Obscure computer problem solved

May 23, 2012

Recently I had a customers computer that would only show a completely blank screen.  I tried running a system restore from start up but after 3 hours it had got no where.

Then I removed the hard drives and connected them to another computer to run virus scans and system error scans.  That allowed me to boot the computer into Safe Mode but normal start up still gave the completely blank screen.

So, in Safe Mode I searched the Event Logs that showed that a number of services needed to run the graphics were not starting up as expected.  This particular computer had a plugged in graphics card as shown below.  Fortunately, the motherboard also had a graphics output so I removed the graphics card and plugged the monitor into the motherboard.

Dead graphics card

Everything then worked perfectly!

On close inspection of the graphics card I noticed that a component (a capacitor) had swollen and split open as shown below.  What I thought at first was a software problem turned out to be a hardware error.  This for me was a computer job where persistence and a determination not to be beaten won the day!

Split capacitor on grahics card