black screen of
100% HP centric. (aka: DEAD VIDEO zero data on the screen EVER.)
This page covers mostly true black screens of death, not dead windows, black means no text ever shown on the screen and means no HP /Compaq logo graphic screens shown, and means the "hit F10 to enter setup" (or ESC) text is MISSING.
The all time #1 failures, for 2010 and older PCs and monitors is, CCFL dead and the wonder of the flash light simple test.
This page is not for only windows dead, that page is here.
The HP page for this failure class , is covered here, (20 questions)<< I show this only to scare you !
My pre-conditions are:
PC's with LCD screens made before magic year 2010 click all screens below, and read about CCFL tube failures.
(Most if not alkll CCFL back lamps are dead, or near or dim/ yellow bulbs, blinking like mad or intermittant as H3LL)
Let me be clear, any 15 year old Laptop used every day the CCFL are now dead and useless.
Mini-Menu: "black screens"
For Blue Screens Of Death? (BSOD, backup one page or hit home ICON above, the same is true with windows is only dead or can not log in to Windows. If you get text on the screen at power on, hit HOME button.
In all cases, we are trying to see if the problem is caused by 3 things, lost power, bad screen, bad MOBO (and all its subdevices including HDD, or shorts inside or dead parts inside)
This page covers only one topic and that is the screen is 100% dead, totally black, no matter what you do, and that includes, the BIOS IS dead too. (<called "Setup"by HP but it's just good old, BIOS, (38+years old it is) Example screens here.
Here is an example screen not dead, just to be clear.
The cause is not software, but is hardware, we know that because BIOS is FIRMWARE and always works, so black screens are a hardware failure. (only what? is the question).
BIOS means Basic Input Output System, in a FIRMWARE ROM, ROM is read old memory, that does not FORGET if power is lost (BIOS is in ROM, but it's configuration data is in CMOS NVRAM, with a coin cell at 3volts, to retain said data.)
The LT two big differences electrically, are that huge battery and the internal screen. (I will not delve in to "All-in once desktops") The LT also has a battery charger located on the main motherboard, (MOBO) no, its not inside the A/C line pack at all.
In all cases, we must learn how to test, and discover , is the problem hardware or software caused.?
Try to learn the PCs are simple when they work right, but not so at all when broken, this is covered well here. A+ Certifications, read that and learn just how complex computers are, it's no toaster. (sorry)
Just like cars, are simple to drive but not diagnose or fix. (for the same reasons...."complexity") Know to that laptop parts can be very hard to find after 10 long years pass.
My page below is about testing ,diagnosis , repair and cures. It is not about Guessing at all. Sure try anothere display on your dead desktop, but that is test., not a guess.
HOT KEYS: (at power on button and 1second later ,tap tap tap, the hot key, my hot key is "ESC" key. see next photo link)
The screen shows, THIS !"Press the ESC key for setup !"
The BIOS (setup) is dead if it never talks to you (screen text) , the many years of HP progression of the main hot keys from 2002 to now is: F1, F2, F10 and ESC. Yes, they changed this 4 times in 15 years. (having fun yet?)
In all cases, remove all USB devices, from PC , as vast things, can short out and cause havoc or "overload". (that includes Esata port to external drives of any kind)
If the BIOS screens and text messages are dead, we listen for the fan, the fan must blow. (or you lost power! or the fan is packed in lent, all do that, packup and overheat, all do , clean it every year and avoid that?)
Desktop black screens: (DT only ,first !) JUMP TO LAPTOP NOW?: Jump here if BIOS screens all work.
Starting here , BIOS newer shows text every nor the HP logo ever, if that is true these next steps cover this case.
The First possible failure is a dead external screen. (called a PC monitor of vast types.),
The dead monitor page is here, ( dead and tests (the good the bad or ugly ) click desktop there , the "all in one PC" is an almost Laptop , in truth...( they moved the PC into the monitor case)
This section below DT only is in adjunct to , basics tests here.
