Bizarre problem with MSI Geforce 260 GTX

Hopefully someone can help me here. I have a MSI Geforce N260GTX that I've had for about a year. I took it out of my machine the other day in order to remove a hard drive, and after replacing, I now receive the "Video driver has stopped responding and has recovered successfully" error whenever the 3D hardware is accessed. What I mean is, if I turn aero and glass off in win7, everything is ok. But can't run games, or anything that uses 3D.

This is not a driver issue, as it happens in mac osx on the same motherboard, as well as in my other computers. I must have done something to the card somehow either when I removed it or reinstalled it.

I thought maybe the card bent, and the heatsink came away from the gpu, so I removed the heatsink, applied arctic silver 5 (which lowered temps btw), but didn't stop the crashing when 3D hardware is accessed. I visually inspected the card and see no scratches or other damage.

The only thing I notice is a specific piece of hardware, labelled "APL1117". It's a small regulator on the underside of the card, approx. 1/4" wide with 3 terminals. Two terminals are soldered, but the middle terminal extends about 1mm out of the regulator but doesn't connect to anything. I can't tell if it is supposed look like that, or if it maybe broke off. There is a small pool of solder underneath, so it makes me think maybe it once connected there but snapped off during the removal/install.

I can't find any hi-res photos of the underside of a 260gtx, so I'm wondering if anyone else has the same or similar card, and can check to see if their's has a APL1117 regulator with two connected terminals and one non-connected in the middle. I can't take a photo, but the regulator is a black 1/4 inch rectangle on the underside of the card, approx. 1" from where the pcie power connectors are mounted.

I would buy a different card, but this specific one happens to be extremely compatible with osx and is hard to find for sale anymore. Thanks in advance for any help with this.
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  1. Can maybe this picture help you? I know it's not the same model but it's from MSI and class is 2xx.

    Check this picture on this link

    Btw i wounder, are you really sure that you didn't damage the card with static electricity when you removed it or reinstalled it?
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