Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

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Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 8:26 am

I installed a new hard drive because my last one was full. Now my monitor has a black screen (it's in stand bye or sleep or whatever). Do you think this is due to something with the graphics card or did something probably get unplugged that I should be looking at? Thanks.
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 8:40 am

Did you image it ?
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 9:06 am

You dislodged something I suspect.
Hard drives have nothing to do with graphics cards/monitors.
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 9:21 am

Since I'm not sure what "imaging it" is, I probably didn't do that. When I get home I'll unplug and replug everything.
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 9:49 am

1. Did you replace your system (OS) drive, or a secondary (data) drive?

2. Do you still see the BIOS POST screen when you initially power the system up, or does the screen remain completely blank with no signs of life?

3. Do the fans (CPU, GPU, PSU, case) spin at all?

4. Does the power LED on the computer come on?

5. Does the hard drive activity LED on the computer flash at all?

The more information you provide us, the easier this will be able to troubleshoot. Just telling us the screen is black doesn't narrow things down very much. Based on that one piece of information it could be almost anything, from a damaged video card or motherboard, to something as mundane as the power cord having accidentally gotten unplugged from the back of the PSU!
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 10:26 am

Chrispy_ wrote:You dislodged something I suspect.
Hard drives have nothing to do with graphics cards/monitors.

Never say never. He could be using an old PATA drive and has the cable flipped, or got the master/slave jumper wrong. :P
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 10:36 am

The Egg wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:You dislodged something I suspect.
Hard drives have nothing to do with graphics cards/monitors.

Never say never. He could be using an old PATA drive and has the cable flipped, or got the master/slave jumper wrong. :P


Still got nothing to do with GPU/monitor!
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 11:07 am

If bios is accessible, change boot order as a lot of times, it defaults to boot from the newest drive installed, causing a cursor or black screen depending on the board
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 11:37 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
The Egg wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:You dislodged something I suspect.
Hard drives have nothing to do with graphics cards/monitors.

Never say never. He could be using an old PATA drive and has the cable flipped, or got the master/slave jumper wrong. :P


Still got nothing to do with GPU/monitor!

Not directly, but it's enough to make some motherboards flake out and present a blank screen. Of course I don't actually believe this is the problem.
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 12:24 pm

By "imaging it" he means, did you duplicate the contents of your old drive (ie, make an image your old drive) using backup software that mirrors the file structure of the old drive (ie, not just copy files from the old drive over to the new drive) and use said software to place the image on your new, larger drive?

I think the assumption is that this new larger drive is your boot drive (the one with the operating system on it)? If not, and you were just adding a larger storage drive, is the screen actually blank? Normally, if the bios is assigning the wrong boot device, you would end up at a black screen that says something like "non-system disk". To be sure, go into the bios (usually by holding the F1 or DEL key during the first few seconds of the boot sequence). Find the boot menu in the bios, and make sure the drive with your operating system is first on the list.

If you were trying to add a new boot drive, you are going to need to get the operating system on it. Either with an image of your old boot drive, or by reinstalling it (usually from either a bootable DVD or USB drive).

If neither of these things is the issue, then you may have, as others have said, dislodged something (usually either a power connection or memory dim, but could also be the CPU or video card). Because it was a drive, the first thing I would do is unplug and replug all the power connections going to your peripherals/drives. If the computer tries to start, and all you get is a black screen, with a couple of (diagnostic) beeps from the PC speaker, this is usually the problem. And in such a case you wouldn't be able to get into the bios normally.
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 12:30 pm

The key thing is "black screen". If it's completely black or the monitor shows "no signal" then something has been dislodged in the case. Power to graphics card, the graphics card itself, or the connection to the screen.

If it's almost black but has a single flashing underscore _ then thats something else we can diagnose, but normally when the OS is missing you get a BIOS screen, some logo or POST information and then an error like "operating system not found, insert bootable device and press any key to try again"
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 1:16 pm

Once I added a hard drive in the case, and its initial power draw spike was too high for the PSU to supply; the computer wouldn't boot anymore. Fans would try to start spinning but would almost immediately shut down.