Ok the DT monitor screen works ok, as is it's cable. (you can test the monitor easy on another PC, or test your PC on another monitor easy, be savvy to do that now)
Next up, we attack the DT PC, with tests.
DT PC's have 3 different possible (more back to 1981) Video jacks and matching cables. (VGA, DVI, HDMI) Jacks. Video Jacks,
If your PC has 2 jacks there, it is best to test them all first, to see if one works ok.
Ok the monitor is ok.
If not?, replace it now.
Next is Power, the PC power button seems to work.
The fans all must blow, and are not packed up in this lint dirt.( PC's can overheat fast and shut down fast,in fact can do so in seconds)
The DVD tray ejects (omg it's only a CD there, same dead? try) if not working this, the power is lost.
If BIOS is dead now, the VGA jack is dead. (we already know the Monitor is good above)
BIOS will be dead if power is dead or weak, in all cases. BIOS works even with the DVD drive and HDD/SSD drive cables pulled. BIOS IS always the FIRST GOAL.
BIOS can go nuts, if the coin cell died at 5-7 years old, the makers of them spec that at the life span, believe it, when weak the BIOS setting are lost and the RTC time clock goes NUTS.
The PC side still Fails !: The DT , desktop, dead.
If it still fails to show BIOS messages now , then here are some tests and causes below.
Monitor tested good.
BIOS dead. ( If BIOS is not dead jump here)
I will try to show all possible way, for BIOS to go dead what we tech's say is the Van Neumann is busted.
The BIOS message that must be seen is, text, is "Push ESC key to enter SETUP" this message must be displayed and that KEY to work right. IF not, this is a DEAD PC, (assumes display is ok) It can be a DEAD PCI VGA card, or is overheated and packed in lint.
Resets lets do resets now... there are only 3 resets.
BIOS works now: good. now:
I grab my trusty Knoppix disk (or stick) and test the system and HDD/SSD with Knoppix
The tests are does Linux run ok, does the DISK tests and S.M.A.R.T pass, does the full HDD test there work.
Yes, and yes and yes?, then that takes us now to BAD WINDOWS.
My BIOS allows me to boot to 4+ things, USB sticks, 2 hard drive, sdram slot or dvd. The F9 key does this, I insert a CD/DVD or stick and boot to Linux in seconds, gee the PC RUNS GREAT, all like 5 minutes work .
On the GOOD HP PC we hammer the F11 key to fix dead windows as the HP web site clearly tells you how. (the book to read is the big one called service.) F11 is hit at power on fast and tapped....
If any F11 restore mode fails for many reasons like , HDD bad, or replaced before, or the current HDD has corrupted files cause say by a virus attack. (or kids playing , lets kill moms, recovery partition just for fun)
These facts are why we test the HDD extensively first. (BIOS HDD tests are rudimentary but if fails ,BINGO)
If the new HDD was installed we now see F11 is dead, (normal that) then get the HP media kit from HP now.
If the PC blue screens of death happen that is a whole other matter.
IF the windows login screens are missing or locked up, use the F11 key as HP intended to correct that, click the startup files fix first if that fails do a full HP Windows install.
If F11 is dead, and no HP media kits in your hands , that leaves using Microsoft disks and the horror of losing critical drivers and all HP apps GONE. ( it says that in the HP restore manual read that yet.?)
and desktops, dead and black screens.
LAPTOP black screens of death: (LT)
The laptop moves the screen inside, making it much harder to test.
This section below LT only is in adjunct to , basics tests here.
The goal, just like above is getting BIOS screens first working and alive and presenting all BIOS Screens.) F10 key or ESC key hammered at power button turned on, quickly after.
You are here if the screen never ever shows text , nor the HP BIOS logo or COMPAQ logo. (it BIOS works with hot keys on demand this page below is the wrong page, hit the home icon above or your back button, and see Windows boot failures)
The HP page for the long 15second power button reset is here (no battery , no line cord, method , 5 steps)
The laptop (notebook et cetera) has different test steps to learn what is truly wrong.
