New PC Build Showing No Display? 10 Ways to Fix It

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New PC Build Showing No Display? 10 Ways to Fix It

So, you spent hours assembling your new PC build and now the time has come to press the power button. You press the power button, the lights turn on, and the fans spin, but your monitor has no display. What went wrong?

Don’t worry, even the most experienced PC builders make mistakes from time to time. It’s most likely a very small issue that you overlooked.

In this article, we’re going to help troubleshoot why your new PC build is showing no display. Soon your new PC will power on and you can start gaming.

Let’s dive in!

Method #1: Reseat and Troubleshoot the RAM

In our experience, when a PC build is not showing a display, the reason is usually related to the RAM. There are a few troubleshooting steps you can run through to test and rule out the RAM.

For starters, remove the RAM, put it back in, and power on the computer.

If your computer refuses to output a signal, try powering it on with only one stick at a time. Next, test each slot.

Once you run out of combinations, test another RAM stick from a different vendor or a lower clock speed. If your new PC won’t show a display with a separate RAM stick, the problem is probably with something else in your build.

When it comes to buying RAM sticks, it’s recommended to buy matching pairs from the same vendor. You can take a look at our recommended RAM sticks here.

types of RAM
Try removing the RAM and putting it back in.

©Sunshine Seeds/Shutterstock.com

Method #2: Update the BIOS

Another reason your new PC build is showing no display could be that the motherboard requires an update to detect the hardware in your build. For example, some motherboards need an update to identify certain processors and graphics cards.

Updating your motherboard’s BIOS is a bit tricky, especially if you can’t get a display. Most motherboards have built-in firmware update utilities but you have to navigate to them from within the BIOS, and that’s not possible without a display. Some motherboards can be updated automatically via a CD or USB that contains the update files. However, most motherboards do not support that feature.

To update the BIOS without a display, the best option would be to install an older CPU that has onboard graphics and is compatible with your motherboard. Maybe you can borrow a second-hand CPU from a friend or buy a very cheap second-hand CPU online. The idea is to install an old CPU that will allow you to get a display, update the BIOS, and install the new CPU again.

When your BIOS is updated, it should detect your new CPU and your computer will show a display.

BIOS PC build computer
Updating the BIOS may fix it.


Method #3: Check Compatibility

If this is your first PC build, there’s a chance you might be using parts that are not compatible. To double-check that, you can use a website like PC Part Picker. When you add your parts to the PC builder list, it will tell you the compatibility and expected wattage. It’s also a good website for finding PC builds.

Besides hardware compatibility, the power requirements are important too. You want to make sure that your power supply can provide more than enough power. If you’re using a power supply for an old PC build, it may not be powerful enough for your new PC build.

On the subject of power, if you’re using a power strip, try connecting your PC’s power cable directly to a wall outlet. Some power strips can have issues that prevent them from transferring the required electricity. It’s a quick trick that might bring your computer back to life.

Modular power supply with cables for desktop pc
Connecting your cable directly to a wall outlet may do the trick.

©Ocskay Mark/Shutterstock.com

Method #4: Listen for a POST Beep

When you press the power button on your computer and it beeps, the beep indicates it completed the POST (Power-on Self-test) operation. It’s a quick scan the motherboard performs to check if all the hardware is working correctly. If you don’t hear a beep, something is preventing the PC from passing the POST operation.

When there’s a beep but no display, that’s a good sign because it means all your components are working correctly. In that case, the problem is likely related to the DisplayPort. It’s much more challenging to troubleshoot a computer that won’t POST.

One common fix for computers that won’t POST is to unplug all power connections and hold down the power button for a minute. To troubleshoot a computer that won’t start, read this article.

Displayport cable
Your DisplayPort cables may be to blame.

©Barry Paterson/Shutterstock.com

Method #5: Check if the Graphics Card is Seated Correctly

You want to make sure your graphics card is properly seated in the PCIe slot and plugged in. You may need to press down on it slightly until you hear a click.

To double-check, remove the graphics card and put it back in. Ideally, the graphics card should be held firmly in place.

Even if the graphics card was originally installed correctly, it’s a good idea to reseat it because a driver detection issue could be malfunctioning. Reseating the graphics card will force the computer to run through the hardware detection process again and, hopefully, it will find your card.

While you’re at it, examine the power cables and make sure you’re using the right ones for your graphics card. Every graphics card uses a different power cable. The most common are 6-pin, 8-pin, and 12-pin. Some require more than three power cables! Of course, the GPU power cables need to be correctly seated too.

