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Graphics Card Issue/Upgrade (Nvidia GeForce 6150SE nFORCE 430) - Need Advice

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 21, 2013 2:05:00 PM

I believe my graphics card is dunzo and needs to be replaced, so would like upgrade suggestions based on my machine. But first, here's what happened:

My dual monitors all of a sudden went black (plugged into the graphics card's 2 VGI ports, as they have been for years). I've tested the monitors and cables with other hardware and they are fine. I'm currently plugged into my onboard video VGA. I tried rolling back to older Nvidia drivers, as well as taking out, cleaning, and reseeding the graphics card. But the monitors still just flash "No VGI Connection" and won't display. Switching to the onboard VGA I instantly get the display. BIOS is reading PCI (I tried PCI-e as well but nothing). PSU is only 300watt but I haven't added any hardware or changed my configuration in any way before this issue.

Here's what's odd: Device Manager recognizes the graphics card and says it's working fine, and I used one of Dell's hardware testing programs which put the graphics card through a series of tests which the program said it passes 100%. But for the life of me I can't get a display. So, unless anyone can offer any other tests or ideas, I'm thinking I'll just spend $50-$100 to replace the graphics card and cross my fingers that does it.

Specs:
Dell Inspiron 531
2.8 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core
3GB Memory
Board: Dell Inc. 0RY206 (Serial: CN698617920423)
BIOS: Dell Inc. 1.0.7 11/09/2007
NVIDIA GeForce 6150SW nForce430
300watt PSU

I'd love suggestions on a slightly upgraded card that works with my board and 300watt PSU, or someone to convince me I should upgrade the PSU as well. If any additional information is needed on my end, just let me know. Thanks so much, the help is greatly appreciated.



October 21, 2013 2:12:39 PM

I neglected to mention what may be a very important clue (or perhaps even the culprit). Shortly after the displays went, I got a windows popup that one of my harddrives may be failing. I haven't had a crash or any issues, and have a full backup, but this IS the internal HD that has the OS on it. Could a wonky harddrive be affecting the graphics card/display? I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't think this to be the case at first, just bad timing of 2 computer issues within a few days of each other, but the more I think about it the more closely related these issues may be.
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October 21, 2013 2:17:43 PM

If the hard drive is failing with bad sectors it could be a corrupted display driver.
Do you see anything on screen During post ?
Such as the blue Dell logo or the post screen ? Usually a black background with white text.
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a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
October 21, 2013 2:20:16 PM

You should probably replace the power supply while you are at it just to be sure. Those low wattage OEMs tend to have a fairly short lifespan, that you are probably close to, and it may be causing your harddrive issues as well. (low or noisy 5V and 12V output)

That said, any new cheap $40-50 GPU would be an improvement. Nvidia GT620 1GB would be enough.

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October 21, 2013 2:27:17 PM

Thanks for the quick responses.

Unolocogringo said:

Do you see anything on screen During post ?
Such as the blue Dell logo or the post screen ? Usually a black background with white text.
I see absolutely nothing during post (when plugged into the graphics card), whereas plugged into the onboard VGA I see the black Dell screen that flashes my "hit F2 for... hit F12 for..." options.



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October 21, 2013 2:29:47 PM

Eximo said:
You should probably replace the power supply while you are at it just to be sure. Those low wattage OEMs tend to have a fairly short lifespan, that you are probably close to, and it may be causing your harddrive issues as well. (low or noisy 5V and 12V output)

That said, any new cheap $40-50 GPU would be an improvement. Nvidia GT620 1GB would be enough.


Yeh, thinking a cheap PSU and a $50-$100 GPU I can handle. I just don't want to spend $200-$300 or I might as well just put that all towards a new machine. GT620 looks like a good rec; def works on my mobo? I assume I'd need a 500watt PSU with that, not my 300.

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October 21, 2013 4:36:41 PM

Any other thoughts on repairing/replacing the harddrive, before I pull the trigger on a new PSU and GPU?
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October 22, 2013 4:33:09 AM

Have you ran the windows error checking on the hard drive?
Computer
C: Windows
Tools
Error checking surface scan.
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October 22, 2013 4:39:05 AM

It appears the video card is dead. No display during post is a good indicator
You can also download HD tune to scan the hard drive and check it's Smart status..
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October 23, 2013 5:43:46 AM

Unolocogringo said:
Have you ran the windows error checking on the hard drive?
Computer
C: Windows
Tools
Error checking surface scan.


