Graphics Card Issue: "Unknown Device"

First, I would like to thank the Tom's Hardware community for the numerous times they have helped me solve an issue. However, I have finally hit a brick wall that I can not seem to fix. :(

Forgive the long post, but I figured the more I mention now the better.

Here we go...

My computer has been running a friend's old e-GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB video card since I built the system back in December. From the build up until about 3 weeks ago, the card stopped working. I turned my computer off one night after a frustrating hour or two dieing repeatedly in BFBC2, and the next morning I couldn't get a display. The screen was blank, but I could hear Windows (Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit) starting as usual. So I looked inside my case (has a clear side panel) and saw something distressing.

My mother board (ASUS P7P55D Pro) has LEDs built in the help locate and diagnose problems. When I looked at my motherboard the VGA_LED was lit, specifying that the problem was with the video card. I should mention that the video card's fan does still spin, so it is not completely fried.

After several unsuccesful restarts, I unplugged my computer, removed the video card, cleaned it with compressed gas, and reinstalled it; same result. I then tried the card in the two other PCI-e x 16 slots with no luck. I also tried all four of my 6-slot PCIE power cables to see if that was the problem; same result.

Assuming the motherboard may have been the problem, I replaced my 8800 GTS with another video card, a GeForce 9400 GT. The computer started fine. I now knew that the 8800 GTS had to be the issue. Using my 9400 to attempt to solve the issue, I removed all of the 8800's drivers and whatnot (with the help of Driver Sweeper in Safe Mode) to attempt a fresh install of the 8800. After replacing the 9400 with the 8800, I was back to the same problem as before: No display and the VGA_LED on.

I then put both the cards into my computer, and using the monitor attached to the 9400, started up the computer. The VGA_LED did not light up with both cards inserted. Once Windows was loaded, I opened up Device Manager and finally "found" the 8800.

In Device Manager, the 8800 is listed as a 3d Video Controller under the Other Devices tab. It also has one of the yellow hazard signs next to it. When I check the properties of the 3d Video Controller, it shows that the device is unknown, as is the manufacturer. When I try to update the drivers automatically by having Windows search my computer and the internet, it says that it can not locate the drivers. Knowing that the 3d Video Controller is definitely the 8800, I went to NVIDIA's site and downloaded the drivers for my OS manually. When I tried to update the drivers by manually locating the downloaded driver folder, it again said it could not locate the drivers, even though they in fact were there.

In my last attempt to fix the issue, I right clicked the 3d Video Controller in the Device Manager and uninstalled the device. After restarting the computer, Windows notified me that it could not install the Display Adapter (i.e. the 8800) because it did not meet the minimum DirectX requirement of supporting DirectX 9.0 or newer. Again, this is ludicrous since the 8800 can support up to DirectX 10.0.

As of right now, I have no idea of what else to try. If anyone has any suggestions, I appreciate any and all help. Thank you in advance!
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More about graphics card issue unknown device
  1. I have the same problem with my xfx 8600gt. Please help.
  2. I tested my graphics card in another pc. It worked fine. Now I am sure that the problem is with my motherboard. It is time to get it replaced.
  3. Dont let windows get involved with the driver instalation process. Uninstall the drivers Both sets and start from scratch. Put the 8800 Drivers on the desktop as its easier.
    So thats. Uninstall drivers/Power down/ Install the 8800 in the primary PCIE lane.
    Power up and ignore windows when it says its found new hardware etc, close any baloons and boxes that come up and when you have done that then open and run the drivers. This should install the correct driver package, which is usually what the yellow triangle was about, wrong or no propper drivers found for the device.

    If that dosent work then you could be looking at needing to do a fresh install of windows.

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