OK, I'm not totally stupid when it comes to computers, but this issue I think is a bit over my head.
Last week the computer decided it was time to download some new windows update. After it updated, when I rebooted, all was well. Then about 3 hours later, the computer rebooted itself while my wife was surfing. The PC restarted but the display never came back after the Windows Scroll bar thing. The monitor actually shut down.
I didn't realize at first that it was just the monitor, but more on that later.
After many attempts at starting in safe mode, and system restores, I said screw it and did a complete "back to shipped condition" reload. (Computer is an HP a6400f, I have upgraded this computer with a new power supply and PNY GeForce 9600 when I bought the rig, about 8 months ago. HP has a "Fail Safe" if nothing else works, start over option).
This involves basically formatting and reloading windows at factory settings. About halfway through the format, I got a fail notice. Restarted the computer, would not boot, as the "boot path" was "missing".
At this point, I thought I had stumbled across the problem by accident.
I thought "Hard drive won't format, must be a bad hard drive." So I went out and bought a new one.
Installed it. No problem. Wasn't too difficult. Installed Windows. (Vista 64 Ultimate. ) No problem there either. Feeling really good about myself. Told the wife all was well. Computer booted up at I think 800x600. I went and changed it to 1680X1050. All good. I'm happy! Not for long.
Very next step was to download the drivers for my gforce 9600. Easy download, easy install.
Same freakin problem I had last week. Reboot, no signal to the monitor. So in a fit, I turned off the monitor, then back on again. I have a display now, but its locked at 1024 by 768. I have no option to increase it. So I restored back to original windows drivers, back to 1680x1050. reinstalled nvidia drivers. No good.
I have since tried the latest build from nVidia, tried an older build from nvidia, and now I have uninstalled and deleted evry driver I tried from nvidia, and am using the standard vga driver that comes with windows. I'm back to 160x1050, with no upgradeed video capability from the good card.
Any ideas? Is the video card bad? If I replace it and have the same issue, the wife is going to shoot me.
If your system has an existing onboard graphics chip, go in to the setup mode from the boot screen. (should be the f1 or delete key, something like that).
You will probably have to go to an advanced menu, then locate either PCI devices or onboard devices an try to locate your gpu (should be the model name) and disable it.
Boot windows again and see if there are any preinstalled drivers for that onboard chip and uninstall them. Reboot the computer and try installing the nvidia drivers for your 9600 card again.
If you still have problems, blame the card and see what help you can get by way of PNYs technical support.
Well I think that a6400f has the ol Intel G33 Express Graphics. You need to go into the BIOS and disable the onboard video. After you do that boot into safe mode (just to be safe ^_^) and uninstall all your video drivers. Then boot up normally and install the nVidia drivers. Vista only allows for one video driver to be installed, thus if you have onboard video enabled it may try and load the Intel video driver while it's loading the nVidia video driver, and since it can't see your 9600 as an intel device or your G33 as an nVidia 8200 or something, well it just goes crazy and shoots it's own head off .