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What Does Check Signal Cable Mean?

Computer users encounter a wide range of problems on a daily basis, varying in severity from minor inconveniences to critical disruptions. These issues can stem from software, hardware, network, and user-related factors, often resulting in frustration and productivity loss.

You can easily categorize these problems into 2 fractions: software-related and hardware-related problems.

Fortunately, it’s quite easy to determine whether a software problem or hardware problem causes an error and apply the correct solution based on that. Today, we will discuss the check signal cable error on the monitor. We will discuss the meaning of the problem, the reasons behind the problem, and how you can easily resolve the problem on your own.

What Is the Check Signal Cable Error?

“Check signal cable” is a message that appears on a computer monitor when the monitor is not receiving a proper video signal from the computer. This message is usually displayed when there’s an issue with the connection between the computer and the monitor. The purpose of this message is to alert the user that no video feed is received from the motherboard or the GPU to the monitor.  It also indicates that the user needs to take corrective actions to restore the connection and get the display working again.

What Are the Causes of the Check Signal Cable?

As we mentioned before, there can be multiple reasons behind the check signal cable problem. It can be either a software problem such as driver issues causing your GPU to not deliver video signals, or hardware problems like problems in the display IN/OUT port itself which can result in the message. Here, we are going to discuss some of the most common problems that are usually the reason behind the check signal cable problem.

1. Hibernation Mode

When your computer is in sleep or hibernation mode, it conserves power by reducing activity, including the monitor’s output. The monitor might display the “Check Signal Cable” message in such cases because it’s not receiving an active video signal. To resolve this, try waking up your computer from sleep or hibernation by pressing a key on the keyboard or moving the mouse. If that doesn’t work, you might need to perform a hard reboot by holding down the power button and restarting the system.

2. Loose Cable Connection

Loose or improperly connected video cables commonly cause the “Check Signal Cable” message. The cable connecting your computer’s video output to the monitor’s input must be securely connected at both ends. If the cable is even slightly loose, it can result in a disrupted video signal. Double-check the connections, and if necessary, unplug and reinsert the cable firmly.

Problems With The HDMI/DisplayPort Cable

Cables can wear out or become damaged over time due to bending, twisting, or pinching. If the cable has exposed wires, kinks, or visible damage, it might not be transmitting the video signal properly. Replacing the damaged cable with a new one could probably resolve the issue.

Problems With The HDMI/DisplayPort Ports

If either the video output port on your computer or the input port on the monitor is damaged, it can prevent a proper video signal from being transmitted. Inspect these ports for any physical damage. If you find damage, you might need to get your computer or monitor repaired or replaced, depending on which component is faulty.

1. CPU Lacking Integrated Graphics

Some CPUs come with integrated graphics processors (iGPU), while others require a dedicated graphics card to display video. If your CPU doesn’t have an integrated graphics card and you don’t have a dedicated graphics card installed, you won’t get a video signal. In this case, adding a compatible graphics card to your system is necessary. Until then, you won’t be able to get any video output from your system.

2. Using Wrong Video Out Ports

If you have a dedicated graphics card installed on your computer, but you’re trying to use the video output ports on the motherboard, you will encounter the “Check Signal Cable” message. Modern systems usually disable integrated graphics when a dedicated GPU is installed. You should connect your monitor to the output ports on the dedicated graphics card itself if you want to avoid this problem.

3. Improper GPU Installation

If your graphics card is not securely seated in its slot on the motherboard, it might not be functioning properly, leading to a lack of video signal. Turn off your computer, unplug it from power, and carefully reseat the graphics card in its slot, ensuring it’s properly connected. Also, ensure you have securely tightened the screws holding the GPUs in their place before you boot your system. While it is not important for a regular cabinet placement, it can cause problems with the GPU installation and connectivity if your cabinet is inverted or installed on a wall.

4. GPU Installed In the Wrong PCIe Slot

Graphics cards are typically inserted into specific PCIe slots on the motherboard. If the card is inserted into the wrong slot or not fully inserted into the correct one, it can lead to a lack of proper connectivity. Check the motherboard’s manual to ensure the graphics card is in the correct slot.

5. GPU Power Cables Are Not Properly Connected

Many powerful graphics cards require additional power from the power supply unit (PSU) through PCIe power cables. If these cables aren’t connected or aren’t providing enough power, the graphics card might not function correctly, resulting in the “Check Signal Cable” message. Make sure all necessary power cables are securely connected.

6. Other Problems

Issues with other critical components like the motherboard, RAM, or power supply can indirectly also affect the video output. For example, a faulty motherboard might not be sending the right signals to the graphics card. Diagnosing and resolving these types of issues might require more advanced troubleshooting or professional assistance. The same goes for the RAM as well. If the RAM installed in your system is not working properly, the system fails to deliver video output and the monitor displays the error instead.

How to Solve Signal Cable Issues?

Now that you have understood some of the most common reasons that cause the check signal cable problem, let us move on to how you can resolve the issue on your own. Here, you will find some of the proven solutions that have helped many users resolve the check signal cable issue in the past.

