HELP! Cant get the display working! Tried 2 cards!

Before I begin, here are my PC specs.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 at 2.83 ghz with stock cooler.
2 gigs DDR 2 667mhz Kingston Value Ram. (no heat sinks)
Asus Striker 680i SLi
Western Digital 320gb hdd
Samsung 80gb hdd
"high power" 500 watt PSU
2 LG dvd-cdrw drives
LG 1280x1024 "Flatron" monitor. 1 VGA input.

Also, I have tried using 2 separate VGA-DVI-I adapters and 1 VGA cable. However the cable has working fine for about 3 years now starting with a Geforce FX 5200.

About a year ago I got an old ATI X700 to use with my PC.When I first installed the X700 the drivers were installed fine and everything seemed to be working OK. I didnt game a lot so I cant comment on the performance but as I said, everything seemed OK. I remember trying to overclock it with ATI Tool and got maybe 50-100 more mghz on the core but I didnt save the settings as default. In other words, the computer would boot it up at stock speeds, I would only 'switch profiles' when I wanted.

However, one day when trying to update my drivers I ran into an error. I uninstalled the old ones fine but while trying to install the new ones ( at the time it was probably 7.9 or something like that) the install failed with an "Severe Display Error". It should be noted stuff like Catalyst Control Center stuff seemed to install OK, it was only the core display drivers that wouldnt install. I would later try stuff like 7.12, 8.3 etc but I would get the same error. I dont remember when I stopped but I think the last time was 8.6. By then I had just given up...

About the lack of drivers (while using VGA) there are interesting notes. Every time i turn on my PC Windows will ask 2 (not 1) times to install drivers for my 'vga compatible card'. I have tried 'manually selecting the drivers' and letting 'windows search' for them. Both times it wont find them or wont install. Because of this I now just click 'cancel' when it comes up.

This is a problem that is continuing right now. Eventually what I did was totally uninstall the ATI drivers. The PC will boot up and even play video fine but I dont think it sees the X700 except as a VGA plug. If I right click in windows and go to Display Properties, it says " 1280x1024 on " with a blank where it typically writes the graphics card. GPU-Z also cant detect the card.

I recently bought a DVI-I to VGA adapter and tried it on the X700. While I will boot to Windows, the color settings are all messed up. It runs at a color depth of 4 bits and a resolution of 640x480. Any time I try to 'upgrade' the settings from display properties the screen will just flash for a second then keep the same settings. However, windows will ask " do I want to keep these settings?" so its clear Windows tried to change the settings.

DURING BOOT UP THE RESOLUTION WITH DVI IS THE SAME AS WITH VGA. What I mean is that the windows loading screen (with the blue bars) are the same resolution as with VGA. Its when I actually get to XP that the resolution goes out.

Here something weird: When I boot up with VGA my PC will show the Asus "Republic of Gamers" logo and then go to the bios screen where it lists stuff like my CPU for a second before going to Windows. When I am using DVI however this doesnt happen. No Asus image is shown and at the beginning all I see " ATI rv470 ATOM BIOS" or something similar. Later it will go to the Windows boot up.

I originally thought this was an X700 only problem but I have different errors with the 2900XTs.

About a month ago I got a pair of used 2900XTs from a friend. He said 1 was damaged but wasnt sure which one.

Anyways, when I try to boot up with these cards all I get is a black screen.(NOT in cross fire mode, both get a black screen when just by themsevles) All the fans in the case will be blowing and I will hear the HDDs clicking around. After a while the PC will start beeping and turn off. I have the SAME problem with both 2900s. I have tried BOTH of my PCIe x 16 slots as well as BOTH of the DVI ports on the cards.

It should be noted that sometimes the cards' fan will blow for a second, then stop, blow for a second then stop. Other times it will just blow constantly. I forgot when this happens but its either only on 1 card (like 1 will always stop and go, stop and go) and the other will always blow. OR its something to do with the DVI ports. What I mean is the same thing happens on both cards, with 1 DVI port making it blow on and off and the other making it constant.

I realize that could be important, but since the cards are identical it can get confusing. Both ways, BOTH CARDS WILL NOT SHOW A SCREEN so thats the bottom line.

FYI with the 2900s I'm using a 6 plug, not 8 plug power cable. However, I have tried to separate plugs (they are on the same line though) but there was no difference.

What do you think the problem is? Maybe my XP install? I know its not 'clean' and might have a messed registry because of the drivers (??)
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More about help display working cards
  1. anyone have any ideas? If its not clear I'd be happy to post a clearer summary of what happened...
  2. not to be rude or anything but does anyone have any ideas about how to fix this?
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