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My Optiplex 260 was upgraded with memory and an additional HDD. The upgrade caused a CMOS change; that change apparently interefered with systems settings established when an AGP Graphics card was added to the machine 3 years ago.

Result: This Dell Optiplex 260 computer would not POST or boot. The video was blank black. Drives did not start.

The motherboard had power, fans worked, etc. Resetting CMOS had no effect. I was thiinking the machine was dead at processor or mobo level.

When the AGP Graphics add-on board was removed, and the monitor attached to the original on-board graphics connector, then the boot process detected the monitor, completed POST and completed the boot process.

Now I have to figure out how to reinstall the AGP Graphics board.

Moral: When trouble shooting machines which appear dead after an upgrade - possibly due to CMOS changes induced by the upgrade - consider the possibility that the machine has lost the ability to communicate with the monitor through an add on graphics card, which has been "lost" to the CMOS, and that this is why boot does not occur and monitor is blank black.

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Last Post by JimPivonka
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either that or something happened to the agp card ,go to add remove program and uninstall any thing[software] agp card related if there ,use a program called ccleaner to ceanup regirtry[and clean computer of unnecessary temp file and cookies ] it should find and remove agp card references ,then try adding the Agp card again and see if it works ,if so reinstall drivers for it

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Hmmmm... If the AGP card requires drivers to support the monitor/video during post, I'm a monkey's uncle. I suspect it only has to be recognized by the BIOS as a video device. It's not clear to me why, if it was not being recognized, simply moving the connection to the on-board graphics controller, which I did try, would not have been sufficient, unless it was essential to reset the CMOS before the machine would attempt to use the on-board GC. When I pulled the board *and* reset the BIOS the monitor worked for POST, boot completed, and I was able to enter BIOS to verify settings and the Dell diagnostics to verify my upgrades.

(I pulled the add on board, did yet another reset of the BIOS, and relocated the monitor connector to the on board GC at the same time, because it was 3 AM and I was impatient with iterative problem solving routine.)

I will have to to put that AGP card back in and move the video/monitor connection to it instead of to the on-board graphics processor the machine is now using. I remember enough of the original install to know it's non-trivial, and involves more than letting PnP discover a new hardware device (for instance: disabling the on-board graphics processor in BIOS?). So far I have not found the box or documentation for that 3-4 year old card, and will do a web search for those instructions and software.

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Hmmmm... If the AGP card requires drivers to support the monitor/video during post, I'm a monkey's uncle. I suspect it only has to be recognized by the BIOS as a video device. It's not clear to me why, if it was not being recognized, simply moving the connection to the on-board graphics controller, which I did try, would not have been sufficient, unless it was essential to reset the CMOS before the machine would attempt to use the on-board GC. When I pulled the board *and* reset the BIOS the monitor worked for POST, boot completed, and I was able to enter BIOS to verify settings and the Dell diagnostics to verify my upgrades.

(I pulled the add on board, did yet another reset of the BIOS, and relocated the monitor connector to the on board GC at the same time, because it was 3 AM and I was impatient with iterative problem solving routine.)

I will have to to put that AGP card back in and move the video/monitor connection to it instead of to the on-board graphics processor the machine is now using. I remember enough of the original install to know it's non-trivial, and involves more than letting PnP discover a new hardware device (for instance: disabling the on-board graphics processor in BIOS?). So far I have not found the box or documentation for that 3-4 year old card, and will do a web search for those instructions and software.

sorry i missed it in your first post ,you smarter than me.good luck with your agp card

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I doubt it. But, as they say, the hangman's noose focuses the attention most marvelously. My hangman was a system with a mobo with on board video and an AGP upgrade, the noose was the BIOS behavior after the system upgrade.

I've found an ATI instruction for install of a Radeon in a system with on board video.

http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/737-20869HowtoInstallanATIRadeonGraphicsCardinaSystemwithOnboardVideo.aspx

It's pretty clear that the on board video has to be disabled for the add on to work. This implies that anything that happens during subsequent system upgrades, etc., that causes the BIOS to revert to a state in which the on-board graphic is not disabled - including the oft recommended reset of the CMOS - will leave the system unable to complet POST or boot, and with a blank black screen.

This is because the BIOS and boot process will attempt to use the on board graphic processor, and ignore the add on card processor, to which the monitor is connected. Since there is no connection to a monitor boot processes (lacking the "beep" code) will be unable to report BIOS conditions, and will not complete boot.

Based on my experience in this case I would suggest that the add on card be disabled, and the on board video re enabled, before upgrades to systems with on-board video that has been disabled in favor of an add on card. Once the BIOS has incorporated the system change information resulting from the upgrade, then the add on graphics card can be restored.

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I doubt it. But, as they say, the hangman's noose focuses the attention most marvelously. My hangman was a system with a mobo with on board video and an AGP upgrade, the noose was the BIOS behavior after the system upgrade.

I've found an ATI instruction for install of a Radeon in a system with on board video.

http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/737-20869HowtoInstallanATIRadeonGraphicsCardinaSystemwithOnboardVideo.aspx

It's pretty clear that the on board video has to be disabled for the add on to work. This implies that anything that happens during subsequent system upgrades, etc., that causes the BIOS to revert to a state in which the on-board graphic is not disabled - including the oft recommended reset of the CMOS - will leave the system unable to complet POST or boot, and with a blank black screen.

This is because the BIOS and boot process will attempt to use the on board graphic processor, and ignore the add on card processor, to which the monitor is connected. Since there is no connection to a monitor boot processes (lacking the "beep" code) will be unable to report BIOS conditions, and will not complete boot.

Based on my experience in this case I would suggest that the add on card be disabled, and the on board video re enabled, before upgrades to systems with on-board video that has been disabled in favor of an add on card. Once the BIOS has incorporated the system change information resulting from the upgrade, then the add on graphics card can be restored.

I think that was the case with older computer not so much so with the newer ones as for most the unboard is disable when the addon card is installed ,not sure totally as most of the computers i work on are basic computers and have onboard video

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I should be more precise regarding "beep" codes and Dell computers. Dell's documentation for the Optiplex series indicates that beep codes do exist, and *may" be issued. One Dell page states: "Most beep codes indicate a fatal error that prevents the system from completing the boot routine until the indicated condition is corrected."

Other Dell computers use a system of 4 lights on the back of the case as a substitute for beep codes.

In practice, I do not recall hearing more than one, usually very faint, beep from my Dell Optiplex GX260, even when the boot was failing due to apparent BIOS errors.

Conditions, such as "reset" of CMOS and BIOS checksum errors after upgrade of a machine, which cause the BIOS to revert to use of an on board graphics processor while the monitor is attached to an add on graphics board will result in no signal reaching the monitor - a blank black screen, and (apparently) in failure of the boot process to complete - possibly due to "video memory test failure" or to the absence of a detectable monitor attached to the machine.

I believe that best practice, for machines which have been upgraded from the onboard GPU to an add on graphics processor card, is to disable the add on GPU and revert to the use of the on board GPU supported by the default CMOS and BIOS before system components such as processor, memory, and HDD. Reset of the CMOS should not result in loss of video and monitor if this is done.

This practice should help to avoid "dead machine" conditions for such machines after upgrade of these components. The add on GPU can be restored after the upgrades have been completed satisfactorily.

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