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Video card not "attached" and stuck in low res

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 2, 2011 3:08:00 AM

Hey everyone,

I'll quickly give you the backstory:
Few days ago monitor froze, as i reboot all the colours are up and it's stuck in 600x480 4 bit colour. (when i try to move it it just goes back to that)

I turned it off and let it cool down, came back and everything was back to normal. I ran afterburner and gpu temps were normal. The only abnormal thing was that usage spiked to 25% opening firefox. Soon after it froze again.

As i reboot it goes into this up state again. The strange this was the the BIOS says there's a card in the PEG slot, but when i tried to open the nvidia control panel it says "You are not currently using a monitor attached to an nvidia gpu"... which i am.

I uninstalled/reinstalled drivers - nothing
Reinstalled windows on a new hard drive - nothing

I have no clue what it is. I can't run games because it says there's no gpu attached but i can use firefox, install drivers, write documents and basically anything else that doesn't require the gpu. But, it's stuck in 600x480 in 4 bit colour...

I can't try the card in another computer because i don't have another. Should i just buy a new video card? I honestly have no idea what to do.
I appreciate the help!

tl;dr Monitor stuck in 600x480 4 bit colour. Can't change it. Video card can't be recognised (no games run) even though windows itself works fine.
December 2, 2011 3:22:13 AM

Update: Installed the beta 290.36 driver - still not working properly :( 
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December 2, 2011 3:27:28 AM

Install the "Video Card Driver" not the Nvidia Driver...
IDK what videocard you got but search on google for the videocard driver, not the control panel thing which does help sometime fixing those issues but it's meant for better game play... There's two different kind of driver for video cards which is the control panel(Which enable lots of stuff to the video card like 3D surround and more) and the videocard driver
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December 2, 2011 3:31:59 AM

It's a 9800gt and i'm not entirely sure what you mean. I downloaded it from the nvidia site http://www.geforce.com/Drivers

The problem didn't occur after i reinstalled the driver. I reinstalled in an effect to fix it.

In the uninstall programs list i have:
NVIDIA 3d vision controller 290.36
NVIDIA 3d vision driver 290.36
NVIDIA graphics driver 290.36
NVIDIA physx system software 9.11.1107
NVIDIA update 1.6.24
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December 2, 2011 3:38:45 AM

That's the control panel driver... Get the actual brand of your card driver... Go to the manufacturer site and download the actual video card driver... I'll find it if i know the brand like Evga, Asus, Gigabyte.... All your downloading is useless driver which you dont even need as it's for newer card from yours like the GTx 400/500 series mostly...
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December 2, 2011 3:44:48 AM

It's the one that came with the shitty dell, i'm not sure what is it. I have the old driver CD for it which i installed before, but it didn't make a difference. I'll try it again and update this.

Update: Ok the one from the CD installed. Nothing's changed, still can't change resolution. The nvidia tray icon has disappeared also.
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December 2, 2011 3:56:56 AM

Thanks for helping! I have that exact copy (R195008) under the XP section of this CD, and it's the same one on the Dell site.

I have the vista 32 bit version installed (R195009) but yeah, doesn't do anything.
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December 2, 2011 7:12:52 AM

The card doesn't register in dxdiag... I have no idea why because I've tried all the drivers I can...

If it means anything, there are random coloured dots that exist in some colours on the screen. There are purple dots on black, even during the Microsoft loading and BIOS screens.
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December 2, 2011 7:37:07 AM

sounds like a virus to me.
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December 2, 2011 7:49:47 AM

Brand new harddrive + reinstall vista

:cry: 
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December 2, 2011 8:07:12 AM

legendkiller said:
That's the control panel driver... Get the actual brand of your card driver... Go to the manufacturer site and download the actual video card driver... I'll find it if i know the brand like Evga, Asus, Gigabyte.... All your downloading is useless driver which you dont even need as it's for newer card from yours like the GTx 400/500 series mostly...


sorry i call BS on this, the manufacturers drivers are always out of date.

OP when you install the 'control panel' referred to above the video card drivers are installed, if you go to the custom install you'll have the ability to select what you want to install. There are some theories that not installing the 3-d drivers will increase performance (even if you leave them off) etc.