The Laptop screen is not a standalone device, so can not be tested on another PC. (sure in a matching laptop and long hours of hard work splitting 2 LT cases ,nah we won't go there...)
The Laptop also shares resources with the actual LT computer, it uses power from the laptop internals. (saves the builder money, but makes diagnosis 2 times harder)
The Laptop can have CCFL back lamps (2000 to 2010 years) or LED, both can fail but CCFL takes the cake there.(as does its funky Inverter supply module) Just like external monitors can fail the same way. SEE LT DIPLAY TESTS HERE
Here is a list of tests and failure modes. (power failing tops my list and the 2 ways to get that and more)
The AC power pack creates DC power and goes to the LT D.C power jack its 19 volts Direct current that any meter can measure if you want. Below 18vdc is not good.
A common fault on cheaper LT is the DC power jack .
Some LT (poor grade) have the 19vdc coax jack soldered direct to the MOBO, and all fail every one does fitted out like that.. This is bad news. (fixing it can be very hard work and special tools)
The Below shows finding devices in a PC that overload the PC bus structures, (all 4 buses)
Simple ways of progressive stripping down any PC made, for sure to do any fault Isolation.
How to strip a Laptop to find shorted modules or bad memory sticks, etc.
In most cases we do this in order of easy to hard, sure the laptops are pain to work with, why own one if portable is not needed?
Bad things in electronics can be:
Each chip has power needs, 5v, 3.3vdc and more. (the destkop has 12vdc for fans and the HDD motor , the latop HDD is 5vdc only drive or SSD.)
PC's all have power rails.(aka power buses)
These rails are powered by DC power regulator chips . (the are pretty smart , they protect your Railed chips from blowing up and it protects itself from burning up)
If any rail regulator is overloaded it shuts down or lets voltage drop and go out of spec, and vast numbers of chips start to fail or act oddly (crashing the PC)
Given this simple facts one can remove all modules on the PC 1 at a time, to see if the shorted device, cures the overload. (PC wakes up)
The PC has digital buses too, that must not be shorted, data bus and the adress bus and the control bus.... see Von Neueman magic is still alive.
The most common trick is to pull all RAM sticks 1 by 1 and then run 1 at at time in Bank 0 slot, the one that works is ok ,the one that overloads the PC is bad.
Remove all usb devices, and even any eSata devices from PC. Remove the DVD drive and HDD, is easy on all PC's ,but on desktops it's just a 2 cable pull in seconds work.
I can pull all this modules seen here.(wifi moduel, and relic modem card, express cards, and more, all those seen there, off the main board.)
One can go to these 2 extremes , Laptop or Desktop.
The next thing is beeps and blink codes must not be ignored! ( beep codes or blink codes (from caps lock led) covered here.) at you PC, look at it with the CASE removed, that is Your PC, real.
See all those parts there , bingo remove them 1 by 1. (CPU leave it alone the never fail) Never means owner did not do something dumb. (overlocking it to death is not IT'S FAULT, or playing with it and bending pins)
Learn that some LT have 2 banks of memory one bank top , one bank under the main MOBO, the hint here is to look or RTM (read the manual) first.Mine has 4 memory slots. (for the i7 CPU)
Learn that most PC's the main board (mobo) can be stripped down to just (power, main, CPU and 1 stick of RAM to test just that, a minimum system)even using an external screen as my photos above show.
Now the long story.,.. examples can help...
Next are EXAMPLES , real:
The goal here is only BIOS working on this page....
So what can BIOS do. ? (a short list)
I push the power button and then tap ESC on mine, (tap,tap, tap) until the screen says, Entering SETUP. (in white text over a black screen) this message proves its not a black screen of death PC, see?
I then get the BIOS PAGES on SCREEN now.
