Old GPU died, Second hand one needs drivers but I can't install them!

I recently lost my old Graphics card (Nvidia gtx8800)
so I bought a second hand one to replace it (GTX 285)
I have just plugged it in and booted up, but I get stuck before the log in screen with a mouse cursor on a black screen.
I am certain that I just need to install the drivers to fix this problem, but as I can't log in to windows, I am in somewhat of a catch 22.
Is there a way to install drivers without logging in.
Also, I did not manage to run in safe mode, and I do not have an installation disk as the GPU is second hand.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I miss my PC
19 answers Last reply
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  1. Normally without drivers you should still get a basic windows driver, but you can try to remove the old drivers from add and remove in the control panel in safe mode.
    Then download the new ones(safe mode with networking should allow you to use the internet).


    With any luck, this will get you going.

    If you want to ensure every last trace of the old drivers is removed, after removing them in the control panel, you can try this.


    Again, with no drivers, you should at LEAST get to the desktop on the "new" card to install the latest drivers.
  2. Thanks for the lightening quick reply, but as I said before, I can't run in safe mode.
    I also tried holding f8 to see if I had any alternative boot options, but all I get is a list of my hard drives to boot from.
  3. ok. I thought you said you COULD run safe mode, my bad.

    If it is just the Boot selection menu that is stopping you, try this.

    The F8 message you are getting is the bios, not windows. select your boot drive hit enter and try to hammer some F8 as soon as you do. Windows should give you a message about safe mode.

    Hope this time you get farther.
  4. Every time I do try to run in safe mode, I still don't get any further than the black screen with the mouse. Also it wasn't a message saying press f8, I was just trying to load the boot menu in the hopes of being able to run in low resolution mode. That isn't what is stopping me. The thing that stops me is the black screen with the mouse cursor.
    Thanks for your help so far though.
  5. Ahh, I see what you meant about hammering f8 after choosing my drive though. I am currently trying windows repair to see if it will figure the problem out itself. Low resolution mode didn't work, and if the repair doesn't, I will try safe mode again.
  6. safe mode don't load graphic drivers. So, if safe mode don't work, I think that you 'second hand' card you bought is defective. Or has some kind of problem
  7. I totally forgot to mention I also installed new ram at the same time. Could this be the problem?
  8. Sorry for spamming with questions, but could it be my PCI slot that is bust? I just put my old GPU back in and tough it was obviously broken (red lines covering screen and jumbled symbols) I still only get to the black screen with my cursor.
  9. Well, try with the old memory and see if it goes any better.
  10. I just tried my old sticks of RAM and they did not change a thing. I always get as far as this black screen with mouse cursor. This is not cool.
    The only other thing I can think of now is it being the PCI slot, as both my graphics cards only get this far. Is there anything I can do with the command prompt as I can get that to run?
  11. All I can see is some kind of corruption of windows. Never seen it happen like this, but you have a strange issue since it happens with both cards.

    You could run a Linux live CD/DVD to at least ensure the card works and copy any files needed off the drive if you plan to try a reinstall.
  12. Hmmm I guess a clean install may be the only option. I have never tried Linux before, but I guess anything is worth a go sine I am on the verge of losing everything anyway.

    Thanks very much for all your help and input. I will give this a try and update the thread once I have a solution.
  13. This is weird.

    Just last week I was at a friend's checking out his computer and he forgot to tell me that his graphic's card was not already in, and was only partly in. I'm not sure if this is where you got stuck but as soon as he typed in his password the screen was black and only the mouse was left. Next time we tried to boot the mobo wouldn't post. Stuck another GPU in there and it worked, so, I think it's a different problem, but maybe not..?
  14. Unfortunately it is slightly different. I don't even get a chance to enter my password. I think it may be a case of having to reinstall windows. =(
  15. Ok, well it must be Windows as Ubuntu runs fine. Just wish I knew where to find my W7 disc. Will this nightmare never end?!
  16. You can download an ISO of Win7 as long as you have your own key it is perfectly legal to do so.


    Please backup anything you need to first as most times it is best to do a clean install, but in the end, it is up to you to try whatever you think will work best.

    You will only be 100% sure once you install the video driver under windows, up to that point, the card is just running on basic drivers that do not tap into the cards hardware.
  17. Thanks for that link Nuke. I have been trying to reinstall Windows all day with no luck, which has lead me to my latest conclusion, which is that the HDD is bust. Luckily I do have a multitude of spares hanging about so I am now going to try a couple. XP manages to launch fine with my old ones so hopefully I will have W7 installed in a few minutes and I will be back on my feet (Or wheels as my PC actually has them instead)

    Thanks so much for your help Nuke. I owe you!
  18. Ok well I was wrong. I reinstalled Windows 7 on a fresh drive that ran with XP fine, and was presented with the Ksod again. I have no idea what could be causing it at this point, if everything runs fine with Ubuntu and XP, why won't W7 run?
  19. If you have an older pci card or something to try the install with just in case you have some other issue related to either pci-e or the card it self.

    both XP and Ubuntu did not get much access to the cards hardware, but I did not even think that 7 would without drivers.

    It is in fact very rare to not be able to at least install windows from scratch. I have seen bad memory cause that.
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