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help with no display on monitor

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my apologies, im not sure what the the OS is. thats one of the things i was trying to find out. its a very old Dell Dimesion 2400 computer. what i meant about the RAM sticks is that by cleaning out the dust that might have been on the motherboards RAM slots that would be solution to the problem accroding to some YOUTUBE videos, but i couldnt find any other suggention other than cleaning the RAM slots out, so here i am. im trying to see if the computer works or i should just junk it and clear up space in my garage

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The Dell Dimension 2400 is an old model. 


*  So how do you know the motherboard is good ?

*  Do you know, or can prove, the VGA based monitor works ?

*  Does the PC show diagnostic lights on the rear of the PC such that you know it is going through Power-On Self Test (POST) ?

*  Does the PC generate "beep codes" ?

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To further illustrate what David means, imagine calling up a mechanic and asking him to troubleshoot your car b/c it makes a funny noise.  Most mechanics I have ever dealt with simply say "Bring it in to the shop and let me look at it."


Well, (I'm assuming that) you don't live here where I do or where David does, and neither of us lives where you do, so that idea falls to the wayside.  So, you need to supply as much detailed information as you can - and no offense, but saying 



yes motherboard is good and monitor is good.


does not supply us with enough information.  Can you define how you have ascertained that the motherboard and monitor are good?  This kind of information is critical knowledge that is relevant to troubleshooting your issue here in a forum.


Although a monitor is easy to test (plug it into another computer), definitively saying that a motherboard is OK is illogical at best without running it through a whole battery of tests.  A motherboard is comprised of several thousands of components, and many components are designed n such a way as any one of them could go bad without affecting the operation of he rest of components.  So, everything on your motherboard could be working perfectly fine, but the onboard video processor could be bad.  Or even the actual connector that accepts the monitor cable and acts as the interface between the video processor and the monitor could be bad.


Also, is the monitor connected to the video out coming directly from the motherboard, or is it is separate GA (Graphics Accelerator, aka video card) mounted in a PCI / PCIe / AGP slot?


Finally, one other thing to immediately check would be the cable connecting the monitor to the video out on your computer.  However, if you ahve connected the monitor to antoher computer using the same cable and the monitor works, then you've ascertained that both monitor and cable are working.

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The dimension 2400 was also a family of models, not just a single model, and had a very large variety of configurations that they shipped with.  Another monitor would ascertain if the problem lies with the monitor, cable, or computer, to start with.

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again my apologies and i understand what youre saying by me not giving more detailed information. like i said i got on youtube and from the several videos i saw, the same thing was said, clean out the RAM slots and if the fans and light on the motherboard turn on then, if so the motherboard is good (which they did turn on) i connected the monitor to a working computer and that did give a display using the same VGA cable. im not very tech savy as you can already imagine, i just thought i could get some general ways of checking what the problem might be and if its an easy fix then id put the effort in and if not then just junk it. so i guess i was asking as a general question and should have not just put what i did in the opening statement so im sorry for that. 

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Please respond with answers to the below...


*  So how do you know the motherboard is good ?

*  Do you know, or can prove, the VGA based monitor works ?

*  Does the PC show diagnostic lights on the rear of the PC such that you know it is going through Power-On Self Test (POST) ?

*  Does the PC generate "beep codes" ?




Please read the attached...

dimension-2400_service manual_en-us.pdf

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based on the youtube info i got by the fans going on and a light by the power connection turning on, on the motherboard i say its good (maybe not so but thats the little info i went on)

yes monitors work cuz i connected it to a different working computer and there was no issue there

no lights other than the green light next to the power connection on the motherboard

no beep or noise made other than the fan turning

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Yeah, just seeing lights does not make it a good motherboard.  Lights only mean power.  However the pattern of lights during the Power-On Self Test (POST) will indicate if the computer is actually "working".  The PDF explains what you should see and what the light patterns indicate.


At least we now know the PC powers-up and you have a high confidence the monitor isn't the issue.

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sorry for being such a "newb" just want to learn this stuff to avoid asking and wasting your time with ppl like me that dont have all the details needed and get their info from youtube. thanx for this time and the pdf. ill look it over and see what i can get out of it. thank you and take care 

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hmmm ...

it would be nice to know the exact model ... the service code on the comp should narrow it down .

if this comp has been stored for some time it may be that the bios backup battery is toast and this may be the cause of "no monitor" especially if the unit has a video card and the default in the bios is to boot the on-board graphics first .

another possibility is a missing voltage in the power supply ... with the age of the unit , it would not surprise me .

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Perhaps if you supplied a few pictures of the motherboard, from different angles, showing all the parts on the mother board we could check to make sure there are no blown capacitors, if you have any blown capacitors, this could be the issue with it not posting or booting....

