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Setting up my Radeon HD 5450

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 31, 2011 10:02:46 PM

Specs
Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)
Acer Aspire One AX3400-E3202
7GB DDR3 RAM
500 GB hard drive
AMD Athlon II X2 220 CPU

I own a fairly small 220 W low-profile Acer desktop, a while back I asked some people over at Cnet forums what type of graphics card I might be able to use on this computer. I was pointed to this product and ordered it off of new-egg for around 50 $. http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad... The desktop has a built-in GPU on the motherboard, an Nvidia GeForce 9200, it can run most games I own (Starcraft 2 and Portal 2) and even do a decent job of it, but I do have to put the graphics at a low setting to avoid lag. Oh, my monitor is 1920 x 1080 with HDMI out, if that's important. So yeah... the guys over at Cnet made it sound like this would just be plug and play; or rather, shut off, plug, turn on, play.

When I tried this the computer turned on but the screen stayed black. I did a forced shut-down, pulled the card out, plugged my monitor back into the mobo's ports, and turned it back on. And the screen stayed black... At this point I started panicking and begged for anyone to give me an explanation. Cnet remained silent, but the good people here at Tom's Hardware helped me out in this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/327337-33-graphics-ca... After this I put the graphics card back in it's box and forgot about it, I didn't want to try that again any time soon because this is my only computer, I use it a lot, and I don't want anything to happen to it. I was speaking to a friend today though, and he told me that it's not just plug and play and I have to "change the GPU settings in the BIOS" or something... He said it's perticularly important because my computer is using an Nvidia GPU at the moment, and I'm replacing it with a Radeon, so the video drivers need to be changed. I'm really not sure how to do that though and I would really like some help, I would love to be able to use this card to boost my gaming, but I don't want to risk my only computer.

Short version:
How can I safely change my computer's primary GPU from an integrated GeForce 9200 to a discrete Radeon HD5450? I've had bad experiences with my last attempt.

More about : setting radeon 5450

October 31, 2011 11:03:40 PM

Go into device manager delete your GPU drivers, shut down install the card and then boot up and install the ATI (amd) drivers.
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October 31, 2011 11:09:13 PM

ok first you need to uninstall the current drivers. are you using windows? if so then you will do this from control panel by right clicking on the graphics card (or display adapter as i think it calls it) and chose to uninstall. then shut the computer down.

unplug all cables from the computer and use an anti static wristband if u have one, if not just keep one hand held onto something big made out of metal (the computer case is usually the first choice). this will help minimize risk of damaging the components through static. install the graphcs card.

boot the computer back up and keep pressing delete or f2 or whatever button it is that you have to push to enter the bios settings (figure this out before you start any of this process). it usually tells you what key to press when you boot up the computer.

then in the bios look for anything to do with "pci-e" or "display" or "video" options, or something along those lines. then you need to disable the onboard graphics chip and set the pci-e one to be your primary display device.

(*its probably not nescessary but you might have to reset the bios via the jumpers before booting into the bios after installing the amd graphics card. if this is the case then all your bios settings will be reset to default and you will have to go through them, and set the time etc*)

next boot up your computer into the operating system. it will probably search for and install drivers automatically. this is fine but they will most likely be outdated drivers. if it does this then reboot the computer. if it doesn't then just go straight to the next step...

go to the amd website and find the appropriate drivers for your graphics card and operating system. you will need to know the model of your graphics card which you do, and the operating system. if you are running windows 7 then click the start button>right click on 'computer'>properties. and it will tell you whether its 32 bit or 64 bit there.

download and install drivers. reboot the computer. and you should be all set!!


i'll keep watch on this thread so if you have any problems then post back and i will try help you. good luck and dont worry to much about this, not much potential for anything serious going wrong if you follow what i said. (the most risky part is making sure you dont damage the hardware through static so use an anti static wristband or keep one hand held onto the metal casing at all times while installing and uninstalling any components - all external cables need to be unplugged while doing this also. if u do that it will be fine ;) 
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October 31, 2011 11:11:03 PM

with this section "next boot up your computer into the operating system. it will probably search for and install drivers automatically. this is fine but they will most likely be outdated drivers. if it does this then reboot the computer. if it doesn't then just go straight to the next step..." i meant to say reboot after its finished installing the drivers!
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October 31, 2011 11:21:27 PM

Based on your original thread it doesn't look like a driver issue since your PC wouldn't even post (you said it just stayed black) with your new card even after removing it. Since resetting your bios battery was needed to fix it, I am pretty sure that your problem isn't with a windows driver. That being said, eventually you will need to remove the old drivers and install AMD ones like described by those above. But you still need to get your PC to boot to BIOS with the new card attached. It sounds to me like your 220w PSU isn't sufficient. AMD lists the reqs for the 5450 as a 400w PSU minimum (that is very conservative I admit). Any idea what brand your PSU is? Or is it the original Acer one?
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October 31, 2011 11:30:28 PM

@ ET
Ah, sorry, I thought that the specs I had posted in the linked thread would be sufficient. I added my specs to the first post of this thread.