When you boot the PC you see BIOS hints on the screen white words, on black, that is BIOS talking to you, on lower left corner for 1second "Press ESC key to enter startup menu" this is BIOS. (CPU machine code ROM running, brains !)
eg: my HP8540w LT , If I press F1 my screen goes white, with BIOS INFO page, if it hit F10 at the above ESC prompted I go directly into BIOS setups screens, see your PC is NOT DEAD , is it.?
These hot keys, are different, on each makers PC, and is covered in your service manual, so check it out. (All PCs, LT or Desktops,etc)
Beyond simple checks we can go deeper...
Next I go to HP.com and read the BIOS page documents on my exact PC. To learn what KEYS MINE USE, (varies by generation of PC and makers.)
See how to get to BIOS screens, using the BIOS HOT keys at POWER :
ALL most all PC's made can produce, Blink codes, or BEEP codes, newer PCs use Blink codes and HP tops this list. ....
Nothing about any PC is so hard to learn or research than these silly but very important blink/beep codes, for 2 reasons, HP changed it every 2 years for fun , then reason 2, lost the manuals on BIOS older that 10 years old, dang !
Changing BIOS makers 4 times and more also makes this topic SUPER HARD.
See my Blink/ Beep page.
Ok, more tests , deeper!
MORE EXAMPLES :
Laptop Case top off. " DC POWER" checks: A LAPTOP.
I get to my power connector inside, LT and and with my magic voltmeter it's 19vdc on those 2 pins there, turned on, telling me power is okay. We can use a $20 DMM meter from Walmart ,to do this test.
If the 19vdc power is low, say I measured 15vdc ,I'd try a 2nd pack if its low, then the laptop has shorts. ( I have a 4 ohm 100watt test resistor I use to test my power packs, by them selves. )
I can remove many things off that MOBO. To see if some option there is shorting out power. (video card,wifi,bluetooth card, DVD drive, RAM, card reader card, and more , keep and open mind, anything can short out)
To see if Blink codes change or go away as I pull or add things, do not hot switch parts, have the huge LT battery out all the time, and pull the line cord before each test.
(I wait for 2 -5 minute pass before removing or adding parts at this deep level, letting many internal Capacitors discharge fully and naturally)
See , me doing magic testing here? Most folks don't know this. I can run the MOBO naked like this, NO CASE ! AT ALL.
I have almost all things pulled here, but not CPU/GPU, even the fan can be pulled for 1min test to see if BIOS wakes up, keep a wide open mind on what can short (answer is ALL THINGS CAN)
See my A.C. power line left top? MOBO, See LCD? that just plugs in? See a DELL USB keyboard there, (original key board is not plugged in)
See fan spin fast? at power on? it must, See BIOS work? I could even boot to windows if I added the HDD now. (no loose Heat sinks allowed)
Do not forget the BIOS has a Hard disk and Memory bank test. Run that now.
I do most my tests on an anti static ground work pad, and cardboard of that. The only rule is to never run the CPU with out a heat sink. (and a working fan) That cooper pipe below must be fitted correctly at all time.
My video shows me running it CPU free. To prove lamps Blink even with it missing., in a very odd way !
2011 made PC HP8540w
This is my most loved LT, I bought 5 dead ones and rebuilt them +SSD upgrades, for about 1/10th the price of any new HP laptop (not Chrome book)
Below is my 8540, one can see there are 5 modules you can pull to see if BIOS wakes up.
You can pull any module you want to see if problem ends, and you will get Blink codes for most pulls.
We do pulls to find shorts. (1 small example say I pull Mister WIFI module and the GPU wakes up. that means the WIFI was shorting the power or data bus.
Learn that there are two brain chips here, the CPU, and the main power control processor that can blink LEDs even when the CPU is removed !!!! If this test fails the MOBO IS DEAD. (a dead power control processor)
Keep in mind GOAL #1 get BIOS screens working and then GOAL 2, get something anything to boot.