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December 2, 2011 8:12:31 AM

OP go to device manager and look to see if the gpu is installed there with its correct name.

its sounds to me like you might have a borked card. do you have any other way of getting video out of system, old card, onboard graphics? can you run like that and see if it performs better?
if it does perform better then can you do a clean install of the drivers (the full set), boot into safe mode, uninstall them, delete the card from the device manager, reboot into safe mode, and then install drivers.
else try reinstalling your mobo drivers as these give some control over the pci-e slots.
let me know how you get on.
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December 2, 2011 8:24:35 AM

13thmonkey said:
sorry i call BS on this, the manufacturers drivers are always out of date.

OP when you install the 'control panel' referred to above the video card drivers are installed, if you go to the custom install you'll have the ability to select what you want to install. There are some theories that not installing the 3-d drivers will increase performance (even if you leave them off) etc.


Must admit I was sceptical of his advice :??: 

As an interesting note, dxdiag registers an nvidia card in the system when there are no drivers installed. However, when I have any other (285, 290 beta or the old cd ones) it doesn't come up with any card.

I installed the 285.62 drivers without any 3D options but it doesn't resolve the issue :/ 

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December 2, 2011 8:33:26 AM

13thmonkey said:
OP go to device manager and look to see if the gpu is installed there with its correct name.

its sounds to me like you might have a borked card. do you have any other way of getting video out of system, old card, onboard graphics? can you run like that and see if it performs better?
if it does perform better then can you do a clean install of the drivers (the full set), boot into safe mode, uninstall them, delete the card from the device manager, reboot into safe mode, and then install drivers.
else try reinstalling your mobo drivers as these give some control over the pci-e slots.
let me know how you get on.


In device manager it is correctly listed as NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT under display adapters. As i said, once i install a driver the card disappears from dxdiag (still in device manager though).

Unfortunately, i don't have another card and the system (dell xps 420) doesn't come with onboard graphics, so the only VGA ports are from the video card itself. I tried both ports and the second one just results in a black screen.

At this stage, i've reinstalled windows a couple of times before reinstalling the 285.62 driver. I'm not sure how to reinstall mobo drivers but would a windows format have the same effect?
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December 2, 2011 8:47:36 AM

I'm afraid it would have the same effect.
So i see three possible causes, a broken GPU, or a broken PSU, or a borken mobo.

as the gpu seems to be 'better' with no drivers installed (at which point it is acting in its lowest common denominator state) it could be that in this state it works, but once you install drivers and it wakes up other elements of the card it then fails, point to either gpu or psu.

do you have a friend with a small card you can swap with for a enough time to test?
did you upgrade the card or is that the original? (if so you might have overstressed the PSU)

we need to test the PSU feeding a different card, or a different PSU feeding that card, the former is simpler.
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December 2, 2011 8:57:20 AM

It's possible that I can get my card checked, I'll have to do it tomorrow though.

I'm almost sure it would be the gpu considering the dots everywhere. It just confuses me that last time my gpu died the entire computer just wouldn't turn on.

I really appreciate the help! I'll get back to you once I can. :) 
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December 2, 2011 9:11:28 AM

Sorry didn't see that, dots everywhere, definately GPU, probably a memory issue, are they patterned?
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December 2, 2011 9:29:26 AM

Yes they are.
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December 2, 2011 9:39:47 AM

memory has gone, bin it or RMA it if the warranty for the card is good enough.
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December 2, 2011 9:39:57 AM

99% sure of that.
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December 2, 2011 10:11:53 AM

Do you mean the VRAM or CPU ram?
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December 2, 2011 10:51:18 AM

vram
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December 2, 2011 10:52:04 AM

you could try underclocking the vram to see if it improves, but its probably too far gone, had it with a 7900GTO.
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December 2, 2011 11:15:21 AM

It doesn't let me open up afterburner anyway. It's fine though, I can replace the card easy. Kind of annoying though since I was waiting until the 7xxx cards came out until I finally upgraded.

Thanks for your help!! :bounce: 
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December 2, 2011 11:16:42 AM

Best answer selected by Anacandor.
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