After restart, No Signal from monitor in native resolution

Hey Goodjers!

Need some help with a computer problem that just cropped up. I'll try to explain as much as I can below and hopefully you can help me out.

My computer has been running fine since my last Windows 7 Pro 64-bit reinstall around December--drivers updated, Windows Update done whenever it pops up, MSE updated and running regular scans. I like to keep my computer as up-to-date as I can, though for the past few weeks my PSU fan has been more noisy than usual but I haven't seen any signs of PSU failure. I have a Dual Core E8500 (no overclocking), 4GB PC3200 RAM, GTX 460, Asus P5QL-E mobo, 128GB Crucial M4 SSD running Windows, and a 500 WD 2nd HD for storage, and an Acer G235H running at 1920x1080.

I rarely shut it down, but rather put it to sleep when I'm not using it, but whenever I update drivers or do Windows Update it restarts without a problem.

Anyway, this past weekend I went away, so I shut the computer down. When I returned the computer would boot, go to the black Windows splash screen (the one with the colored dots swirling into the Windows logo), and then my monitor would flash the No Signal error and go blank. But the Windows log-in screen would still be running--if I typed my password and hit enter then I can hear the Windows welcome sound, but I just wouldn't get any signal to my monitor.

I started Safe mode, uninstalled the Nvidia drivers, re-downloaded the latest drivers, and restarted my computer. It booted up just fine into Windows no problem. So, I reinstalled the Nvidia drivers and restarted my computer, and same problem as before.

This time at the Safe Mode menu, I chose to go to the last good configuration, which is where I am typing this from now. Windows is running on its generic drivers in 1280x1024. If I try to lode the Nvidia drivers from Windows Update, I get the same problem as when I tried the drivers I downloaded from the Nvidia site. So it seems to be a problem with the native 1920x1080 resolution.

Any ideas what might be the problem? Is there a way to load the Nvidia drivers, but not have it go straight to my monitor's native resolution? Do you think this is a video card problem? Or might it be the PSU that's been noisy recently?

Let me know if you need more info to help me out.

Are you able to run the NVidia drivers at anything other than native resolution? You may not be able to access them to check.

Do you have a TV you can connect to? Most video cards have HDMI ports these days, so you can use an HDTV as an alternate video type to test the card with.

Good idea. Totally didn't think to use the TV as a monitor.

Hooked it up using the DVI->HDMI converter cause my case makes it so I can't connect the HDMI cable directly to the video card (or is it a mini-HDMI port on the card, I couldn't tell) and it has the same problem. In the lower resolution, without the drivers installed, no problem. Installed the Nvidia drivers and it booted up to No Signal.

So, do you think this is a video card problem?

Or could it be that the PSU can't provide enough juice for the higher resolution? Does higher resolution require more juice for the video card (I would assume so). I can't remember when I got the PSU...was a while ago...but I think it's maybe 450W. The GTX 460 says that 500W is minimum, but I remember seeing posts that said 450 would be OK. I've been playing Civ V, Diablo III, Sins Rebellion lately and haven't seen anything that would make me think that something was wrong.

It depends on the supply. Can you take a picture of the label on the side and post it? If that's awkward, we can also teach you how to read power supply specs.

Just found the invoice from 5 years ago, it's a SilentKing 500W PSU.

When I get home tonight, I'm gonna open up the computer and reset everything and then check the fans on the PSU and GPU to see what's happening. The fan on the PSU has been making noises recently so maybe it's just dying. The GPU isn't even a year old and the fan on that seems to be running just fine.

Well, be aware that if the supply has gone out, it could have taken the video card with it -- or the video card may appear fine, and then fail in a few weeks because of components that have been weakened. This isn't certain by any means, but it's common enough that you shouldn't be shocked if it happens.

Well, honestly, if the supply goes, anything in the computer can be zorched. But since the motherboard is still working at the moment, and the video card isn't, then any potential damage is much more likely to be in the video card.

I would expect most 500s to be okay for your setup, so while it could have broken, it probably wasn't inadequate to begin with.

FWIW, when my video card went, it took almost everything else in my system with it, so continue to use it at your own risk.

Welp, I opened up the case, made sure everything was set and secure and then used a can of compressed air to clean out the dust (had done this a couple months ago, but my house is dusty). Made sure to give the PSU a good dusting.

Started back up in low resolution, installed the newest Nvidia drivers, restarted, and it worked OK. On the original restart, after dusting, the PSU fan made its normal noises that it's been doing for the past months. So I figure that might be the problem. I think I'll order a new PSU soon. Not that big a deal, since if I ever want to upgrade I'm gonna need a new PSU anyway. Figure I'll start with the cheapest replacement first, and worry about getting a new GPU if the same problem pops up under the new PSU.

The GPU is less than a year old and I haven't really played many games that push it to its limit. I'm hoping for another year out of it.

Thanks for your help guys. I'll let you know how the new PSU works out when I get it.

Avoid dual 12V rail supplies. In the power range you're probably interested in (500 to 550W), you'll probably be happiest with a single-rail unit, because then all the power is available on all the connections. As you get up into the really big supplies, they can break 12V down into three or four rails, which is slightly safer, and nearly as usable. But in the middle ground, dual-rail, it's very easy to end up with a video card you can't use, even though you have enough total power, because you're overloading one of the rails when you try.

Seasonic and Corsair are probably your best choices, and if you want best overall flexibility, with the ability to overclock one CPU and run one big video card, a supply with 34 or 35 amps on a single 12V rail should suit you just about perfectly. You can go smaller, but then you'll probably have to replace the supply if you ever want to overclock a CPU, and a huge number of us are doing that at the moment. And you can go bigger, but unless you plan to run two video cards, you're just spending money you don't need to spend.

Basically: you want 14 or 15 12V amps to cover the motherboard/memory/CPU at any overclocking level, and then 20 amps per video card. So 34/35 is great for one OCed CPU, one card. You want 54 or 55 for two video cards. You may also want to build in about 10% slop for PSU aging.

Surprisingly, the 5V and 3.3V rails are nearly unimportant. As long as they have 20 to 25A each, you're fine. The only reason you'd want more on 5V is if you're running a bunch of hard drives.

Went with a Corsair 650TX, which should be enough for when I want to upgrade my mobo, processor, and RAM sometime next year (maybe longer if I can milk my E8500 for longer...so sad that it's hard finding LG775 quad cores anymore).

Installed it without a hitch. Running silent and everything seems to be working fine.

Thanks for your help Malor and mudbunny.

Yeah, that should be fine. That will cover basically any conceivable single-CPU, single-video card build.

Keep an eye on the computer for a couple of months. Other components could have been damaged when the supply failed. You may start to see malfunctions as weakened components start to die.