Running Windows Error-Check on the C drive doesn't seem to show any issues (i.e. "...found no problems"). I'm not seeing a way to attach a file, so pasting the full results of the last 3 scans below (sorry for length):



TimeCreated : 10/22/2013 1:31:09 PM
Message :

Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS.

A disk check has been scheduled.
Windows will now check the disk.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)...
1109504 file records processed.

File verification completed.
798 large file records processed.

0 bad file records processed.

2 EA records processed.

108 reparse records processed.

CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 5)...
1201354 index entries processed.

Index verification completed.
0 unindexed files scanned.

0 unindexed files recovered.

CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 5)...
1109504 file SDs/SIDs processed.

Cleaning up 8 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 8 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 8 unused security descriptors.
Security descriptor verification completed.
45926 data files processed.

CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
36949392 USN bytes processed.

Usn Journal verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
1109488 files processed.

File data verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
100304948 free clusters processed.

Free space verification is complete.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

976759807 KB total disk space.
573906496 KB in 776084 files.
389592 KB in 45927 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
1243927 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
401219792 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
244189951 total allocation units on disk.
100304948 allocation units available on disk.

Internal Info:
00 ee 10 00 05 8b 0c 00 48 22 18 00 00 00 00 00 ........H"......
ff 18 00 00 6c 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ....l...........
68 8d 35 00 50 01 34 00 a8 1a 34 00 00 00 34 00 h.5.P.4...4...4.

Windows has finished checking your disk.
Please wait while your computer restarts.


TimeCreated : 10/22/2013 8:42:07 AM
Message :

Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS.


A disk check has been scheduled.
Windows will now check the disk.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
1109504 file records processed.

File verification completed.
798 large file records processed.

0 bad file records processed.

2 EA records processed.

108 reparse records processed.

CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
1201346 index entries processed.

Index verification completed.
0 unindexed files scanned.

0 unindexed files recovered.

CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
1109504 file SDs/SIDs processed.

Cleaning up 8 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 8 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 8 unused security descriptors.
Security descriptor verification completed.
45922 data files processed.

CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
36031304 USN bytes processed.

Usn Journal verification completed.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

976759807 KB total disk space.
573966016 KB in 776058 files.
389592 KB in 45923 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
1242839 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
401161360 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
244189951 total allocation units on disk.
100290340 allocation units available on disk.

Internal Info:
00 ee 10 00 e7 8a 0c 00 13 22 18 00 00 00 00 00 ........."......
ff 18 00 00 6c 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ....l...........
68 8d 2f 00 50 01 2e 00 a8 1a 2e 00 00 00 2e 00 h./.P...........

Windows has finished checking your disk.
Please wait while your computer restarts.


TimeCreated : 10/18/2013 1:24:34 PM
Message :

Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS.

A disk check has been scheduled.
Windows will now check the disk.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)...
1109504 file records processed.

File verification completed.
796 large file records processed.

0 bad file records processed.

2 EA records processed.

108 reparse records processed.

CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 5)...
1200214 index entries processed.

Index verification completed.
0 unindexed files scanned.

0 unindexed files recovered.

CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 5)...
1109504 file SDs/SIDs processed.

Cleaning up 329 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 329 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 329 unused security descriptors.
Security descriptor verification completed.
45356 data files processed.

CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
33590184 USN bytes processed.

Usn Journal verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
1109488 files processed.

File data verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
100722384 free clusters processed.

Free space verification is complete.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

976759807 KB total disk space.
572241092 KB in 774075 files.
388456 KB in 45357 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
1240723 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
402889536 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
244189951 total allocation units on disk.
100722384 allocation units available on disk.

Internal Info:
00 ee 10 00 f2 80 0c 00 9f 1a 18 00 00 00 00 00 ................
fe 18 00 00 6c 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ....l...........
68 8d 22 00 50 01 21 00 a8 1a 21 00 00 00 21 00 h.".P.!...!...!.

Windows has finished checking your disk.
Please wait while your computer restarts.




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October 23, 2013 5:48:38 AM

Things are getting weirder though. I can see my other internal HD (G drive, a 3TB backup) in My Computer, but it's not showing Used/Free space, and right clicking on it spins forever. When I do get into properties and try to run a Windows Error-Check on the G drive, Tools popup says "The disk check could not be performed because Windows can't access the disk." And obviously I can't simply open it in Explorer>My Computer, or for instance play music via itunes that is pulling from a folder on that drive.

Would it help if I ran HD Tune, or Belarc Advisor, some sort of full scan and posted the results?

