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System Freeze after installing GX750TI into Dell Optiplex 780 MT

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 16, 2014 7:39:18 AM

Computer:
Dell Optiplex 780 MT
Win 7 64-bit
305w PSU (OEM)

I swapped video cards yesterday in my Dell Optiplex 780 MT. I previously had an nVidia 8800 GT and I replaced it with an nVidia GX750TI. I tin-snipped a few squares from the back of the case so that it would fit.

Process: Removed the nVidia drivers installed in the computer, shut down, removed the 8800 GT, installed the GX750TI. It started up and Win 7 auto detected and installed the card. I then installed the current drivers from EVGA (337.88 WHQL). Rebooted and it froze a few seconds after logging in. By freeze I mean that the mouse pointer still moves, I can toggle the keyboard lights, but nothing responds on the monitor. Can't Ctrl-Alt-Delete to bring up the task manager, nor click on anything, etc.

I rebooted into safe mode thinking maybe the auto detect messed something up. In safe mode I removed all the drivers (except the nVidia physek driver which said it could not be removed in safe mode). I reinstalled the drivers from EVGA. Rebooted.

System came up fine. I was able to open up Skyrim and play for about 20 minutes or so and then the computer froze again.

Now it freezes every time about 2-3 seconds after logging in. I have booted into safe mode and uninstalled/reinstalled drivers but that hasn't fixed anything. On a whim I swapped cards back out (put the 8800 GT back in) but the system still locks up.

I thought perhaps I had a memory stick go bad (coincidentally at the same time I replaced the video card?), and pulled one then the other, but no change.

I am curious if perhaps the PSU was stressed, even though from reports I have read that the GTX750TI has a very low power draw and a 300w PSU is enough. But if it did, would it cause this type of behavior?

Any ideas of things I can check?

Thank you
July 16, 2014 7:47:08 AM

Put back the old GPU and re-test? Or did you do that and I missed it in my reading?
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July 16, 2014 8:06:34 AM

"On a whim I swapped cards back out (put the 8800 GT back in) but the system still locks up."

Yep, I did that. I didn't go through the "uninstall all video drivers, put the old card back in, boot into safe mode, install drivers for it, reboot and see what happens." I can certainly do that if there isn't anything else I should try first.

It seems to run fine in safe mode; ie., no freezing. Just when I boot normally it freezes a few seconds after I log in. Makes me think it is a driver issue but I'm not sure how to fix that beyond what I've done already. :( 
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July 16, 2014 9:54:58 AM

Sorry I missed that. If it runs fine in safe mode, try downloading not the latest drivers but one or two older. Might be an issue in recent drivers?
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July 16, 2014 10:24:45 AM

Yeah, I can and will give that a try. It ran for like 20 minutes once, which made me wonder that perhaps it was a PSU issue (I've read a number of threads commenting about needing to upgrade the PSU, even though the card reviews say it should be fine with a 300W PSU). But honestly, I'm just grasping at straws trying to figure out what to do to fix this.

I'll give that a shot tonight after work and will post back with my findings. If that doesn't work then I'll uninstall all drivers and put the old card back in and install its drivers and see if the system will work again.

If anyone else has other insights or advice, I'm all ears. This definitely made a happy evening (Yay! New graphics card make games look pretty!) turn into a real downer. :( 
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July 17, 2014 6:43:13 AM

Welp, the problem seems to be fixed for the time being though I'm perplexed as to why.

Last night I booted into safe mode and ran the dell diagnostic tool for "freezes/slow performance/etc." It didn't find anything. I then downloaded ccleaner as an obscure post somewhere (I forget where) mentioned that sometimes video card problems were related to corrupt/old registry entries and to run that for a solution. This despite a ton of posts that I've seen that ccleaner and its ilk do very little good. Well, I'm grasping at straws, right?

I ran ccleaner and it came up with a number of files to clean up, including some nVidia files. I went ahead and had it clean (ie., delete) them, and then rebooted. And everything works. I let the kids watch some youtube vids, and skyrim was loaded for an hour or so and had no issues.

So... yeah. Maybe something of an old driver was around causing a problem? Or it just resolved itself? I guess we'll see if it comes back at some point, but for now it seems to work.
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