"New" PC only sometimes detecting graphics card, exhausted all the options I can think of, please give me ideas

I'm completely new to building PCs and I recently inherited a PC from a friend, with the exception of the SSD he was using. So I had to reinstall a new windows os on my HDD, and everything worked fine except for the graphics card. Now, please bear with me while I explained to you the whole story of what happened:

First, there were some issues with the graphics card sometimes not detecting on booting. After rebooting (sometimes more than once), it will be okay again.
Second, I've tried installing the graphics card drivers when the PC was able to detect the GPU. The first time I tried installing, it installed with success, and I restarted the PC. However, on rebooting, the screen was black. I then switched to the on board graphics and discovered that the PC no longer detects the GPU and it doesn't even seem like there was any installation of drivers. Before installation, the AMD autodetect was able to see the GPU, but after rebooting, it no longer detects anything as well. Now, to be clear, when it doesn't detect the GPU, I meant it doesn't show up in the device manager, and all I see is the Standard VGA Graphics Adapter. When I right clicked on my desktop however, I do see an AMD manager, but when I tried to open it, it says no AMD drivers detected (which is rather strange to me since when I used DDU to uninstall the AMD drivers later the DDU software was able to find and delete them from the registry).

I then used system restore to restore everything back to how it was before I installed the GPU drivers. I also used DDU to uninstall the AMD drivers to make sure, and then when I rebooted after uninstalling everything, the PC was able to detect the GPU again, and I was able to install the AMD drivers successfully, again. After installing the drivers and rebooting, it worked! However, after I left the computer for a period of time and it went into sleep, I woke it up and discovered that the computer crashed while trying to wake up from sleep, with the error message "Your system's firmware did not preserve the system memory map across hibernation". Turns out, my powercfg -a returns that my system only supports Hibernation, which, I've read only happens if you're using Standard VGA Graphics Adapter. I assume this means that my GPU was unable to be detected again on startup, unless there's some other meaning associated with this? I would assume that even if the GPU cannot be detected again after installation of the AMD drivers, there wouldn't be an issue with the hibernation...but I guess not?

Anyways, ever since I rebooted from sleep, I've tried to reboot and get the PC to detect the GPU again, and I've tried the same process I did the second time the installation worked, and nothing seems to be working, and the GPU refuses to be detected now.

I've made sure Windows is completely updated, and I downloaded and installed all the drives associated with my motherboard, with the exception of the onboard graphics drivers. Update: To be specific, I installed the audio, chipset, LAN, USB drivers on this page:

I also have Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 and .NET Framework (v 4.5).

I've also tried reseating the GPU, and that didn't help. My BIOS should be up to date (it is currently F18, although there are two more "beta versions" out, and I tried installing them but it said that I did not have the right system or something). I've tried changing the settings of my BIOS to display the PCIE graphics card as the primary one, but it always resets back to auto after reboot. I've read that my motherboard sometimes have issues with this and with detecting graphics card in the PCIE slot, but I assume if it worked with my friend's SSD, and the only thing that changed was the hard drive and the OS, it shouldn't be a hardware problem, right?

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
GPU: AMD R9 280X
OS: Windows 7 64 bits

Thanks for reading through all that, and please let me know if there are any other ideas I can try, I'm desperate.
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about detecting graphics card exhausted options give ideas
  1. To summarise: R9 280X is sometimes recognised by system. When it isn't, Windows doesn't recognise any graphics hardware there.

    Immediate reaction is either faulty PCI-E slot or faulty graphics card.

    You mention reseating the graphics card. Have you tried the other PCI-E slot to rule out a faulty slot? It seems odd to detect the graphics card occasionally.

    Do you know the PSU make and model? (I wonder if the PSU is sufficient.)
  2. Hey, sorry for the late response. I missed the notification for the reply, and I actually managed to solve the problem by unplugging the hard drive and replugging in the hard drive (which is rather strange to me), and so far the system has been detecting the graphics card fairly consistently. However, I have these weird artifacts in my browser sometimes, and the GPU idle temperature is at 70 degrees for some reason. I have also never found the solution to the hibernation issue that caused my computer to crash in the first place and I simply turned hibernation off.
    Edit: To clarify, by weird artifacts, I mean when I'm playing videos there are sometimes lines across it, and sometimes I can see the screen flicker just once, as though it is refreshing the monitor or something. I've checked my DVI cable, and it is secure.

    Edit: In response to your question, I did not try the other PCI-E slot yet. PSU is Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W. I've seen some posts indicating that that could be the problem but I'm not sure why the PCI-E slot would suddenly be faulty if all I changed was a hard drive.
  3. Best answer
    When you mentioned artifacts I immediately thought of the current nVidia card situation with gifs (which happens on my PC). Oddly, unchecking the hardware acceleration option in the web browser solved the artifacting for me. Seems unlikely the AMD cards would have the same issue but strange things happen. There has been a new driver released since you initially posted, I believe. Might be worth updating your graphics drivers if you haven't already.

    PSU seems sufficient too, so no concerns there.

    Good to know things are up and running again.
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