NVIDIA GTX 1070 vs RTX 2080
Your GPU should be seated correctly.


Method #6: Double-Check Display Connections

You want to make sure all the display connectors are fully inserted into the ports. Double-check the display connections on your PC as well as your monitor. HDMI and DisplayPort cables need to make full contact with all the pins to transfer a signal. It’s not unusual for a PC case to have a bulky back panel that blocks HDMI cables.

Make sure your monitor is set to the correct source. If your monitor has multiple ports, it might be set to the wrong one. Most modern monitors will automatically switch sources to the port that is receiving a video signal, but not all monitors support that feature.

HDMI output port(selective focus),Choosing the right solution concept, HDMI splitter.
Your HDMI and DP cables should be making full contact with the pins in order to properly connect.

©Tar LP/Shutterstock.com

Method #7: Make Sure All Power Cables Are Firmly Seated

The problem could be a loose connection with one of the power cables. Luckily, these are easy to fix because all you have to do is firmly press down on each one. Some power connectors to check are the 8PIN, mainboard 24PIN power, CPU power, and others.

It’s always important to consult with your motherboard’s manual to determine where each power cable should go. If one cable is not fully connected, it could easily prevent the computer from starting. With all the tasks involved with building a new PC, it’s not uncommon to forget to plug in a simple power cable. Once you confirm all the wires are properly seated, you can rule them out.

PC computer power cable
Be sure your power cables are properly inserted.


Method #8: Test Each Display Output Port

Your PC should have a graphics card that has multiple display output ports. To rule out a faulty port, test each video port.

While rare, there’s a chance you received a defective graphics card. On that note, some graphics cards will only support video output on a specific port during POST.

If you tested all the ports on your graphics card and your new PC build is not showing a display, try using the motherboard’s HDMI port.

If you get a video signal from the motherboard, you may have to enter the BIOS and manually select PCIe to force the motherboard to use the graphics card as the video output device. Older motherboards might also have a VGA or DVI connector you can test.

The motherboard’s HDMI port will only work if the CPU supports integrated graphics (also called onboard graphics). Every Intel processor supports integrated graphics, but not all AMD CPUs do. With AMD, the CPUs that end with G support integrated graphics.

HDMI PC computer desktop output ports
Test your output ports.


Method #9: Test a Separate Monitor or TV

When you build a new PC, the hardware might not have the drivers to recognize certain monitors. For a quick test, try connecting your computer to a different monitor or TV.

It might sound funny but sometimes when you connect a PC to an older display, it will suddenly work with your new monitor. It’s also a chance to get inside the BIOS and update the firmware.

It’s worth it to also test a separate HDMI cable. It’s rare for HDMI cables to break but it can happen. Either way, these are easy possibilities to rule out.

Samsung M80B vs. LG Ultrafine
If all else fails, try a different monitor or TV!


Method #10: Check for a Short

A short occurs when a material transfers electricity to or from components that aren’t supposed to hold a charge. There are many ways to accidentally short a PC.

The most common is when something metallic is in contact with important components. For example, a loose screw could be in contact with the metal of your PC case and a chip on your motherboard. It could also be a stray wire that should be tucked away.

If your computer has a short, it won’t show a display. Troubleshooting a short is not easy. Your best bet would be to completely disassemble your computer and rebuild it outside of the case.

Building a computer outside of a case is a good way to troubleshoot the components. If the computer can show a display when it’s built outside of a case, the case is likely creating a short.

Try another case to see if the problem persists.

Wrap Up

Figuring out why a new PC build is showing no display can be tricky, but these tips should point you in the right direction. Generally, it’s much easier to troubleshoot video signal issues when your computer has a processor that supports onboard graphics.

The two most likely reasons a computer won’t show a signal are faulty RAM or a motherboard that requires a firmware update.

If your computer still won’t show a display after you try all these tips, one of the components must be faulty.

New PC Build Showing No Display? 10 Ways to Fix It FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Who does my PC start but there's no display?

There could be many reasons. The most common are faulty RAM and your motherboard requiring an update.

Why is there no display output in the BIOS?

It could be because your graphics card is faulty. We suggest connecting your monitor to the onboard graphics.

Can a power supply cause no display?

Yes. If the power supply can’t provide enough power to vital hardware such as the CPU or graphics card, then you won’t get a display.

Why is my GPU powering on but there's no display?

It could be that a power cable wasn’t installed correctly or there’s a short in your PC case.

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