PCI express slot troubleshooting


I have a Dell Dimension e521 with a Nvidia Geforce 7300 LE in a PCI express slot.

Recently my 7300 card stopped being detected in Windows device manager or the BIOS PCI slot list, instead the 6150 LE integrated chip on the motherboard is listed as the only gpu installed, And I have taken a great graphics performance hit since that happened. I've tried reseating the card, removing dust, reinstalling drivers (which is not an easy thing to try because the card is not listed anywhere on my OS for me to install drivers to it). The obvious reason for this of course would most likely be that the card is bad, and needs replacing. However I was hoping for a little help on how to test the PCI Express slot itself for problems before I invest in another card. Maybe there is a POST beep sequence for a faulty PCI slot? I'm not sure.

I only have one PCI express slot and no other computer available to test the card to see if it works in another slot, so I really need an alternative test. I'd rather be sure it's the card before I spend money on the wrong thing.

I don't think the BIOS version is the problem because the card has worked fine the whole time I've had it, until very recently, and came with the PC when I bought it 6 or so years ago, And the same BIOS has been installed the whole time.

Oh, and the malfunctioning card has a heat-sink, but no cooling fan that would turn if it had power, so I don't know if it's getting power or not.

Many thanks for reading/posting :)
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More about express slot troubleshooting
  1. Graphics cards to tend to die a lot. When I have an issue like this it's easy to test if you have a spare graphics card. If you have a friend or family member that wouldn't mind letting you borrow their PCIe card from their computer, I'd definitely give that a shot. I'd bet you dollars to pesos that it's the card and not the PCIe slot.
  2. all i would do is make sure the mb drivers are fine..i would try and update them and see if it a damaged driver. the only thing i would say is make sure all the chips on the card are seated. if you have a old #2 pencils use the eraser to see if the gold legs have some corrosion and may not be making good contact. if the card was bought as a add on see if it under warranty some vendors had life time warrantys. when you replace the video card make sure you buy one that run under your small power supply.
  3. The only way to test the functionality of the PCIe slot is with another PCIe card. Alternatively you could test the graphics card in another PC. If you do not have one, take it to your nearest PC shop. If the card is dead (as is most likely the case), they'll be more than happy to sell you a new one
  4. Thank you evreybody for the information :)

    I decided to go ahead and order a new card, because I needed a new one anyway. I'll try it out in the slot after it ships, and go from there. Hopefully the card's just bad and the problem will be solved.

    Thanks :)
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