Sometimes one’s computer can turn on but the monitor fails to display anything apart from just a blank screen. That is a problem that I have encountered several times and every time it happens, there is always a solution to it. In this post, I am going to show you how to overcome the problem of the computer turning on but the monitor displaying nothing.
In my case, the computer could power on and I could even hear sounds coming from it but there was just nothing on the monitor. As I would soon come to learn about this issue, it is a common one that computer users face from time to time. Thus, it is vital that you are aware of how to walk out of your ordeal when such a thing happens to you.
To fix the problem of computer displays nothing despite turning on, you need to clear your CMOS.
The reason as to why your computer is turning on but not displaying anything could be because there is a misconfiguration in the BIOS. You will, therefore, have to get the BIOS back to its default settings in order to enjoy your computer once again. The best way to reset your BIOS settings is to clear the CMOS on your motherboard.
There are a number of ways in which you can clear the CMOS.
1. Using The Factory Defaults Option
In order to use this option, you first need to access your computer’s BIOS. The F2 Key is the standard key that is designated for accessing your computer’s BIOS. First power off the computer entirely by pressing and holding the power button for about 30 seconds. Once the computer is completely off, power it on again. Continuously press the F2 key or the DEL key to get into your BIOS.
Once you are in, you are now in a position to reset the BIOS settings back to its defaults. Different computer types may display the BIOS information in differing formats. So the keywords that you would look for include: factory default, load setup defaults, factory default, reset to default, among others. No matter what wording has been used by the manufacturer, you should be able to notice this with the aid of the ‘default’ word.
Depending on the structure of your BIOS, you should see the settings either at the end of the BIOS options or at the bottom of your screen. If you find it hard locating it, you may want to pay a keen attention to the Save & Exit options because this is where manufacturers place such settings.
Upon locating it, clear the BIOS. Restart your computer after these settings so that the changes can take effect.
Note: The most common problem with this kind of method to reset the BIOS, and in effect clear the CMOS, could be getting into the actual BIOS. When you press the F2 key to enter into the BIOS, you may see pictures rather than the BIOS messages. In this case, pressing the Esc key should get rid of the messages. There are also some computers which startup just too fast that you barely have the time to press the F2 key to enter the BIOS. In such a case, simply press the Pause/Break key during startup to freeze the screen. Pressing any key should unfreeze this screen.
2. Use a Motherboard Jumper
Even though the above method to clear the CMOS worked for me, it is not the only way that you can use to clear your computer’s CMOS.
If your motherboard has the CLEAR CMOS jumper, you can short it to clear the CMOS. Please note that not all computers have this jumper. Tablets and laptops typically do not have them.
Begin by unplugging your computer from all power connections before proceeding to open it up. Scan through the motherboard for the jumper that’s shown in the above picture. This jumper is easily identifiable with its label CLEAR CMOS found near the jumper on the motherboard. The other names that manufacturers typically use include: CLEAR, PASSWORD, or CLRPWD.
If you have a 3-pin setup, transfer the little plastic jumper from its current position to the third pin. In the case of a 2-pin setup, entirely remove the jumper. In case you have any confusions, you may as well refer to your computer’s manual for the steps to clear the CMOS in case you have difficulties following what’s described here. Such instructions can be found under the subheading “motherboard manual.”
Turn the computer on and confirm that changes have been performed on the BIOS and that the screen does display relevant information. If all is well, switch off the computer and return the jumper to its original position before turning the computer back on. Failure to return the jumper will see you encounter longer startup times since the CMOS will have to clear every time the computer restarts.
3. Remove the CMOS Battery
You can also clear the CMOS and ensure the computer monitor displays as it should by reseating the CMOS battery.
Before performing this crucial step, first unplug the computer from all forms of power connections, including the UPS. Failure to do so risks you getting shocked and even creating a short circuit for important components in the computer.
Proceed to open the computer’s case in order to access your CMOS battery. Accessing CMOS in desktop computers is much easier than on the laptops and tablets. It resembles a standard-cell-type battery found in traditional watches or small toys. If you have difficulty opening the Computer, you can always check the manufacturer’s site for guidance.
Once you spot the CMOS battery, remove it for a couple of minutes.
This removes power from the CMOS and any BIOS settings that previously had been tampered with getting lost. Put back the CMOS battery, return the main battery, close the case and plug to the power supply. Power on your computer and everything should be set.
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