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HELP!! Graphics card suddenly not working/not detected?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 12, 2011 8:06:00 PM

Hi,

I've had my system for a few years now, no problems until last night and then its all gone wrong? Was watching a video at the time then picture went purple, froze and then suddenly black. Restarted computer first boot up screen looks funny, login screen and desktop are down to minimum colours etc and no graphics card detected. Have tried reinstalling latest drivers but no difference. Have taken out the card and reinserted and still no difference?? It was quite dusty inside when I opened up the computer but have blown most of it out. I am getting a picture but its really basic colours and 640x480 and shows as no monitor detected on both my TV or another monitor. Pretty sure I don't have onboard video on motherboard either so not sure how I'm getting a picture? I've tried My computer knowledge is a bit limited these days so stuck for ideas now. Config is below:

Mobo Nvidia 680i SLI
GPU Nvidia 8800 gtx
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E6750
Ram 2x 1GB Corsair DDR2800
PSU Thermaltake toughpower 750W
HDD 1 x WD raptor 150GB (running o/s) + 2 Seagate storage drives
O/S Win 7 Home Premium
Case Cosmos coolermaster 1000

Think that covers it. Any ideas welcome, really need help on this, really hope GPU isn't bust. Will give more details on request.

Thanks
Tom
January 12, 2011 8:16:10 PM

Also the fan on the card appears to be working if that makes any difference?
January 12, 2011 8:42:08 PM

There are some possibilities:

1) Your graphics card just died, and is barely hanging in there. Might be time for a new one. If possible a good test would be to put in another older video card and see what happens. But often when they die you can't post, so that might not be it.

Or:

2) Heat from other components going bad can also cause disruptions on the graphics buss. For example, a bad or dying fan on a cpu or motherboard chipset can cause overheating, which then results in errors like you are getting. So it might not be the graphics card. Check ALL fans you see inside the case, and make sure they are spinning FAST. If your BIOS has a hardware monitor, check any temperatures and FAN RPM's to be sure everything is normal. Unless you have huge fans, you should see RPM's above 1,300.

Or:

3) There is a cable connection loose somewhere. Double check all connections, including at the monitor.

Or:

4) Might be time to pull, clean and reseat your RAM. If you have never done this, you should. Carefully. And always disconnect power cable BEFORE any of all this. That is safer and surer than using the PSU switch.
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a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 8:45:56 PM

Sounds like safe mode... Even window's generic video drivers show the full stuff and you can change the rez...

1.) What anti-virus you running?
2.) What drivers are you downloading?
3.) Run memtest86.... See if that RAM could be the problem... Run it for a couple of hours and see if it pulls up any errors...
4.) Do you have an extra GPU that you could test it with?
5.) You running on VGA or DVI or HDMI?
6.) Did you get any error messages? If so please post them
7.) Is the video card burned in any areas?

8.) You could remove the heatsink and as long as you have spare thermal paste (you can pick it up at radioshack though the best kind in my opinion is Artic Silver 5). And see if its burned there? If so throw the card out and get another. If there isn't then apply the heatsink and put it back in.

What were you running besides the video?
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 8:46:50 PM

+1 on the reseating of the RAM, checking your cables, and that you vid card might still be with us :) 

When messing with the RAM flip the switch, pull the plug, and press the power button. Then touch the power supply before messing with any components...
January 12, 2011 9:16:33 PM

Ok, just in bios now and temps as follows

CPU 50c/122f
Board 34c/93f
MCP 85c/185f

All fans appear to be working, there are some big ones on the case as well. Anyway, only Cpu and chassis fan2 are showing RPM. Aux fan, nforce fan and chassis fan aren't showing as spinning? Weird as it seems they are?

Another thing with bios is on front page at very very bottom in grey it shows as 'SLI - Ready Memory - Not Detected'. I'm not running and never have run SLI but not sure if this makes a difference, just never noticed it before?

Am running through LCD TV DVI-HDMI, have tried on a monitor DVI-VGA and same result, and have used both DVI ports on back of GPU.

Doesn't appear to be burnt anywhere. No error messages. Am running Microsoft Essentials Security. I don't have any other graphics cards to try. Latest nvidia drivers which I think are 260.99. Wasn't doing anything else apart from watching a video. I can't remove any heatsinks either as I have got any paste left.

