Okay, so recently I replaced a graphics card for a friend, and now I've got a problem. When I boot up the computer, everything works fine. The graphics look fine, I can get to the log-on screen, go online, do basic tasks, etc. HOWEVER, whenever I try to run a game, I get incredibly low fps, about 2 fps. The graphics card itself should definitely be able to handle it, as should the rest of the system (Core 2 Duo at 2.4 GHz, 2GB DDR2 RAM, GeForce 8600 GTS, and I'm trying to run Dragon Age on the lowest settings, though all games have the same issue). I suspected a driver issue, though I CANNOT get into device manager; I try to access it, the little loading circle spins around, but nothing happens. I am able to get to it in safe mode though. I uninstalled/reinstalled the drivers, but the problem didn't go away. I uninstalled them and tried to access device manager while running windows normally and I still couldn't get to it. I've run full virus scans both in safe mode and normally (with Malwarebytes, SpyBot, AVG) and while Malwarebytes and SpyBot initially found viruses, I removed them and did the whole uninstall/reinstall process again and nothing new happened. Pulling out my friends card and installing mine (GeForce 9400 GT) also doesn't change anything. I asked a guy and he said he's sure it's not a hardware issue and instead something is running in the background (task manager doesn't report anything hogging the memory or cpu). Since 3 different anti-viruses still haven't removed anything that fixed the problem, if that is the case then I'm not sure what's doing it. Has anyone ever seen this problem, and if so, how did they fix it? If you need anymore information I'll try to be as descriptive as I can. Thanks in advance to anyone that helps!
You could try a repair install of Vista, but I have a feeling that would be a waste of time and you have probably already spent some time on it in frustration.
At this stage I would backup, bite the bullet, format the partition and start from scratch. This is probably not what you want to hear, but may well be quicker in the long run, with the benefit of a nice clean system.