Weird problem with pre-OS graphics

Ok, this one has got me stumped. Anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it. My girl has a Dell Dimension 2400. Someone replaced all the RAM (RAM type and size is correct for mobo, etc and I doublechecked to make sure seated, cleaned, etc) and right after that the graphics that are inherent in the mobo no longer work. Hence, nothing shows up on the display until the actual log-in of Windows (XP) This means that I do not know how to debug it as none of the boot sequence shows on the monitor - no BIOS, no boot ini, etc. Nothing until the graphic card actually kicks in and the OS is loaded. Is there a way to manually clear the powered BIOS so it goes back to the original flash BIOS? I am guessing that if I could do that there is a chance that original BIOS might not contain the error that somehow developed after the RAM was replaced. Only two jumpers are the CMOS jumper and the password clear jumper. Again, thanks for any help.

Saphire 199


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
If you remove the CMOS battery and shift the CLR CMOS jumper to the other end for 10 seconds. Put it back where you found it, replace the battery and reboot.
That will set everything to default (you'll need to reset date and time and any other custom settings.).


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
I wouldn't think there can be a hardware fault in the mobo if the Windows driver eventually fires up and everything works.
Have you downloaded the latest release and flashed the BIOS ?
Does your monitor have dual analogue/digital connections ?
If so try connecting through the analogue socket.
If that gets you in the BIOS, have a poke around to see if there's a "disabled" somewhere in the onboard graphics section.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
How much RAM you got in it? Its an older model and should have 2GBs max w/ 2 1GB sticks. The one I got in the closet ran XP home at 512MB. Try removing a stick if you have more than one on the motherboard.
Thanks guys and sorry it took so long to get back. I solved the problem - one of the memory slots was fried and with the memory plugged in on both slots, was causing (for some reason) the above problems. When I finally determined that it was the slot, I simply took out the chip from the bad slot, everything worked fine after that. So there is at least one problem in the mobo (bad slot), but everything up and running, so we'll go with that for now. Now running 1 gb of memory, flashed the bios, etc. Again thanks.