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Is my graphics card dead? Warning! Long and Challenging.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 25, 2009 6:22:22 AM

Let me tell you about a problem I’ve been having with my pc before I fill you in on my GPU because I think they are related. So this other problem has been going on for about 6-8 months and just gotten worse over time. Every time I restart my PC whether it’s an actual restart, or first power up, my PC boots up for about 3-4 seconds, and then shuts down and repeats the process three times. When it tries it for the third time it boots up fine and everything just works great how it should be. I say it got worse over time because it use to never do it at every boot up. Also it would sometimes boot up after trying once rather than twice. I never knew the problem until the other day. So let call this the “fail loop”.
So I knew my GPU started to act funny when I booted it up and neither of my 2 monitors would receive a signal. My PC boots up perfectly because when I connect the one monitor to the onboard VGA everything works fine. My video card ( 8800 GT) also isn’t showing in device manager. Only thing showing was and now is onboard graphics. It took me frequent restarts to get it working with my GPU again. So this started happening about a month ago, and I got scared to restart or shutdown my PC again. So last week I had to windows update, and the update was a windows defender database update so I know that was not the problem. I booted my Pc and had to wait through the short fail reboot loop and it happened again, but this time I wasn’t able to get my GPU working with simple restarts. I removed the GPU and booted, and quickly realized it booted smoothly without the fail loop. To make sure the PCI 2.0x16 slot was working I plugged in a TV tuner, and when I booted windows it quickly recognized the new device and installed the software. So it was either a driver problem or the GPU was finally dead after 1.5 year and a half of stress, and when I say stress I mean daily gaming and use with no over clocks and the fan at full speed. I was actually waiting for it to die. It previously had a problem with the fan scratching against the top metal plate, but it fixed by itself.

So let’s get to the drivers. I always updated the drivers to make sure my gaming was a small fraction smoother than before. I never had a problem with them or ever uninstalled any of them. So when I try to update to the latest version it tells me I don’t have any hardware for the driver, and that’s because my motherboard doesn’t read the GPU. So I went to the manufactures site and downloaded the driver they installed when they shipped it, and it tells me that my operating system is wrong because I switched from vista to 7. I tried compatibility and it didn’t work. I tried a variety of drivers and tried the whole safe mode thing and I either get the wrong OS error, or no hardware for driver error. So I’m starting to think the GPU is dead. Problem is I don’t know anyone with a PC to test my GPU. So I’m not sure if I should just purchase another one.
I tried messing with BIOS as well, and no luck.
I’m using Windows 7, previously upgraded from Vista.
4 gigs of RAM, Quad core 2.4 GHZ processor. Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT.

Please help. Thanks.
December 25, 2009 12:07:24 PM

Usually when the system reboots its having an issue configuring something on the motherboard and is trying different settings.

Can you get to the BIOS? Video card is working. Look at memory timings and volts. IS the fan spinning?
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September 28, 2010 10:30:11 AM

i'm reviving this because i have a pc system with the EXACT same problem!


SO DO NOT DELETE THIS THREAD PLESAE!! this is a bug in the system a few people are having for pcs a few years back!


my PC TOO, also boots up for about 3-4 seconds, and then shuts down and repeats the process three times, then it boots windows normally, and then there would also be no signal detected message on the monitor after windows has loaded!



i have a geforce 8300 card, with phoenix bios




i asked everywhere, i checked everything, then it ALSO occurred to me that the mobo bios might be switching between profiles on startup because its always 3 times and then the video card and system would work perfectly and boot as it should afterwards!

because the video card is not getting a DVI signal from the monitor; YES, my monitor has the exact SAME signals problem as you! for me my monitor is plugged to DVI port.

whenever i turn off my monitor, i did it before i turn off my pc

the next time when i start up the pc again, and then turn on the monitor, i would also get no signal message!

the system would then be on motherboard VGA, and exactly as you described, the graphics card is gone, it disappeared!!!


but exactly like yours, when i let the pc restart 3 times with my monitor plugged to my graphics card, my graphics card would boot up perfectly and the monitor would work fine as if nothing had happened!

it's been like this for 2 years!


to sum-up:

and so if we let our pc restart 3 times when it boots up, with the monitor plugged to our graphics card, everything would work fine! we get our screen, the geforce graphics card works perfectly!

BUT! if we let the monitor stays off, or unplug it from the geforce card before we power on the pc,

it would boot with mobo VGA mode, and NO geforce card will show up in device manager, the card would become....dead/ detectable no matter what we try! it just wouldn't show up!

and the next thing we'll do, is we'll power off the pc
then we plug the monitor to the geforce and turn it on
AND THEN WE POWER ON THE PC

VA-LA!!!

your monitor would get the signal, you'll see your desktop, and your graphics card will be in full working order again!



so don't delete this thread! this means our video cards are not broken! this is a bug nobody knows about!

there is obviously an incompatibility between our bios and video card,
and i can assure all of you that neither his pc, nor mine have power problems.


for me the pc 3 restart during bootup thing began when i started to turn off my monitor BEFORE i turn off my pc, and then i would power-on the pc first before i poower-on the monitor, and then i start to frequently get the no-signal thing. i managed to actually heal it for a while, i tried it a few times and it stopped the bootup 3 restarts, but it doesn't work anymore. you might want to try this.

what i did was going to "log out" in vista, then log back in, then go to "switch user", and again log back in. what happens here is that your geforce card will switch your monitor off and on and to standby for a brief few seconds, i assume it would recalibrate it back to normal..anyways, nexy thing you do, is restart the pc twice, because the second time it restarts, you'll notice that it would restart without the bootup 3 restarts, and then when your pc boots, go ahead and turn off your pc when you're done BUT LEAVE THE MONITOR TO GO IN STANDBY, DON"T EVER TURN IT OFF AGAIN UNLESS YOUR PC IS POWERED DOWN!!! I REPEAT DON"T LET your geforce card EVER LOSE THE SIGNAL EVER AGAIN!!!!! the next time you turn it on, the restart lopp problem should be gone!

for me, the loop problem was gone for 3 months, but because of my old habit, i again made the serious mistakes of turning off my monitor right before and after my pc turns off, after a couple times, the problem returned.


the pc i own is a dell, so is my monitor, my bios is called phoenix or something, and you can i both have the ame brand of geforce8 series card, my whole system with the monitor was bought from dell a year ago, would yours happen to be the same brand and have the same bios? well i'm glad to know that there's another person with the same problem as i do.

you're right our systems can't take all these restarts, restarting twice for us means our pc will have to autoloop restart 6 times, that is not good for our pc, i just had a catastrophic HDD failure last week and it took 9 restarts before it works again.

i look forward to your reply, and please do!
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a c 271 U Graphics card
September 28, 2010 10:36:51 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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