@ larkspur
Yeah... it's the stock PSU. I've been considering getting a new one but two things prevent me from doing so. First, it sounds like major PC surgery. And second it's using a very bizarre form-factor... the case is a low-profile one, and the mobo is a DTX. The PSU is long and skinny. I've looked all over for something like it on newegg and at my local futureshop but I haven't been able to find any more powerful alternatives.

Oh, I also worry that 400 W will create an overheating problem, since it's a tiny case. I know the whole situation is just begging me to get a new computer but I don't have the budget for a whole new one right now, lol.
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October 31, 2011 11:37:14 PM

2469639,6,990477 said:
@ ET
Ah, sorry, I thought that the specs I had posted in the linked thread would be sufficient. I added my specs to the first post of this thread.

Sorry i should've checked your link but still thought i provided a good answer...
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October 31, 2011 11:38:34 PM

Also, I forgot I had created another thread focused around replacing the PSU, and they concluded that it's probably not the source of the fault... http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/315455-28-dimensions Unless my stock PSU is REALLY crappy and can't do something it should be doing... (to be honest I don't understand all the amp/volt technobabble).

So maybe I should try disabling the Nvidia drivers... go from there. But I don't think I'm going to try this before the weekend, I need this computer for the rest of the week and I know that if there is a way to fudge this up, I will find it. I've got that anti-computer aura.

Oh, and the PSU is around 8 inches long, 2 inches tall, and 4 inches wide.
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October 31, 2011 11:39:27 PM

PTNLemay said:
@ ET
Ah, sorry, I thought that the specs I had posted in the linked thread would be sufficient. I added my specs to the first post of this thread.

@ larkspur
Yeah... it's the stock PSU. I've been considering getting a new one but two things prevent me from doing so. First, it sounds like major PC surgery. And second it's using a very bizarre form-factor... the case is a low-profile one, and the mobo is a DTX. The PSU is long and skinny. I've looked all over for something like it on newegg and at my local futureshop but I haven't been able to find any more powerful alternatives.

Oh, I also worry that 400 W will create an overheating problem, since it's a tiny case. I know the whole situation is just begging me to get a new computer but I don't have the budget for a whole new one right now, lol.


Ok well, let's make sure it is the PSU. When you hooked the card in and connected the monitor and turned on the computer what happened? Did you see anything at all? A screen that said Acer? Anything? Did it beep? Did it make the Windows jingle sound? Any indication that it even started to "boot"?
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October 31, 2011 11:40:07 PM

ET900 said:

Sorry i should've checked your link but still thought i provided a good answer...

You did, thus far yours is the most thorough. But that's a lot of steps, and I don't have the guts to try it tonight, as I said I will need this computer for work and play for the rest of the week. I'll make my next attempt during the upcoming weekend.
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October 31, 2011 11:45:07 PM

larkspur said:
Ok well, let's make sure it is the PSU. When you hooked the card in and connected the monitor and turned on the computer what happened? Did you see anything at all? A screen that said Acer? Anything? Did it beep? Did it make the Windows jingle sound? Any indication that it even started to "boot"?

Nothing, the blue power-indicating LED on the tower lit up, but the monitor just showed me the Gateway logo before throwing me a "No Signal" picture, right before going black. It really acted like it does when I unplug the HDMI cable and have it connected to nothing, it's like if all the ports on my computer completely forgot how to work. It only went back to normal when I did that CMOS reset using the little battery on the Mobo. A trick for which I shall be eternaly grateful. I called Acer technical support and all he told me was "Well you can ship it to one of our factories, could take a couple of weeks. Oh, and if it is something broken, we'll probably charge you 200$ to fix it. Plus shipping and handling." All for a 15 minute battery trick...
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October 31, 2011 11:49:16 PM

PTNLemay said:
Also, I forgot I had create another thread focused around replacing the PSU, and they concluded that it's probably not the source of the fault... http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/315455-28-dimensions Unless my stock PSU is REALLY crappy and can't do something it should be doing... (to be honest I don't understand all the amp/volt technobabble).