P.S. I replaced the PSU last night with a Thermaltake TR2 500watt, just to make sure power wasn't an issue (successful replacement, but no changes with the issues). So what remains are two wonky internal HDs and still no GPU display, despite the GPU fan spinning and system checks showing no GPU issues.
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October 23, 2013 6:31:52 AM

Below are the HD Tune results on the C drive - for Benchmark Test and Health (note Health's #5 FAILED sector):

HD Tune Pro: ST31000333AS Benchmark

Test capacity: full

Read transfer rate
Transfer Rate Minimum : 25.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum : 121.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average : 86.9 MB/s
Access Time : 15.6 ms
Burst Rate : 182.8 MB/s
CPU Usage : 16.0%


HD Tune Pro: ST31000333AS Health

ID Current Worst ThresholdData Status
(01) Raw Read Error Rate 118 99 6 183442523 ok
(03) Spin Up Time 100 99 0 0 ok
(04) Start/Stop Count 98 98 20 2697 ok
(05) Reallocated Sector Count 1 1 36 4095 failed
(07) Seek Error Rate 87 60 30 538764981 ok
(09) Power On Hours Count 75 75 0 21969 ok
(0A) Spin Retry Count 100 100 97 0 ok
(0C) Power Cycle Count 98 98 20 2745 ok
(B8) End To End Error Detection 100 100 99 0 ok
(BB) Uncorrectable Error Count 100 100 0 0 ok
(BC) Command Timeout 100 100 0 1 ok
(BD) Unknown Attribute 1 1 0 214 ok
(BE) Airflow Temperature 59 47 45 689242153 ok
(C2) Temperature 41 53 0 51539607593 ok
(C3) Hardware ECC Recovered 52 25 0 183442523 ok
(C5) Current Pending Sector 100 100 0 0 ok
(C6) Offline Uncorrectable 100 100 0 0 ok
(C7) Interface CRC Error Count 200 200 0 0 ok
(F0) Head Flying Hours 100 253 0 229965433951502 ok
(F1) Unknown Attribute 100 253 0 -44481621 ok
(F2) Unknown Attribute 100 253 0 -1858963566 ok

Health Status : failed





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October 23, 2013 6:35:05 AM

When I switch HD Tune over to the G drive, Info shows capacity of "2861459 MB" (accurate), but blanks under "Free" and "Used", but then the capacity down below only shows 746.5 GB!?

Can you help me make sense of this all? I'm struggling. Thanks, Unoloco.
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October 23, 2013 9:51:20 AM

HD Tune's "Error Scan" of the C drive (the one showing a failed segment above), shows no damaged blocks:

HD Tune Pro: ST31000333AS Error Scan
Scanned data : 999 gB
Damaged Blocks : 0.0 %
Elapsed Time : 3:05:43
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October 23, 2013 1:57:18 PM

Looks like your hard drive is on it's last leg. Most hard drives have extra space on them for reallocating bad sectors. Yours has already reallocated all of the available space it had.
The 329 security descriptor reset above hinted at something being wrong, but could of been from failed overclocks or failing memory.
Now we know for sure the hard drive is failing. I would replace it as soon as possible. Once it fails, all will be lost, unless you have recent backups.

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October 23, 2013 3:52:59 PM

Are you dual booting. Win 7 and XP or Linux OS ?
Or did you install win 7 on another hard drive with xp or vista on the original hard drive.
Win 7 will always make itself drive C. Even if under the other operating systems it shows as D,E,F etc..
The discrepancy in Hard Drive size could be this or the drive has so many bad sectors already marked as bad that the drive only has that much space left.
Once a sector is marked bad it no longer counts in the bad sector count. Only bad sectors that have not been marked as bad count.

Another reason for different sizes.
Hard drive manufacturers count 1000 bytes as 1 megabyte. Windows counts 1 megabyte as 1024 bytes. Also part of the drive space is reserved for the master file table. This amount varies according to drive size and sector size. The larger the drive and the smaller the sector size the more space reserved for the master file table.
As an example my 1000.2 gigabyte hard drive with a 512 bytes per sector shows as 931.5 gigabyte hard drive under win 7.
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October 23, 2013 4:42:01 PM

For posterity, the HD Tune Pro Error Scan of the G Drive:

Hitachi HDS723030ALA Error Scan
Scanned data : 801 gB
Damaged Blocks : 0.0 %
Elapsed Time : 1:51:30

Prior to all these issues starting a week ago, the G drive registered all 3 TB (well, for the reasons you explained above, it registered 2.7 TB or so). I have more than 1.5 TB of files on the G drive, so why now it only shows approximately 750-800 GB of total space is odd to me). That drive never had an OS put on it, it was simply secondary storage to my 1 TB C Drive (that has Windows 7).