I have never reseated ram but can try. Will run memtest86 as well afterwards.

Hope this helps

Oh and yeah display looks like safemode style in terms of colours and res

Thanks for replies guys
January 12, 2011 9:19:03 PM

I've also noticed second boot screen with the table bit on displays like normal, but first doesn't and windows loading bit doesn't either, they have lots of random lines across, although can still read text. Bios displays normally too
January 12, 2011 9:24:17 PM

Aha, just found something new. Just gone into device manager and my graphics card is shown in there with what I think is meant to be a yellow exclamation mark next to it. Anyway right clicked it, went to properties and and says Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems (code 43)
January 12, 2011 9:26:01 PM

The evidence is pointing to your card!
Can you test that Graphics card in another PC?
January 12, 2011 9:39:41 PM

Only one other PC in house and can't test it in that as it's too old. Is code 43 particularly bad then? Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question but a quick search on google doesn't seem too positive? Found an old thread on here (2009/early 2010) through search, lots of people with 8800's getting the same problem, no one seems to know much about it though?
January 12, 2011 10:08:01 PM

MCP temp at 85C is kind of high. Not unheard of, just high- for idle. That's the North Bridge (NB) chip. You may have to remove/reseat the NB heatsink with good paste to get temps down. If it's that high at idle, it's conceivable that it failed at a much higher temperature under load- like when watching videos in high res. It could have permanently damaged the board, sorry to say.

Either way, you still have strong evidence though that it is the video card at this point. So just plan a decent upgrade that can carry you into the next system if it turns out to be the NB heatsink instead of the card. But yep, looking like a card unless you get through the heatsink problem and it works again. I don't think it will though if you damaged the NB.

Good luck.
January 13, 2011 2:11:01 PM

On the NB chip does it have a fan that blows on it if not get one from a electronics store and point it at it, also applying new thermal paste on the NB is good advise from studioman22.

On my brothers system it would spike to 78 C at idle so I remedied this by adding a extra fan pointed at the NB chip and it brought it back down to @53 C.

the only difference is I used a temp sensor that I put on the heat sink to get he reading and that his motherboard was brand new.

As another option is to get another larger heat sink for the NB chip.
January 21, 2011 10:54:02 PM

Right then, after some helo from a friend it turned out it the GPU had overheated and died :(  Dust appears to be the culprit, stupidly didn't clean it out so only have myself to blame, especially as one of the sides of the case wouldn't properly close allowing more dust to get in. A card which cost me nearly £400 when I bought ruined over something so easy to avoid, lessons have been learnt.

My firend has leant me and old ATI X800 GT to get me by for now, sounds really loud which is annoying but hey ho got my computer running again. Now on the hunt for a new card, this time something a bit cheaper, don't have much need to get top performing cards these days. As long as it's minimum same standard as what I had and nvidia I'll be happy. Probably either GT 430, GTS 450 or at a push maybe GTX 469, but not 100% sure, depends on price, sadly it's so as cheap in the UK as it is in the US, especially as I don't really need anything too fancy.

Thanks for you help and suggestions everyone, much appreciated
a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 8:04:22 PM

If you want something that will do you well, but keep on the cheap side you could go with the ATI 5770.... Great card for a very small price. The ATI 5830 might be coming down in price too (But not a ton of difference from the 5770)...

I have the GTX 460 and it performs great :) . It is a little more expensive though.

So I would look at the:
ATI 5770
ATI 5830
GTS 450
GTX 460

After the GTX 560 comes out in a few weeks look for a GTX 460 that goes on a bargain deal.
a c 172 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 8:21:21 PM

Try baking your 8800gtx, this is somewhat common cause of death of any G80 derived card. Look else ware online for a guide how to bake this card and this card has a decent success rate which you can limp on till you can upgrade. If it doesn't work then at least you tired. It is the result of cooling and heating cycles weakening the bonding resulting in micro fractures that cause premature failure. As for the NB this isn't new and common on 775 nvidia boards but you can always slap a new cooler from Thermalright ect that will do the job.
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