Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Your display might not turn on if the computer's not working or the display's not working. However there are other possible causes we'll look at also.
My display monitor wasn't working. I tried everything to get it back on. Rebooted the computer, pushed the on/off button on the display, etc., but it just wouldn't come on. I knew the computer was running because I could access it via Remote Desktop from another machine on my network.
Finally, I *unplugged* the display, plugged it back in three minutes later, and it worked fine. What happened, and why did that help?
First, I need to be clear - the top reasons I hear about in general for a display not working or showing "no signal" are:
Your computer isn't working. Fans and lights may not mean anything - if the computer can't start because of some other problem, it may not be able to provide a signal to the display.
Your cable's bad, loose or unplugged. If a signal can't get to your display, there's nothing for it to show you.
And in both of those cases the problem is not the display.
Now, let's look at some situations where it is.
As your question indicated, a great place to start is to simply turn everything off - both your computer and monitor - wait 30 seconds and turn them all back on again. I've talked about 'Why do so many tech support solutions start with "reboot" or "turn it off"?' before, and this is a good situation to give that a try.
If that didn't clear things up, make sure that it is the monitor by making sure your computer is, in fact, running. Remote Desktop is great if you have that ability. If you can connect to the machine remotely, not only is it working, but you can actually use it while the display issue is being resolved. Another good test is file sharing - if you can normally view files on a share hosted on that computer, then seeing those shares on your local network would indicate that the computer is up and running.
The next simplest test I know of is to simply try another display. Borrow one if you don't have a spare but see if that other display will work on your computer. Same for the video cable. If one of those resolves the issue, then you know which component you need to repair or replace.
The opposite makes sense too - if you take your display and cable, and they work when connected to a different computer, it's possible that the issue is your video card.
Finally, there's a scenario that I deal with periodically myself. Nothing's broken, and yet...
You may need to "reboot your monitor" with a power cycle when you reboot your machine.
I have two ViewSonic 23inch digital displays, and every so often, particularly after a computer crash, one or the other seem to get "confused" and stay black. Powering cycling both displays and rebooting the PC fixes it right up.
My theory is that with the advent of LCD/digital displays, they might now be incorporating a micro controller or microprocessor within the display itself that can occasionally crash, and quite literally need rebooting.
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