I disagree with the posters in that thread that say that a stock 220w non-standard size Acer PSU will "definitely" run a system with a graphics card that recommends a 400w PSU. What matters on your 220w PSU is not the total watt output but the ampere rating of the 12v rail. This varies from PSU to PSU and is usually reported on a sticker on the PSU itself. They also ignored the fact that you needed a BIOS reset to get your computer to boot again.
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October 31, 2011 11:57:13 PM

PTNLemay said:
Nothing, the blue power-indicating LED on the tower lit up, but the monitor just showed me the Gateway logo before throwing me a "No Signal" picture, right before going black. It really acted like it does when I unplug the HDMI cable and have it connected to nothing, it's like if all the ports on my computer completely forgot how to work. It only went back to normal when I did that CMOS reset using the little battery on the Mobo. A trick for which I shall be eternaly grateful. I called Acer technical support and all he told me was "Well you can ship it to one of our factories, could take a couple of weeks. Oh, and if it is something broken, we'll probably charge you 200$ to fix it. Plus shipping and handling." All for a 15 minute battery trick...


Ok well I assume the "Gateway" logo you got was because you have a gateway monitor right? I'll leave you to try again. The point I want to make is that IF your computer displays a BIOS screen (or an Acer) screen during bootup normally, but it doesn't when you hook in your new card, then Windows drivers aren't the problem. It sounds like the card is crashing the whole motherboard (likely due to an insufficient PSU). If your card is just crashing the system when Windows tries to load (But AFTER the BIOS loads and tests itself), then it probably is a driver issue. Anyway Good Luck!
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November 1, 2011 12:13:20 AM

PTNLemay said:
You did, thus far yours is the most thorough. But that's a lot of steps, and I don't have the guts to try it tonight, as I said I will need this computer for work and play for the rest of the week. I'll make my next attempt during the upcoming weekend.


i was tryna cover everything really. its just one of those things that you will feel alright with once you done it but i understand its a bit overwhelming when you aint done it before. its a process that has to be done though really if you wanna do it right. hope you give it a go if you dont find something more useful from anyone else. good luck.
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November 1, 2011 12:19:46 AM

@ larkspur

Out of curiosity, where did you get the recommended PSU strength for the HD 5450? I've been searching for a value, or even just an estimate, and I've been unable to do so.

And yes, Gateway is my monitor's company. Pretty good little panel, even if the company went bankrupt, lol.
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November 1, 2011 12:20:03 AM

Unless you have a very good 220 psu, it wont run you that, just you this psu calculator and see it for you self http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp adding just the information you gave its say you need 221w, and unless you you have a 220w 100% certified it wont run it.
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November 1, 2011 2:19:27 AM

@ Evo

According to that calculator you posted... I just found out something pretty funny. If I pull out my DVD drive, I should be good to go. Well I find it funny anyway, especially since I haven't plopped a DVD in there since forever. Thanks for that link, I hope it winds up working.

Also, christ and all, they really designed this computer right up against the edge. Why would they add 2 PCI slots if there isn't any spare power to run anything?
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January 25, 2012 1:32:36 PM

I have had the same problem with this card, after i put it in the slot and turn on the computer the monitor goes into power saving mode and there are no lights on the keyboard. I thought it was due to a lack of power from my standard 300w psu so i upgraded to a OCZ 600W psu which i believed should have more than enough power. I still get the same power saving mode when i turn on the pc with the new graphics card. Any thoughts?
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January 25, 2012 10:07:08 PM

marvinmole82 said:
I have had the same problem with this card, after i put it in the slot and turn on the computer the monitor goes into power saving mode and there are no lights on the keyboard. I thought it was due to a lack of power from my standard 300w psu so i upgraded to a OCZ 600W psu which i believed should have more than enough power. I still get the same power saving mode when i turn on the pc with the new graphics card. Any thoughts?



Is the card seated properly?
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January 27, 2012 5:08:17 PM

yep, tried removing my ram and loading the latest drivers to no effect
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May 4, 2012 12:12:04 AM

Don't know if you ever resolved this but if it helps, I had exactly this problem tonight installing a vtx 5450 into an old Dell Gx620 and found a way around it.

I succeeded in getting past the black screens on VGA by putting the Dell on a network and installing VNC on it. Once connected, I was able to see that Windows detected the new graphics card and allowed me to run the installer CD.

I too removed the previous graphics drivers, but the problem with the card is that when installed, VGA is just not working any more on the built in connector AND on the card itself.

DVI however IS working.

This is OK for me as all I wanted was an HD display for a Dental practice patient scrolling information point.

My Dell has 275 Watts of power and the card needs 305. I'm told Dell under-spec and graphics card suppliers over spec, so it's fine. Running without a hitch so far.





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