I got around that by disconnecting the HDD power cable, turning on the PC, quickly reconnecting the power cable, and never ever shutting down the PC ever again. It's still running... after a year and a half
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 2:45 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:The key thing is "black screen". If it's completely black or the monitor shows "no signal" then something has been dislodged in the case. Power to graphics card, the graphics card itself, or the connection to the screen.

Not at all. In addition to reversed PATA cables (which I've seen many times, albeit years ago), bad settings in the BIOS (RAM settings, etc) can cause this, as well as resource conflicts caused by other add-in boards. It doesn't necessarily need any direct relation to the graphics card.
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 9:18 pm

1. Did you replace your system (OS) drive, or a secondary (data) drive?
Replaced the OS drive as I wanted a fresh install. The windows disk is in the cd tray thought.
2. Do you still see the BIOS POST screen when you initially power the system up, or does the screen remain completely blank with no signs of life?
Remains completely black and never has any sign of life, the yellow stand by light remains on (monitor) the whole time.
3. Do the fans (CPU, GPU, PSU, case) spin at all?
All the fans are spinning at "normal speeds"
4. Does the power LED on the computer come on?
Yest the power led comes on and stays a solid "normal" color.
5. Does the hard drive activity LED on the computer flash at all?
I believe so but I'll have to double check my manual.

I made sure the graphics card and memory was in tight. I also made sure the power was connected to the cpu, graphics, harddrive. I guess tomorrow I will disconnect and reconnect everything.
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 9:29 pm

At this point, my recommendation is to disconnect all storage devices (hard drives and DVD drive) and see if you can at least boot to a BIOS screen.
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 7:50 pm

Removed the power and sata cable for the dvd drive and hard drive and still no boot to even a bios screen. I took everything apart and there is a lot of dust especially around the cpu. After further inspection it looks like there is burns on the cpu's heatsink. Could this be the problem? Do I have to upload pictures to a website before I share them?
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 8:16 pm

It could be a bad video card, but what are the chances that it went bad when you decided to change your drive? If I had to guess, I'd still say that something isn't seated correctly. Either a power cable to one of you peripherals (ie, drives), or something like a memory dimm. If there really is a lot of dust, then perhaps this could be interfering with a power connection?

Not too sure what the "burn" marks on the CPU heat sinks could be about.. Do you mean on the bottom of the heat sink where it contacts the CPU? Are there burn marks on the CPU itself?
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 8:29 pm

I thought there was burn marks on the cpu itself but I used a credit card on the old paste and the "burn mark" is gone so I guess it was just dirty thermal paste or something. I'm not going to be able to put it back together until tomorrow but I disconnected everything, removed the dust and applied new thermal paste after removing the old stuff.
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Sat May 17, 2014 12:12 pm

The correct answer was reseating the memory.
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Sat May 17, 2014 12:38 pm

Interesting. Had you fiddled with the memory at all when you did the hard drive swap?
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Sun May 18, 2014 1:07 pm

Nope. I honestly didn't think they would move because they would have had to snap out of the slot to do so.
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Re: Installed New Hard Drive = Black Screen

Postposted on Mon May 19, 2014 8:37 am

damian069 wrote:Nope. I honestly didn't think they would move because they would have had to snap out of the slot to do so.


You flexed the board plugging in the SATA connectors or moving the bulky 20+4 pin power cable out of the way. It's not a problem but dust around the RAM slots could easily be squeezed into the gap as the board flexed, breaking the contact with the golden fingers on the RAM. I've upgraded a thousand old computers with more RAM and I have made a habit of using compressed air on the RAM slots before I start. If you get dust in there it's anything from a boot failure to seeming stable but bluescreening occasionally.
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