AGP video card not displaying any output




I'm having a problem with my Media Center 2004 PC. I'm not getting any
video from either the s-video or the standard VGA video outputs. This
started last week when I did a normal shutdown of the PC due to an
arriving lightning storm. Normally I leave this machine up 24-7, but
the storm was pretty violent and I didn't want anything to happen to
the PC.

Well, when I tried to restart the PC the next day by pressing the power
button, the PC acted like it was starting up, but there was never any
video display, not even the bios startup info. All of the system fans
were running, including the two fans on my Gainsward GeForce FX-5900
256MB AGP video card. It sounds like the two hard-drives spin up, and
the various power indicator lights on the motherboard come on. There
are some peripherals though that don't seem to be getting any power
like my two DVD drives, the floppy drive, and the 8-in-1 memory card
drive. The keyboard info lights don't come on either when the
associated keys are pressed.

I had something similar to this occur a few weeks ago, but I thought it
was due to my screwing around with the suspend mode bios settings and
jumpers. It took me a while, but I finally fixed the problem by moving
the CMOS clear jumper from 1-2 to 2-3 for a few seconds, then back
again. I then could start up the PC as normal with all the usual video
appearing. Obviously, when it happened again last week, this was the
first thing I tried, but it didn't make a difference this time.

So, I thought there must be some sort of hardware problem. My first
guess was the video card itself, so I removed the 5900 and put in an
old 32MB AGP card that I had from an older machine. When I pressed the
power button this time, everything worked as normal. I was even able
to get to the Windows XP (MCE) login screen. I did a normal shutdown
at that point, removed the 32MB board, put back the 5900 and tried it
again. No dice, not one spec of video.

Okay, so I now felt pretty confident that my problem was a bad video
board, maybe burned out during the storm somehow. Off to Best Buy I
went to buy a new video card. I brought home a new PNY GeForce 6600
256MB AGP card, installed it, and plugged in the external power
connector -- just like my old card needed. I then pressed the power
button on the PC and...nothing. No difference whatsoever. Now what??
I again put back in my 32MB card and it started up like it should.
Geez! The only difference I could think of between the 32MB card and
the other two 256MB cards was that the old card didn't have a fan and
therefore didn't need an external power connection. I wasn't exactly
sure if the fans on the newer cards needed the power connection to run,
so I put my original 256MB card back in and left it unplugged. I
started the PC, but the fans didn't spin. Okay, that made sense, and
since the fans did spin and light up when the power connector was
plugged in, then that means that the card was getting power, so there
wasn't anything wrong with the power connector itself.

One other thing that I noticed when I had my old 32MB card in the MCE
machine, was when I pressed the power button to shut it down, it
happened immediately. When I had either of the two newer cards in the
PC, I had to press and hold the power button for about 5 seconds before
the PC powered off. I don't know if that helps anyone with a
diagnosis, but I thought it was important enough to add here.

Well, I'm completely lost as to why the video doesn't appear with the
newer cards, but does with the older card. Could there still be some
sort of problem with the PC's power supply unit (430W)? Could there be
a problem with the power connector on the mother board (ASUS P4C800-E
Deluxe)? I have no clue.

Has anyone else ever had this sort of problem? If I don't figure out
why this isn't working, I'm probably going to just buy a new MCE
machine, but of course I'd rather fix this one then spend $2000 on a
new computer. Anyone have any ideas??? I could really use your help!

Thanks in advance for your help!



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