1. Reconnect VGA/HDMI/DisplayPort Cable

When encountering signal cable issues, the first step is to examine the VGA, HDMI, or DisplayPort cable connecting your computer to the monitor. Ensure that the cable is securely plugged into both the computer’s video output port and the monitor’s input port. A loose or partially inserted cable can sometimes lead to a weak or disrupted signal. If the cable appears damaged, consider replacing it with a new one. Once you’ve confirmed the cable is properly connected, restart your computer and monitor to see if the signal issue is resolved.

2. Check Monitor’s OSD Configuration

Incorrect monitor settings, including the pixel clock or refresh rate, can cause signal problems. Access your monitor’s menu using its built-in controls and navigate to the display settings. Ensure that the resolution, refresh rate, and other settings are appropriate for your setup. Incorrect settings can result in an “out of range” message or a lack of signal altogether. Adjust these settings as needed and then restart your computer.

3. Examine The GPU

If you have a dedicated graphics card, ensure it’s properly seated in its PCIe slot on the motherboard. Turn off your computer, unplug it from power, and carefully reseat the graphics card. Make sure it’s firmly and correctly positioned. Also, check for any visible damage on the graphics card that might be causing the issue.

4. Try Other Video IN/OUT Ports

If you are using a graphics card for display, you will find a couple of options for the video output ports such as HDMI, VGA< or DisplayPort. You will also find a couple of different HDMI ports that are provided to offer multiple display support. So, you can try using a different port to see if that resolves the signal problem. It’s possible that one of the ports might be malfunctioning, and switching to another can help diagnose the issue.

5. Update The GPU Drivers

Outdated or incompatible graphics drivers can lead to signal issues. Visit the manufacturer’s website for your graphics card (NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel) and download the latest driver for your specific model. Install the driver and restart your computer. Updated drivers often include bug fixes that can help resolve signal problems.

6. Try A Different Monitor

If you have access to another monitor, connect it to your computer. If the new monitor displays the signal correctly, it suggests that the initial monitor might be the source of the problem. If the new monitor also experiences signal issues, it’s more likely that the issue lies with your computer’s hardware or settings.

What Is VGA Cable and Why Is It Still Relevant?

A Video Graphics Array cable is a type of video cable commonly used to transmit analog video signals between computers and display devices, such as monitors, projectors, and older TVs. It was introduced back in 1987 and quickly became a standard for connecting computers to displays. The VGA standard supports resolutions up to 640×480 pixels, considered high-resolution at the time of its inception. After that, there have been a lot of advancements in technology, and now, VGA cables support up to FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution video stream without any problem.

Despite being an older technology, VGA cables have remained relevant for several reasons such as their compatibility, cost-effective design, ubiquity, etc. Even though VGA technology has been the standard for video transmission for more than 2 decades now, it is worth noting that VGA technology is gradually being phased out in favor of newer digital standards such as HDMI or DisplayPort. These newer standards offer higher resolutions, better image quality, and audio transmission support. VGA’s analog nature can result in quality degradation over longer cable lengths and is not suitable for transmitting high-definition content.

Signal Cable – FAQs

1. How to check signal cable is caused by software/hardware problems?

Ans: The only method of checking whether the check signal cable error is caused by hardware/software issues is by process of elimination. You can go through the reasons behind the check signal cable error mentioned on this list and try to pinpoint the root cause in your case by the process of elimination. Also, check the specific error message displayed on the monitor. If the error message says check signal cable or no signal, it’s more likely to be a hardware issue. On the other hand, if the message is Out of Range or Unsupported Resolution, it could indicate a software or settings issue.

2. Does the check signal cable error mean the monitor display port is damaged?

Ans: The check signal cable error message on a monitor does not necessarily indicate that the monitor display port is damaged. This error message typically suggests that the monitor is not receiving a proper video signal from the connected device, which could be due to a variety of reasons, including hardware and software issues. A loose or improperly connected video cable between the monitor and the computer can also lead to this error message.

3. How to check if the video cable is damaged?

Ans: Checking if a video cable is damaged involves a visual inspection of the cable and its connectors. For that, you will have to examine the entire length of the video cable, including both ends and the middle portion. Look for any visible signs of damage such as cuts, fraying, kinks, or exposed wires. If you see any physical damage, the cable might be compromised. While at it, inspect the connectors at both ends of the cable. Look for bent or broken pins, loose connectors, or any signs of corrosion or wear. Damaged connectors can prevent a proper connection and transmission of the video signal.


In this guide, we have covered various aspects of signal cable issues in terms of hardware and software. Here, you can find what the error message means and its range of potential causes. You can also find comprehensive troubleshooting steps, including cable checks, software, and hardware diagnostics, and testing different components and devices. So, we can assure you that once you have gone through all of the solutions provided in this guide, you can easily resolve the problem. And if none of the solutions have worked out for you, you will have to consult a technician since it would indicate hardware issues with the display ports, cable, GPU, or the monitor itself.

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