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A personal computer that resides in one location with its core components inside a case separate to third-party peripherals required for operation, such as a mouse, keyboard, and monitor.

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No signal on screen on old PC, no beeping but lights/fans on

Hello! I found my old XP computer in storage - probably not turned on since ~2010 or so. I've plugged it in and connected it to a monitor via VGA, but it shows no signal on the screen.

I tried two different monitors and two different cables and not sure where to go from here. The computer doesn't seem to make any beeps - the front panel disc drives light up as if they've received power and the fans start to run, but I just don't get any visual signal whatsoever. I also tried replacing the CMOS battery, reseating the RAM and GPU, and I cleaned the inside and checked for board damage. There are no other video ports, so I have no idea if it's a port problem.

Photos of the inside and of the GPU (let me know if you need more):

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Hi @caecity,

I realize that you replaced the cmos battery and usually this resets the BIOS but try disconnecting the power to the PSU and then either removing the cmos battery and then pressing the Power button for 30 seconds to drain all the power from the board, before replacing the cmos battery and connecting the power again or disconnect the power to the PSU and then remove the clear cmos jumper from the header pins JP1for about 10 seconds before replacing it etc. - see p.11 (p.33 of 64) of the user manual for its location on the board

There is a PC system speaker header pin connection (Speaker1) on the motherboard. (Model PC Chips M848A). See p.13 (or p.35 of 64) of the manual for its location on the board.

Check to see if there's a speaker attached or if not connect a system speaker (supplier example only) to it and check if there are any beep codes¹ on startup.

¹ I couldn't find the AMI beep codes for your motherboard model, but the 3rd post in the link, gives the beep error code for another PC Chips motherboard which shows the AMI BIOS beep codes. Hopefully they are the same as for your model. Usually they are

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I have just realised (very late) that I neglected to reply!!! As I was trying these steps, the PSU began to make a strange sound and I disconnected everything just in case. I did not have a spare PSU and since I ultimately was mainly looking to view the data, I took out the hard drive and was eventually able to boot into it using a virtual machine. Sorry to say that I wasn't able to revive the computer but thank you again!


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Caecity zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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