On mine I can pull, modem, wifi , VGA outrigger card, the whole Express card assembly comes out. This card Express has the power status LEDs so if pulled you lose this information.
This PC loves to Blink the caps lock keys, or Numlock key LED's in fancy codes. but not if the CPU is missing.
I can even pull, GPU video card seen here, Keeping 1 RAM stick (DMM3) and one CPU, this mobo even has a Blink code for CPU missing, (yes)
We pull things why? Answer to find things that are bad shorting out critical power buses. Shorts happen. we find them this way. (learn that ALL THINGS can short out)
What do shorts cause , answer, it overloads the power bus system and kills key functions in the computer. (or worse)
See the DVD drive pulled, HDD pulled.
No two Laptops are the same, parts locations, (there is no standards here) Only you can read the HP service manual and see what is there, and not.
Taking any LT apart like this takes, skills. It is not a casual practices like it is on any simple standard DESKTOP. Some LT are very difficult to take down and must be done in the correct order, and not breaking fragile parts.
Most Laptops, have no GPU card like above, on mine the GPU was upgraded by me.(easy) Seen above as GPU. card. (I buy laptops that have a card here, or don't buy that model)
Keep in mind that some USB3 ports will be dead, until the correct HP drivers for it are installed. (that means use the left USB2 ports to boot from any LIVE CD BOOT sticks (Linux or Windows PE)
That also means testing USB keyboard at boot time, use the USB2 ports ONLY, not my 2 USB3 ports seen on the top right. My BIOS does not use them.
One can test out most of the PC with any live boot disk, even with HDD removed. (costs you , the price of one CD or USB stick) (to burn a CD find a working PC with a CD or DVD burner and burn away)
I have 2 boot USB sticks or UDISK as HP calls them one is Live LINUX , and one is LIVE WINDOWS PE (I have w7/8/w8 at the ready) I can boot this way from STICK or CD or DVD.
The burn software is free, Imgburn, (Google it) I avoid CD like media now, it's slow and time wasting, I only use boot able USB memory sticks, totally, today.
I use RUFUS, to program the USB sticks from and ISO file, (Linux or live windows PE) Best is always have this stick ready for testing. (in advance)
If the BIOS works now, and the HDD/SDD will not boot, and the boot from Live Linux, and tests ok ,LIVE boot tests work, then that OS on you HDD is corrupted/infected , reload the OS, is the cure.
The HP hot key for RELOAD the OS is , F11 on mine, power on , tap, F11 (older PCs use F10) MY OS IS windows 10, what is yours, know what you have first.
Go to HP.com and get the Media kits to reload the HP software, on any HDD that was dead or replaced. Hit the back button (or here) for more facts on Blue screen failures. Blue is WINDOWS failures.
Peeling the Onion deeper, is always possible? if A chip bad, replace it, but wait, it has SMD chips , Surface Mounted Devices ,some are flea size. Lacking very expensive tools you will not make that work, and even with them fail.
No lie, all those modules seen above are sold on ebay cheap. Do so and win.
If you see this, it's not a dead screen at all.
This is the GOAL getting here, this is my MAIN BIOS screen on my HP 8540w . Best unless a super geek that keeps records, stay the H3LL out of the Security page. One can even turn on BIOS finger print mode. YEAR 2010 PC.
Here is the first BIOS page, that lets you go to all BIOS pages, inside the FIRMWARE ROM.
I pressed F10 to get the above screen.
I'm not going back to 1979 here, sorry. or to HPs 1984 first laptop, ever.
On old relic PCs running old (Blast from the PAST YEAR 2000 , 17 YEARS AGO....) BIOS V4 from say , Phoenix?
You see this,after hitting F2 like woody wood pecker.(at the instant of power on button pushing , you) I guess this is 1994 below. (or older) or new HP computers use ESC key to get to BIOS. Then F1 to get to INFO page, I do this first. find INFO page, as a test.
