Is my graphics card broken? Not detected by motherboard.

Hello, I recently bought a second hand desktop (eMachines T5234: to upgrade as an additional LAN-computer (I host LANs at home every now and then, but everyone can't bring their own) and/or media center for the tv. The changes I want to make are these; most of which have been successful:

1. Change RAM to 2x1GB 800Mhz (works)
2. Change PSU to a more powerful one, that also has the 6pin needed for my graphics card. (works) Unfortunately it doesn't have any 4pins/molex for the old, ribbon DVD-drive, but I can change it for whenever I really need it or use it over the network from my main computer
3. Install Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit using Upgrade disc (works, there are tricks, if it doesn't simply install, like it did for me, even if the only previous OS was Debian) Until I can convince my family that it is worth it, I will be extending the trial period of 30 days to 120 (follow this guide:
4. Switch from integrated graphics to a PCI-E 9800GT 512mb (worked previously, then stopped working when I extended the trial of Windows...)
5. Fix a WiFi connection (haven't tried it yet, need to borrow a USB adapter or buy my own (USB or PCI). Not allowed to have an ethernet cable running to the tv.

All right, sorry for the long introduction. I was able to get everything running nicely, until I tried extending the trial period. The computer said it needed to restart, but there was no video output when it did. After shutting the computer off by holding the power button several times, I connected to the motherboard VGA connection instead, which worked (stupid me).

I reinstalled the drivers, took out the card, looked through the BIOS, and eventually even (seemingly randomly) got messages that there were no partitions or something like that. I did not always use my anti-static wristband, but I was careful and did not notice any static. Then I simply reinstalled Windows (completely) and tried setting it all up again. My graphics card is not recognized and will not output a signal. The fan makes a lot of noise.

Perhaps I am doing something wrong in the BIOS? I do have "PCI-E" as the prioritized video output. The only setting related to PnP is on "auto".

The most prominent reason for me not thinking that the graphics card is dead is that it happened upon restart (after extending the Windows trial period), but that doesn't explain why reinstalling Windows didn't work. I have not yet connected to the internet (downloaded current drivers to a USB-stick), maybe a Windows update would include a fix?

Thank you for reading through this, and hopefully you can help a poor n00blet :)
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  1. I would test the graphics card in another computer (I'm guessing you have another). If it does not show a picture, then you have a bad GPU.

    I had the same problem today. I was going to replace my 8800GT with a 5770 in one of my spare computers and there was no picture. It booted into Windows, but there was no picture. I switched to the onboard, which worked. I reseated the card, and nothing. I tried the old 8800GT back in, and it worked. I guess I fried my 5770 or something.

    I tried it in another computer with no results (my other spare computer has the same motherboard). I am going to try it in my main rig when I get the chance.

    Just try the card into a different computer, see if it works. Most likely if it spools up it works, but sometimes its just broken.
  2. I might try it this weekend if I have time... Don't really want to mess around too much, since my main computer is working fine. More comments appreciated.
  3. Ok, I just tried it in my main rig, and it installs just fine! Is the PCI-E port on the media computer's motherboard broken then? I just don't understand why it would stop working after a reboot...
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