyway), then there's absolutely no reason to spend more than 100 bucks on a card - regardless of whatever any little BB minion may try to assert. VRAM quantity isn't as important as speed - 1GB is nice, but 512MB is more than sufficient... Steer clear of DDR2, try to get at least GDDR3 - GDDR5 is even better.

Let me know how you make out!

AMGoff
07-31-10, 10:49 PM
Sorry... Double post!

hueterm
07-31-10, 11:40 PM
Hey A --

So would this one work? 512/PCI-E/DDR3 plus a bunch of rebates that I'll probably forget to mail...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4843000&CatId=1826

No, I'm not sending the thing to China or somewhere. If they have a local (or even in St. Louis or Tulsa) service center, or replace the unit, that's one thing. I'll pay as much to ship it as I will to just get a card. Plus risk that something else breaks.

Now that I think about it, it never did put out any audio either...I think the speakers were hooked up....?

And APPLE???

Kev
08-01-10, 12:27 AM
Hey A --

So would this one work? 512/PCI-E/DDR3 plus a bunch of rebates that I'll probably forget to mail...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4843000&CatId=1826

Minimum recommended system power for that card is 450w. You only have 300w. :helpless:

ewill3rd
08-01-10, 09:53 AM
Do you know how to boot into safe mode?
The graphics card might not like the display settings you have.
If you can boot it into safe mode the computer should work on a 640X480 resolution to see if the card will even work.

Can you see the DOS prompts as the computer boots up?
If so I'd go into the BIOS and check the settings for the video card first. Make sure the mobo is set to look for the proper slot.
(some you can select PCI or AGP, etc)
If you can't get any display to show anything and the computer seems to behave normally otherwise (disk activity and beeps) then I would do some video card shopping.
I defer to the guys who have looked at your model for recommendations.
There are so many types of video cards out there, you have to be careful about what you buy if you want it to fit.

hueterm
08-01-10, 10:07 AM
I haven't tried safe mode booting. What is it, f11?

But I've tried an old monitor that should work fine on 640x480 -- not just the new LCD. It doesn't work on either.

And while unrelated to this computer problem, can I just say that I can't wait for my new old school clicker keyboard to arrive? These new flat, lightweight keyboards drive me bats--- crazy!!!!!

Kev
08-01-10, 11:23 AM
However, my main computer is some kind of HP (again a refurb from Tiger Direct) 1TB HD, 8GB memory, fast, extra graphics, etc.... HOWEVER -- it does not recognize a monitor. I have a KVM hooked up to the Samsung and the eMachines. It works fine for the eMachines, but the HP just keeps the monitor in no signal mode. It does the same thing if I plug it in directly via the VGA or DVI cables and bypass the KVM.If I'm reading this correctly, the monitor is not getting any signal from the tower. That points to a hardware issue. Could be a bad video card, could be the card is not properly connected to the mother board, could be the mother board video slot is bad, etc. That's why I would try to borrow an older known video card from a friend (I have that luxury) plug it in and see if it works in the tower. That would narrow the issue to the video card being the problem. I'd hate to see you spend $50+ dollars on a new card to do that, though, if it works your problem is solved.

If it were getting signal you could enter your cmos and check settings, or boot up in safe mode and adjust resolution or change drivers.

AMGoff
08-01-10, 11:38 AM
Mike... If I had to go get one for the circumstances, I'd probably be eying this one up:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/EVGA-GeForce-GT-240-1GB-DDR3-PCI-Express-2.0-Graphics-Card/13952352?findingMethod=rr

Kev
08-01-10, 11:46 AM
^^ Minimum Recommended System Power = 300w

I believe we have a winner there folks!
Good call!
:nanaparty:

hueterm
08-01-10, 01:24 PM
Cool...I'll order that one, once I hear back from HP to see what they're going to do.... (probably nothing...)... THX -- I'll keep you posted.

hueterm
08-02-10, 03:10 PM
Well -- an American HP guy called, and is sending a new box, packing materials, and a waybill to send the thing to one of their service centers.

It was all very easy and professional -- actually, I'm kind of surprised...

Of course, the thing has to make there and back, and get fixed in the meantime..................................

More to come...!

drewsdeville
08-02-10, 03:32 PM
According to the link to your product on the HP website, that motherboard uses amd's 780G chipset. Therefore, it should have integrated graphics as well as the defective external card. Not sure what HP would think of this idea, but you should be able to, temporarily, plug your monitor into the integrated graphics with the external card removed and everything would work fine. Then you could use the machine while sending/receiving the defective card.