This is out of the Phoenix book, what could be more clear, how to get here, and what is there? See the HDD here? 6.449GB?
Here is one more relic BIOS page, the old ones ,where like this. Below if all HDD are missing, then the HDD is dead (or unplugged). These are PATA drives here. Primary and Secondary.
Rules of the road, and electronics, savvy:
Rule #1 is "first do no harm", (why make it worse?)
Rule #2 , power is first , not just the power cord to the wall; is LIVE AC okay, but all DC supplies, and regulators must be good , no power ? there will be no joy.
Rule #2, if boards, cards, batteries, modules, or anything is shorted, you will not get far, until that is corrected. (unplug as many things as you can, even USB things. and if brave , things deep inside, or get a technicain to test it)
Rule #3, if the fans are dead, that is big clue. (CD/DVD Eject button dead, means power lost)
Rule #4, if the old HDD makes no sounds at all (it has and electrical motor inside!) then it is DEAD, or unplugged, or the PC has no power, (sure weak power, 6vdc for 12vdc the motor will be dead)
Rule #5, if the screen is 100% dead, and never once even shows some white text, the PC is now DEAD, due to no power, or a dead screen. more tests are needed. (even shorted modules inside)
Rule #5 , if BIOS works ok, or acts odd and the time and date act odd or BIOS forgets things, the COIN CELL IS DEAD (3v Cell)
The first rule in all of electronics WORK, is never hot switch parts, means plug or unplug THINGS,with power still turned on, and not discharged first. (learning this the hard way will cost you big cash)
Exception 1: USB ports are fully hot switchable as is the EsATA PORT.(BY DESIGN)
Almost all electronics have huge capacitors inside, that hold a powerful damaging potential charge and ignoring this one fact, many folks (noobs) blow up good parts in the PC.
Remove all laptop main batteries, then remove all power cords DT/LT, then push the Power button for 10 seconds, now the PC is safe to work on. ( no need to blow up good parts now, so do the right thing do this line here)
Here is how to think when getting the wild notion to flash your BIOS FIRMWARE for squats and giggles. (the do no harm , rears its ugly head) Best is to leave BIOS alone unless HP tells you it will cure your specific problem. (it is a huge risk)
If you blow the BIOS UP, what then?, can I unsolder the chip, to replace it? No. (I did replaced them many times, I put in a socket there and could run different BIOS that I created "custom features")
If you , have HP Probook or Elitebood that needs the flash upgrade , learn that it can not be regressed, you can not downgrade it , after a failed FLASH BIOS EEPROM BURN. In fact on the HP BIOS page click ROM.binary DETAILS, see those same words, yes.
You will have to get HP help now, now that you BRICKED the BIOS. (they have a reset flash, but is not online this ROMcode reset file, you must ask them to get it... do so now...)
Some more modern BIOS, the flash programmer and boot code parts are protected and you can flash the BIOS over and over, for say when you use the wrong BIOS Binary files for the wrong MOBO. (ALWAYS ASK HP for help finding a perfect match to your PC using the PC service tag)
The book on this is clear, the main laptop battery needs to be GOOD and fully charged , on a desktop a UPS supply is best here, so if you lose A.C LINE power, the BIOS is now scrambled, but if you have UPS or BATTERY there ,you are good to go.
On a Laptop if you have 2 sources of power there, the line pack and good battery. (and the flash can be robust, that is if you have the correct BIOS binary Files... matched, as it seems most get this wrong, guessing)
Never flash any BIOS if the LT battery is bad, or weak or discharged, or you can be very sorry soon.
Flashing means to program (or as they once said BURN) the Flash EEprom CHIP. (called BIOS) it's FIRMWARE, software in SILICON. It's a ROM. (all PCs made were ROM, EPROM ,EEPROM or FLASH, in order of progression) Flash is faster, EEPROM.
