Tech help!!!

Games & Technology
I have an old pc using win xp service pack 2. So i was downloading stuff and switched off the monitor to do other things then tried to switch the monitor back on but was greeted with a black screen (the hdd was still running).

So I rebooted and most of the time there's no display and other times I can boot up the os. Then on subsequent reboots I managed to get into the bios and got an error msg saying this: Please clear cmos if system no display after overclocking problem.

I mean like wtf I was just downloading stuff when this problem occured wasnt even overclocking or anything. I tried to reset the cmos pins but always was greeted with no displays during attempted boot ups.

There were also instances of the pc rebooting itself and shutting down and rebooting itself again.

What exactly is the issue here?! Help!
Have you checked the CMOS battery?
What graphics card do you have? I have an issue on my system with my Radeon HD 7850 (related to ZeroCore I think) that when the display sleeps, it usually doesn't come back on until I hotplug it.
That machine is just for basic web browsing purposes only so no graphics card. @ijb Im suspecting its the cmos batt issue. could it be running low and causing problems?
CMOS battery issues can cause all kinds of errant behaviour... Including video issues such as you describe. Typically another indicator will be the real time clock for the system gets reset every time the machine is unplugged - not rebooted, but unplugged from the wall... Different systems have different indicators, so without knowing exactly what you have for a machine that was my first guess - and also one of the cheapest things to check...

Don't discount Espionage's answer so quickly though - that was going to be the next line of questioning! In order to display anything on a monitor the machine *has* to have a graphics card - in this case it sounds like you have an integrated graphics card though; i.e. built into the system board. A failure there can potentially mean that the system board will need replacement (if the problem is systemic) or simply adding a video card to the system (if the problem was limited only to the graphics hardware...)
Thanks for the reply and answers mate! I removed the cmos battery earlier and place it back after a while of waiting and I was able to access the bios where the time and date fields were reset back to 2009 and random time wtf. But I input the correct time and date and reboot the machine. So far no issues.

But I did notice a while back earlier while playing a corrupt video file on vlc (it said the file was corrupt and asked if i wanted to repair it, I clicked no.) and it made my pc freeze and subsequently went back to the black screen reboots again.

I tend to boot up this machine about once or twice a week fyi.
OK, so if the time resets back to 2009 I'm guessing the machine is probably about 3-4 years old. I'm also guessing that it has a CR3032 or similar CMOS battery. Finally, I'm guessing that, based upon the usage pattern you mention, the CMOS battery is probably your problem! If you have a multimeter you can check it, if not then just buy a replacement and it *should* fix up your problems!

Removing the battery and replacing it will do a full reset of the CMOS; everything will be back to the hard factory defaults. Sometimes with a marginal CMOS battery this procedure can seem to fix the problem, for a little while at least... But the problems will come back (again, assuming the CMOS battery is getting low.) Sometimes things like what you describe with VLC can exacerbate the problem but make it look like something else is the culprit... Batteries can be very funky things when they are getting low on power!

Age, usage patterns, and limited battery lifespan would all indicate that replacing your CMOS battery should be your first step, in my opinion... Good luck!

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