Vista won't start with ANY drivers installed!

I have come across an incredibly frustrating problem and I have no clue how to solve it. I've used this forum to solve quite a few problems in the past so I'm hoping the power of this community will once again rise and help me out.

In my office, I have a computer. I don't know the exact specs, but its an intel core 2 duo work station, with a Nvidia Quadro NVS 290 installed.

Thing is, this past friday (7/13/12), when I left work, everything was working perfectly.

When I came into work the following monday, Vista would begin to load at the Microsoft loading bar screen, and then promptly go black followed by a restart.

I've also searched the internet for a lot of answers and have tried many things to solve this problem. I will list what I've tried below:

1) I can boot into safe mode very easily. I've booted into safe mode w/ networking and have uninstalled my drivers by both the add/remove programs in control panel as well as right clicking the display adapters option and selecting uninstall in the device manager.

2) Doing step 1 will allow my computer to load past the loading screen and upon login, the computer says it is installing the standard VGA adapter drivers, which seem to work fine. Keep in mind the native resolution for my monitor is 1440x900 @ 60Hz. Currently, this is not a supported option in the standard VGA drivers options when selecting display settings.

3) I've tried to uninstalling old drivers and installing newer Nvidia drivers straight from their website. Current driver version is 296.88 released June 11th 2012 for 64-bit system. I've tried this driver, a few previous ones before that, and even the driver that was successfully installed the friday before I left work, which was driver version 274.16. I've also visited where the computer was purchased and installed their recommended drivers for my system which was accessed using the service tag on my computer.

4) Installing any video drivers other than the standard VGA adapter drivers results in my computer being unable to load past the loading bar in the vista start-up. This usually means I have to boot into safe mode, uninstall the drivers, and then re-boot in order to get the standard VGA adapter drivers to install again.

Does anyone know whats going on? I'm so puzzled simply because no driver seems to work (I've tried more than several now) and I have a lot of work that needs to get done. Although I've resorted to just using the standard VGA adapter drivers at 1600x1200 resolution, I fear that this is only a temporary fix.

Wishing the best of luck in hopes of someone helping to find a solution. Let me know if anyone needs any more information and I will be watching this thread like a hawk..
6 answers Last reply
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  1. Maybe a bad video card? can you swap it out with another one to test?
  2. @ss202sl

    That was something I was wondering as well. Currently I'm trying to convince my boss to purchase another used video card to test it out, but other than purchasing a video card, I am unable to swap it out to test with a different one.
  3. NVS 290, is it the model with no fan?

    I work with a lot of different video cards, the systems with NVS 290 cards like to crash every so often. The card is probably going bad or is bad. The reason it laocks up when it does is due to the fact that is when the video drivers get loaded. Up till that startup screen you are running on basic drivers. Even a new NVS card is around $100. Your boss needs to work out the time you spend trying to fix this or not working properly vs the cost of the card. Should be a no-brainer.
  4. @hang-the-9

    Yes it is a PCI-E x16 no-fan model. It just has a large (for its size) heatsink.

    I've talked with a PC recyle shop worker and as they don't give refunds for any of their used cards (cheap...but still), he wanted me to try a method before buying a new card.

    He said I should try to boot up in VGA mode to see if the drivers were trying to run in a mode that isn't supported by the system. I've done that and it still wouldn't load past the loading screen.

    I'm sure my boss will purchase a $25 used video card for the computer. We just wanted to exhaust every option before that. Although purchasing a new video card is an option, if the problem isn't with the video card, it would be an unneccessary purchase and expense to the business.
  5. You can run the card in another computer and see if it does the same thing. If yes, it's the card.
  6. Just wanted to update this post. Looks like it was the card. Ended up having to replace it and Vista works fine now.

    Thanks for all the help guys.
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