Best is leave BIOS alone unless you know for fact the BIOS upgrade is for your exact problem and a perfect match to your PCs serial number.. (and HP tells you to mess with it)
I see one more PITA, HP has a UEFI BIOS update , due to security holes in it (bugs). So many read that and flash the BIOS and brick their PC's , lots do,,,,, Why do that,? (the no Regression path by HP I think is UEFI laws... in effect...) IMO.
Know that UEFI wants to block all removable media. (to prevent virus infections, by DESIGN)
If you don't use CD./DVD/BRD/floopy media with programs or exe files on them, then why worry this, MP3 files on CD is not an infection ever. Why not just first turn off AUTORUN and win, the most dangerous thing ever invented is that feature.
Reading EMAIL attachments or links is the #1 bad way to get infected,.
Or going to web sites, full of viruses.. I run software that blocks all such sites. (Google how)
I run MBR boot disks and not UEFI BIOS, so its not ever and issue for me. I wonder how many PCs get bricked in a month with people flashing there BIOS for fun.
Best of all is run windows 10, for max protection. (buy a 10year or newer PC and upgrade it to Windows 10, if you value you , data, bank accounts, or your identity, do so now)
Never let anything store your bank passwords or login ID, ever. (keep them in your head, only)
(all) A short History and lots of tests and cures. See all monitor issues , here.
This is not a black screen of death, at all ,see the HP logo? , these words from BIOS?.
The above shows me the you have power, CPU works as does display, and memory and the BIOS is alive, and the HP logo is from the BIOS code. I'd say if you can't get a boot from the HDD NOW, then HDD bad or the OS is corrputed, Go in to BIOS now and click HDD tests.
If you F9 booted to say a Linux Live disk or usb memory stick boot of Linux now, you learn that the whole PC is ok, but only HDD is dead or its OS IS CORRUPTED. My F9 key at power on allows me to boot to vast things.
When I say HDD, I always mean both, HDD or SSD , which ever is your case.
If you can get this screen and a boot CD works (Linux live or Windows LIVE PE works ) or same way using the USB memory stick boot, then the PC is basically ok. (that means the real problem is, HDD failure or OS corruption)
If the HDD tests pass, (learn how to test HDD and save data) then the OS is bad. end story, hit F11 and reload OS. (if F11 key is dead, magic restore , then you need the HP media kit to fix that.)
On older PCs F11 is F10 restore HOT KEY(if the HDD was ever changed out F11/10 will be dead ) leaving only one solution. the media kit, from HP.
On even older PC's, there is no such restore HOT key, (some are named Compaq) and you need the media kit to recover Windows. (click kit link above)
This page covers all screen and monitor class failures and tests. for all montor issues go here.
Logic way to diagnose black screens. (I will do jumps here to solve the problem) My attempt to make the shortest list here. (above arefull detailed checks)
(Ill assume you are not standing in the sun, or the screen is dim or the screen has words (words there means it's not black ) Dim screens are caused by , these things.
If the PC beeps or Blinks, Cap locks keys, stop now and learn what those mean, first. (it is telling what is wrong, and only HP books cover this....period)
Desktop too, even to the point of bench testing them , called a minimum system.
Minimum system means just that,
MOBO + PSU, + power botton + CPU(with working fan)+ 1 stick of good ram (DDRn) in bank-0 !
Then 1 VGA card PCI-e or the on board VGA /DVI , if fitted., some mobo have no on board VGA chips and must have PCI-e card added.
If you don't have a spare VGA card , PCI, buy one for like $5 used and keep it in your spares box. (for testing) Would you not be happy some day and the $5 saved a $300 labor bill? yah..
Connect up 24pin power connector and a power on botton, until you know the pinout of the power on jack pins. If you know that you need no power button to test this MOBO, ever as see below...
With any VGA monitor connected the Screen must show BIOS screens (on demand)
A Bad CPU are rare, pins not bent. (fan works, and heatsink compound not like hard as nail dried glue and cracked this old glue like compounds, top grade compounds do not do that.)
