I've got a blank screen what do I do?

Twice this week I've been asked what to do about a blank screen by friends so maybe others could use this advice as well.

Unfortunately it hard to diagnose much without a 2nd computer to swap stuff with. If you have another working system, swapping the monitors is quickest test.

A black screen could be many things. Assuming the CPU has not been open lately, things to check would be:

No lights on box means CPU dead (or unplugged)

No power light on monitor probably means monitor dead (or unplugged) But some monitors look off if they are not getting signal form CPU.

Lights on CPU but no SINGLE beep means CPU mostly dead.

Multiple beeps probably means something wrong with system board or one of the cards. Usually the video card / section of the mom board unfortunately.

If CPU sounds like it's booting OK means video problem or cable from CPU to Monitor bad or unplugged.

If video problem and the video is on a card, you can try pulling and reinserting the card (with CPU unplugged not just off).

If it's a fairly old system dust can build up to a point things will stop working. Though the last time I saw that you could not make out the chips on the board it was so thick. We stopped supporting people putting CPUs in factories after that.

If you have a weird setup like my video edit station where it hooks to the TV as well. Check the TV screen. Mine freaks out if I loose power and only sees the TV as a connected monitor. And therefore shows nothing on the real monitor.

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