Ask the Doctor: Can't See, Cap'n!

jamor

I bought an Intel Mini-ITX D201GLY2 mobo some months ago and finally got around to putting it all together. 1GB of Patriot DDR2 RAM (automatically underclocked to 533MHz),  a 250W PSU, an LG SATA DVD/CD burner, and a 160GB SATA Seagate hard drive. Windows installed without any problems. But when I found the onboard graphics wouldn’t display widescreen video, I picked up an ATI Radeon 9250 videocard, thinking this would solve my problems, but it only created more. Before installing it, I went into the BIOS under Video settings and turned off the integrated graphics and switched over to PCI graphics, hit F10, and saved it. When the machine was powered down and unplugged, I hit the power button again to discharge any juice still left in the system before installing the videocard. Once it was installed, I plugged the VGA cable into the card, plugged the AC cable back into the PSU, and powered on the system. Nothing. Just a blank screen with the card installed. I know the card works fine because I have already installed it in another system to test it and had no issues with it. It’s only when the card’s installed in the mini machine that I get a blank screen. Have you run into this sort of problem before?

—Marcus Jorgensen
It sounds like the motherboard is confused and can’t find a video device to initialize. Normally, you do not have to disable the onboard video when you drop in an add-in card; you just put the card in and power up. The Doctor recommends that you reset the CMOS settings. This should bring the board up with the default settings and re-enable either the onboard or PCI graphics card. Try your monitor on both video outputs after you have booted the box. If that doesn’t work, you’ll want to pull the card and boot the machine. Just because you put the card in doesn’t mean that it’s the culprit. While mucking around inside your case, you may have jarred a power cable loose, which may be preventing the machine from booting fully. Make sure it properly boots and that you have eliminated other possible problems before putting the card back in.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at doctor@maximumpc.com for advice on how to solve your technological woes.

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