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GeForce 8800M GTS boots only to a black screen

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 2, 2011 12:50:03 AM

Apologies in advance for the long post, but I'm getting desparate...

What started this: I was playing World Of Warcraft when the computer froze and went to a pink screen. Was a bit random, I wasn't raiding or anything just questing. So I manually restarted the computer, and it would only boot to a black screen with a cursor on it. I've had this happen before, so I rebooted in to Safe Mode, uninstalled the driver and went to reinstall it. That's when the fun started...

I have a Gateway P-6860FX laptop with a GeForce 8800M GTS card running on Windows Vista 64bit. Whenever I install ANY Nvidia drivers, run the installation and reboot the computer, it will show the bar indicating that it's opening Windows but will only show a perfectly blank black screen after that. The only way I can get access to the desktop is to manually power the machine off and restart it in Safe Mode. I tried the drivers listed below, and none of them work.

I have tried installing the following drivers: 270.51, 267.76, 267.24, 266.58, 260.99 and 179.48. I have also contacted Gateway for their driver, the 7.15.11.6746 version, that didn't work either.

What I've done so far (in order):
-Installed each of the drivers (this step was done on EACH driver separately) and restarted the machine, got the black screen. Powered off the machine and restarted in safe mode, uninstalled the driver and deleted it off of the computer. Installed the Standard VGA graphics driver and restarted in to Standard mode to try the next driver.

-I tried using System Repair, it didn't find anything.

-I decided to restore the computer back to factory settings to see if there were perhaps a software conflict or something along those lines. I did the restore and installed all of the Windows updates except the graphics card update. After all of those updates were applied, I restarted in to Standard with the Standard VGA graphics and it worked fine. I installed the recommended driver for the graphics card through Windows, and it rebooted to the black screen again.

-After running in to that again, I decided to try all of the drivers (again) on the fresh install of Vista. Again, the same black screen. Except this time it wouldn't reinstall the VGA graphics driver so I had to run a system restore to a point that I created after the updates but before installing the Nvidia drivers.

-After trying the Nvidia drivers, I contacted Gateway for their driver for the specific computer, specific card that I have. I have a link I can provide to that if it's needed. That STILL booted to the same black screen. So, I reverted back to the system restore that I know works.

At this point, I have a laptop that "works" but I can't play any kind of games on it at all, which is all I used it for. Please help, I'm willing to try anything before attempting to buy a new video card. If that's the conclusion that is reached, does anyone know of one that would work in my laptop? Thank you in advance, and sorry for the book of a post!
April 2, 2011 9:56:18 PM

Kalliana said:
Apologies in advance for the long post, but I'm getting desparate...

What started this: I was playing World Of Warcraft when the computer froze and went to a pink screen. Was a bit random, I wasn't raiding or anything just questing. So I manually restarted the computer, and it would only boot to a black screen with a cursor on it. I've had this happen before, so I rebooted in to Safe Mode, uninstalled the driver and went to reinstall it. That's when the fun started...

I have a Gateway P-6860FX laptop with a GeForce 8800M GTS card running on Windows Vista 64bit. Whenever I install ANY Nvidia drivers, run the installation and reboot the computer, it will show the bar indicating that it's opening Windows but will only show a perfectly blank black screen after that. The only way I can get access to the desktop is to manually power the machine off and restart it in Safe Mode. I tried the drivers listed below, and none of them work.

I have tried installing the following drivers: 270.51, 267.76, 267.24, 266.58, 260.99 and 179.48. I have also contacted Gateway for their driver, the 7.15.11.6746 version, that didn't work either.

What I've done so far (in order):
-Installed each of the drivers (this step was done on EACH driver separately) and restarted the machine, got the black screen. Powered off the machine and restarted in safe mode, uninstalled the driver and deleted it off of the computer. Installed the Standard VGA graphics driver and restarted in to Standard mode to try the next driver.

-I tried using System Repair, it didn't find anything.

-I decided to restore the computer back to factory settings to see if there were perhaps a software conflict or something along those lines. I did the restore and installed all of the Windows updates except the graphics card update. After all of those updates were applied, I restarted in to Standard with the Standard VGA graphics and it worked fine. I installed the recommended driver for the graphics card through Windows, and it rebooted to the black screen again.

-After running in to that again, I decided to try all of the drivers (again) on the fresh install of Vista. Again, the same black screen. Except this time it wouldn't reinstall the VGA graphics driver so I had to run a system restore to a point that I created after the updates but before installing the Nvidia drivers.

-After trying the Nvidia drivers, I contacted Gateway for their driver for the specific computer, specific card that I have. I have a link I can provide to that if it's needed. That STILL booted to the same black screen. So, I reverted back to the system restore that I know works.

At this point, I have a laptop that "works" but I can't play any kind of games on it at all, which is all I used it for. Please help, I'm willing to try anything before attempting to buy a new video card. If that's the conclusion that is reached, does anyone know of one that would work in my laptop? Thank you in advance, and sorry for the book of a post!


I'm afraid I can't help other than saying that I've been having very similar video problems for months. My Gateway P-6831fx has the same video card and I get exactly the same result when trying to upgrade the drivers. I'm running Vista 32bit, however.

The only semi-stable version of the drivers i've been able to install is 179.48. Everything forward of that boots to a black screen. Running any games on it causes significant driver errors, usually making the pc hang and than restart/recover the drivers. Inevitably, I get a BSOD or other hang in just a few minutes (and its not a gpu/cpu heat issue).

A new video card will mean new MB as well, I'm afraid. I'm wondering if moving to Windows 7 will help. Anyone running one of these Gateway laptops with an 8800M able to run the newest drivers?
Thank you for any suggestions or advice!
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June 2, 2011 7:53:21 PM

I'm having the same issue as you but on a different scale. I too own a P-6860FX.

1. Was playing PES 2011 and screen froze and pinkish color showed
2. Did a hard boot, BIOS screen now has vertical lines bottom corner at Gateway splash screen, horizontal right before Windows splash screen
3. Went back to desktop but mouse was extremely slow, so was everything else
4. Little window down in taskbar showed a warning triangle with exclamation point saying that the Nvidia driver had stopped responding but that it had recovered
5. Uninstalled everything Nvidia and ran a driver cleaner to clean everything Nvidia
6. Installed mutiple versions of Nvidia drivers (including the latest) but still can't play games and all high quality video isn't smooth and almost unwatchable

I am now left with a laptop that works, but cannot play games or handle high quality video like it used to

What could possibly be broken on the video card? How can I do everything else except intensive applications?

I am probably going to buy a new computer. I can't handle not playing games.

Anyways, you're not alone.
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August 27, 2011 1:55:29 AM

I was having the same problems, with the black screen after the windows start up. After reloading Vista, and drivers (except video) system will work. However, I noticed, with Windows update turned on, eventually some update will cause the problem to occur again -- So, I turned off Windows update.

The video card seems to work fine, except for 2D or 3D functionality (errors show up using burn in test std and 64 and in 3Dmark).

I'm thinking something went bad in the video card, otherwise, the original drivers should be working. Anyone no if it can be replaced? Or, where to get one?
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