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Windows 7 Blue Screen using PCI-E display

Last response: in Windows 7
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July 10, 2012 10:03:50 PM

Hi guys,

I am out of options at the moment.

What originally happened was while I was playing a game, I alt+tabbed to desktop and when I alt+tabbed back into game, my screen stayed black. Could not Ctrl+Alt+Del or do anything to get back to desktop. Eventually I reset my desktop and as Windows 7 starts up, I get blue screen.

I figured the driver probably broke so I downloaded new drivers... No luck.

When I tried to open Nvidia Control Panel, I got this "You are not currently using a display attached to an Nvidia GPU" error.

Then I decided to format my whole HDD and reinstall Windows 7 Ultimate... No luck.

When I try boot to safemode, everything works except of course bad VGA...

So I decided to change to onboard VGA (in BIOS) and Windows starts up fine in normal mode with onboard display drivers... Tried PCI-E display again just in case... No luck.

Then I thought maybe the PSU does not supply enough power to my GPU to work properly (although it has been for almost 6 years now). So I plugged everything out except HDD and PCI-E Card... No luck.

I open the display card, removed all the dust and double checked everything is connecting properly to motherboard... No luck.

And finally, I'm here asking for any help anyone can give me since, as far as I know, I tried everything.

Some thoughts: The problem must have something to do with my graphics card since everything works 100% without it. Is there a way (best way) to purge the card (perhaps motherboard as well) or maybe clear it on a "BIOS" level since it does not even work with or without any NVidia drivers installed. As far as I know, it should atleast make me boot into Windows to be able to download new drivers in normal mode. No where does it indicate that I have a PCI-E display adapter plugged in.

What I haven't tested: I don't have a spare graphics card I can test with but I believe the onboard display test proves enough. The only thing I can learn from testing with another graphics card is if the PCI-E slot works or not (problem with motherboard or graphics card).

CPU: Intel Q6600
RAM: 4GB
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit (fresh install)
Graphics Card: ASUS Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB
Motherboard: Intel® Desktop Board DG33BU

Any help/suggestions are welcome, even "throw away graphics card, there is no solution" but if there is a forum that could help me, I believe this the one. :D 
a b \ Driver
a b $ Windows 7
July 10, 2012 11:28:57 PM

if it an older card that the bios chip is a press in chip..it may have walked out. try pressing down on the chips and see if it a seating issue. if not see if the card has a life time warranty..some older cards did. if not time to pick up a new card.
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July 11, 2012 12:05:37 AM

Quote:
Then I thought maybe the PSU does not supply enough power to my GPU to work properly (although it has been for almost 6 years now). So I plugged everything out except HDD and PCI-E Card..


I have no clue on the lifetime of PSU's, but I've read that even good ones wear out over time (due to capacitors maybe? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolytic_capacitor)

You mentioned your PSU is about 6 yrs old (tho I didn't catch the brand or power of the unit itself).. maybe an EE or physics type could clue us in and see if this is a possibility?

As usual, wild *ss guess without having the PC in front of me to test. Good luck!
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July 11, 2012 7:33:34 AM

Awesome, both suggestions are plausible!

I did take out the graphics card last night when I cleaned it but I will do it again and make 100% sure its sits right. Although it is strange that this could have happened while I was playing a game but I'm getting desperate, so I try anyway.

I have had issues with my PSU before so I'm leaning towards this fix. I will open the PSU today and check out whats going on there. I can understand that this could cause the PSU to fail while in-game (graphics card needs power to render and PSU can't supply enough so card sucks more than PSU can handle and BOOM! PSU down!).

Its a 450W Proline Power Supply. (might be local brand, not sure). I'll check warranty and replace anyway since its not good to have an old PSU for new graphics card (when I buy a new one).

I'm still open for other suggestions while I try the above. Thanks!
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Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
July 11, 2012 12:15:07 PM

Whats the BSOD STOP code/error message? If its one of the TDR BSOD's [0x116 or 0x117], then the GPU is clearly the problem. Sounds like the GPU either way...
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July 18, 2012 8:23:36 AM

Best answer selected by fanusZA.
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