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thank you guys for the suggestions. i really do appreciate it. here is what ive found out so far:


model: Dimension 2350

OS: windows 2000 (told ya it was old)


the lights code ended up on 

A yellow

B green

C green

D yellow

(there is no floppy drive and i checked the hard drive using a usb to ide adapter and that is working fine)


and ONLY 1 beep at turning on


i will replace the bios battery regardless 


here are some pictures i took of the motherboard 


if i can get anymore info please let me know what else you might need 











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OK, that ascertains a couple of things:


  1. Different model - 2350, not 2400
  2. On board video - (unless it has a PCI video card, which I doubt - notice the nonexistent AGP slot between the PCI slots and the chipset heatsink
  3. Definitely an old system.  I'd try as CWB said and replace the BIOS battery, and then see if it can let you into the machine.  After replacing the BIOS battery, I'd attempt to reset the BIOS to defaults, and then see if you can get any video out or not.  To do so:

Clear your CMOS:

  • Unplug your computer from the wall
  • Open the case up, usually the left panel comes off
  • Locate the CMOS Battery (See Image)
  • Use a small flat head screw driver to pry it out
    BE CAREFUL and Gentle!
  • Wait 5 minutes while pressing and holding the power button
    a few times to release any left over electricity in the system
  • Pop the battery back into place

Please Note: You will have to reset the time and date in the BIOS upon first boot.




Since you have the motherboard removed, I'd advise connecting just the power connector from your case to the motherboard (nothing else - do not attach your power supply or anything else to the motherboard at this time), and after removing the battery and waiting for 5 minutes, press the power button several times to help remove any leftover electrical currents.


Then, install the new battery, reconnect all the connections necessary to test and try powering up the machine.  If you get a video signal, the first thing is probably going to be that the system asks you for the time and date.


As for the system being old, yes, the last BIOS update posted to Dell's website is version A02, dated 2003.  This PC is not going to be able to run anything above XP very reliably, but can probably be used for low power requirements, such as using Linux, or else making it into a standalone NAS, or independent firewall, etc.

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you are right there was no video card attached at all and it being this old and not being able to run anything above XP would you really put time, effort, and or money into this or just get another one. maybe it can be agood practice getting to know the ins and outs of the motherboard and what nots huh? i will try the battery just to not quit i really want to learn so we shall see what happens. 

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Well, here is the thing:


  1. The processor line is ancient.  An mPGA478B is an old socket, supporting Pentium 4 - see http://www.cpu-world.com/Sockets/Socket%20478%20(mPGA478B).html
  2. Only onboard video
  3. Only DDR (not DDR2) RAM, and only 2 sticks of it
  4. It only uses IDE for HD connections - and I am pretty sure the the chipset does not support even trying to use a PCI SATA controller, although I might be wrong on that.

See http://www.dell.com/support/my-support/us/en/19/product-support/product/dimension-2350/manuals for more information


What I am getting at is that it is, as of time of manufacture, at least a 12 year old machine (and using some technology that is older than that).


You can, however, use it to easily brush up on hardware skills, but only certain ones - newer processors are different, memory has changed a lot, even power supplies and such are a bit different than back then.  Of course there is the whole IDE versus SATA, USB 3, much faster Ethernet, etc. so all you can really do is get basics of the hardware as well as some hands on experience for an older machine.


Now, as to moving forward with trying to make it work - the battery is cheap so I'd do that at least.  After that, well, if I have a child that I wanted to give a computer to for very simple things like learning assistance and family-approved games for children, sure, I'd spruce it up and get it running.  But for my own purposes, no, I definitely would not use that machine for much of anything.  Even the cheapest laptop that you can find on the market today (using technology from 2010) will out perform that machine significantly.


If you can get it running, though, I'd highly recommend trying to sell it on Craigslist, or, if you're charitable minded, donate it to a charity / goodwill, or even use freecycle if it is available in your area.


Also, FWIW, I'm pretty sure I have some RAM and a CPU that will work in that machine Still lying around lol.  Don't think I have a replacement PSU, b/c if you use the Dell case that it came in, then it (might) need a very specific PSU - cannot remember.

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i use a small tool (sometimes even a toothpick will suffice) to spring back the cell latch ... the coin cell usually pops right out .

using this motherboard as a learning tool is a good idea ... beyond that , it is a wiser choice to cut ones losses .

i hope you used good anti-static protocol when you removed the CPU from it's ZIF socket (new heat sink compound is now needed) .


of course , you could always run an older 'nix OS on it .

i'm thinking that mint 9 (maybe 8) or ubuntu 10.4 may work .


those green electrolytic capacitors look like the "teapo" brand ... it is surprising that a couple of them are not "pregnant and popped" .

the same caps were used in some of PSUs ... cracking open the SWMPS would hardly be warranted in this case .

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great info thank you all very much. this is the kind of information i was hoping to get. now i have an idea of what you all might need and can get that for you before hand for next time, (oh there will be a lot more next times) . i will take all this and apply accordingly. i do have a question though, where can i get pdfs for other computer models like the one 1 of you got for me and posted here. that had everything about that particular model

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From each of the OEM's websites.  You'll need to know exact model number, and as CWB previously mentioned, Dell (and other OEMs) have specialized Service Tags that allow you to look up information directly related to that particular machine you have in hand, versus gathering general information that applies to the entire family of PCs that your PC is from, but has no specifics about the PC you have at hand.


Another way would be to simply search Google.

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