That is, if the length of time between you having and not having the machine while it's being repaired bothers you.

hueterm
08-02-10, 03:38 PM
I have a backup desktop which is working fine, in addition to a laptop and netbook -- so I'd rather them just deal w/it and send it back. They said it would be about 10 days, which is fine w/me. I just hope it's the video card and not the motherboard that they try to jury-rig, and then later something else happens to the mother board and by then, I'm out of warranty.........

Kev
08-02-10, 09:23 PM
That sounds like the best solution at this point. I'm glad it's not costing you any extra money. Let us know the end of the story.

hueterm
08-02-10, 09:24 PM
They sent me tracking email, and it's Fedex 2-day, apparently all ways -- so hopefully they'll do it right....

hueterm
08-10-10, 10:23 AM
Well...the HP status screen says it's the motherboard and it won't boot correctly. We'll see........

Playdrv4me
08-10-10, 03:43 PM
Well...the HP status screen says it's the motherboard and it won't boot correctly. We'll see........

That's probably a good thing. They don't usually replace individual "parts" of a motherboard as everything is soldered in except the CMOS battery and maybe the BIOS itself. What this means is that you will just get a whole new motherboard from their stock. It is the optimal solution.

hueterm
08-10-10, 09:49 PM
Since it has an extra graphics card, the big question was whether the card was out or if it was something else -- I couldn't see the screen -- so I'm actually pleased -- this should work out good.

hueterm
08-13-10, 08:50 PM
Well....how naive was I??

Received it back today -- still does the SAME DAMN THING!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm sure at this point tonight, I'll get HP Mumbai again......

WHAT A JOKE!!!

ewill3rd
08-13-10, 10:14 PM
Safe mode is usually F8 if I remember right.
Try that.

hueterm
08-13-10, 10:20 PM
The computer is not kicking the monitor out of power save mode.....it may go into safe mode, but I won't be able to see it................

I've hooked it up to two monitors, one LCD one CRT, both on VGA and DVI on the LCD -- and still nothing.

Playdrv4me
08-14-10, 02:30 AM
Demand a return or at least an exchange and get something else. This is absolutely stupid. I hate HP.

hueterm
08-14-10, 10:35 AM
I was surprised (positively, actually) that the case manager did call me last night to see if the computer was working. However, it was on my cell, in the other room, and I didn't get the message until late.

He'll get a call back on Monday........

I didn't hate HP until maybe now -- depending on how this whole episode turns out. The whole process was pretty easy and fast -- so as long as they fix it -- I'll be OK.

I don't even know that I'll be turned off of refurb units, assuming this one gets fixed. The eMachines backup desktop I just got has been working great...and I'm glad I have it, as that's what I'm using to type this....

Playdrv4me
08-14-10, 06:42 PM
I was surprised (positively, actually) that the case manager did call me last night to see if the computer was working. However, it was on my cell, in the other room, and I didn't get the message until late.

He'll get a call back on Monday........

I didn't hate HP until maybe now -- depending on how this whole episode turns out. The whole process was pretty easy and fast -- so as long as they fix it -- I'll be OK.

I don't even know that I'll be turned off of refurb units, assuming this one gets fixed. The eMachines backup desktop I just got has been working great...and I'm glad I have it, as that's what I'm using to type this....

Refurb quality varies VASTLY from manufacturer to manufacturer... For example, refurbished Apple products in many cases are *better* than new and go through an extremely rigorous inspection and replacement process even more sturdy than that of brand new product. I know people who buy nothing *but* Apple refurb... which for those in the know is really the way to buy Apple things at an appropriate price.

Lenovo/IBM refurb on the other hand is absolute garbage... often contracted out to third party vendors to resell on their own with Lenovo's blessing. I got a T61 thinkpad refurb once that was a total piece of shit. The keyboard was all shiny from overuse, the screen was dim, there were pressure spots on the LCD, and to top it all off, the thing stunk like it had been in a trucker cab for 2 years.

I have nothing against refurbs in general (or truckers, I love the Road Dog station on XM lol), but HP on the other hand, can suck a big one. I have had nothing but problems with their computer equipment for the better part of 5 years. Their printers are solid for the most part.