See the VGA onboard here m5a78. If VGA port is dead, add a VGA card in the PCI slot to see if you get SCREENS now. Below right is ASUS M5a99fx that runs the 8 core, 5GHz, processor by AMD. (ASUS is a top maker and recommended by me)
There are 2 tricks to change from VGA onboard to VGA in slow, on new PC its automatic, if PCI-VGA is installed it goes there first. , on older MOBO you must change this inside BIOS. (on/off, onboard, auto or order, (PCI first/PCI last)
MIN, System. photos next.
Found on the net this , nice photo One stick of good RAM is necessary, A case is optional . The VGA card is optional if you have mobo like the above shows.
The below a TECH is testing his MOBO before the swap, (a savvy guy he is) The PSU can be bench tested or in the case, seen here.
Do not use ESD conductive foam below the Mobo, doing live tests. best is a dry brown cardboard box piece.Never use plastic, it is a ESD killer material. (if the GPU card has AUX power connector it must be used !)
No mouse or keyboard needed to see BIOS Screens, "hit ESC to enter Setup" (HP BIOS) but if seen the keyboard is connected and ESC hit.
The ASUS hot key is DEL key. btw.
This next drawing shows, (only on ASUS) the power pins to jump if you don't have a power switch or is defective, , with a screwdriver tip jump PWR to Ground next to it, do not hit the +5vdc pin ever.
All top brand MOBO makers have this custom diagram, in the manual for this exact mobo. There are no standards here on THIS powersw JACK, maker to maker.
Try not to short the +5vdc pin.
this is how to cheat and not have power button, just jump pin PWR to Ground pins see at redline below. BAM it powers on.
Topic Black screen of death "NO VIDEO AT ALL", NO TEXT EVER ! ,basic basics. (when I say intel below that includes, AMD too) This section is redundant to all the above or and index to it.
This is my UNIFIED list, ALL PC's of all kinds (hope) (aka: Dead Video)
Try to know the bad coin cell can make the BIOS go very nuts and unpredictable. (and time clock and date goes wrong too!) Always check the CMOS COIN cell first when things fail. Some fail as soon as 2 years. 5 years is par, I think. It is only $2 or less fix....
If the coin cell is bad the NVRAM will be full of Garbage, and changes to diffenent Garbage every time FRESH new POWER is applied to the PC (to NVRAM). Chaos happens for sure in this state of pure bad .
If lucky the PC sends beep codes , for CMOS corrupted. (coin cell is bad) Don't count on that, test it first.!
PC's have vast single points of failure and is a CARD HOUSE in design. The below is in order or likely and easy to find, and do. (In truth power supplies read normal, is #1 always)
Bad Noises and blink/beep codes , get my attention first., as does no text of ANY KIND, ever lands on the screen.
And the lack of good noises too. (1 to 3 fans fail to spin, HDD spins or is HDD dead silent?, CD ejects on demand)? Ever clean your PC, if not they all fail soon from overheating.
The Goal in all these cases is to get the BIOS screens working , you can do that with no HDD or DVD drive in the system. (except the F11 key will be dead with no HDD, but we skip that minor point now)
To diagnose any PC , see my home page, under BIOS progress, (hit home (or back) and read)
Be happy you don't have this, circa 1981 IBM. A BLAST from THE PAST ! My first PC 8088 (intel, with BIOS 24pin ROMs )
All TTL logic seen here was replaced with modern GLUE logic in the future "intel ICH9 or the like".
This PC replaced my old Digital Research, CPM on a S100 bus North Star, back in 1978, I had PC before the word was coined by IBM. (below is 1981 see the date stamps on the TTL logic?)
Version 7. 5-9-2017 ( a work in progress) I'm retired but not dead. By : DeadPool. , the word flash is now used only for Flashing BIOS memory and BLINKS words are LED blinking....(not mixed as before)