I bought another 1 TB internal and plan to load Windows 7 to it, restore a backup, and just chuck the current, failing, 1 TB C drive. But from there I'll still need to figure out why the 3 TB G drive isn't registering at all despite my scans showing no issues with it. Sort of hoping it's somehow related to the failing C drive and replacing C will fix G.

AND THEN on top of all that, the original GPU issue. I misspoke, when I first posted the Nvidia GeForce 6150SW nForce 430. That's my INTEGRATED onboard mobo display - I didn't realize device manage and system scans only show the ACTIVE graphics, so because I am plugged into my onboard display right now, that's what's showing. I need to power off and take out my GPU to determine the exact make/model/etc, but I did borrow a GPU to test in my rig to see if that fixes the original display issues I was having with my monitors.

My original issue has become like 3 different issues! Thanks though, for your continued help. It's much appreciated! I'll report back tonight, but please do share any thoughts on all this.
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October 23, 2013 5:09:56 PM

Many older motherboards, such as your Nforce430 chipset, do not natively support 3tb hard drives. You need extra software in windows or a bios update to support their full size.
It could be that the software was on the bad sectors and was not recoverable.
Do not write to that hard drive until you get windows and the software from your drive manufacturer installed. It could corrupt data that is already on the hard drive by writing over it.
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October 23, 2013 5:20:29 PM

One other option on the video card.
While still connected to the motherboard VGA,boot into the bios by tapping the DELETE key.
Make sure the primary graphics adaptor is set to PCIE or PEG. Save and reboot. Shut the computer off once you hear the post beep with the power button. Swap the monitor cable to the video card and boot the computer.

Hopefully this time you will have display. IF not the video card or the PCIE slot is dead. When you borrowed A video card for testing did it work? This would rule out a bad PCI-E slot.

I have learned so much from Toms members since 1996 that I figure it is my duty to pass along knowledge and help others as repayment.
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October 24, 2013 9:54:34 AM

You're a good man. I'll pay (the knowledge) forward myself.

The borrowed graphics card has both my monitors displaying perfectly! So at least I know it's not the monitors. Unfortunately, the borrowed card is a PCI port while my GPU was in the PCI-E port, so, I still am not 100% if it's my GPU that's dead, or my mobo's PCI-E port that's dead.

But at least now I can go confidently buy a new GPU (PCI-E port since I have one), and that should hopefully do it. If it doesn't, I'll know it's my PCI-E port that's fried.

Also, the borrowed graphics card doesn't have my computer recognizing the full 3 TB secondary (the G drive), so I'm hoping your theory is correct that the onboard chipset wasn't able to recognize a 3TB, but that neither is this borrowed card (it's some old basic GPU). Still hoping a new GPU will recognize the 3 TB HD, leaving just 1 issue, the most risky issue of them all, to fix: the failing HD.

Will report back. Is there a place on here I can give you credit/acknowledgement for the help, besides just selecting one of your answers as the solution? You deserve it. :) 
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October 24, 2013 10:09:05 AM

Unoloco, being the graphics card expert that you are, could you now help me select a GPU upgrade? I had a "Nvidia P402 Geforce 8600GT 256MB Dual DVI Ports".

I'd like to:
-continue using 2 DVI ports, or 1 DVI and 1 VGA, but can always get a splitter
-keep it under $200, for regular but not super high end gaming and video
-use my PCI-E slot, since I have one and if I understand correctly, it's better to use that over PCI if you have one
-ensure the new GPU is compatible with my new 500watt PSU
-ensure the new GPU is compatible with my mobo (Board: Dell Inc. 0RY206 (Serial: CN698617920423)

The one thing I'm most unsured of regarding the GPU purchase, is whether I need to match it to my mobo since my mobo is from 2007. Would love info on that, and a couple recommendations. Thanks!
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October 24, 2013 2:24:37 PM

Scratch the GPU rec request. Grabbed a GeForce GTX 650 1GB that uses DDR5. Definitely a huge upgrade that works with my rig, without breaking the bank. Will report back.
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October 24, 2013 3:14:34 PM

Besides the best answer. Which you do not have to do. Just help someone in need. Whether it be on here or on the street.
Good deeds are good deeds no matter where they happen!!!
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