TechSpot

Dell Dimension 8300 Video Problem

By cah14522
Feb 24, 2010
  1. I have a Dell Dimension 8300 with the original ATI Radeon 9800 Pro video card. Recently we have been experiencing problems with the display - a number of vertical lines/bars, about one inch wide appear on the screen. I've attempted to troubleshoot the problem by trying a different monitor on this PC (with the same problem resulting), and have also tried the monitor from the problem PC on a different Dell and it works fine - so I believe I have ruled out the monitor as the problem.

    Is there a way to run a diagnostics on the video card to see what the problem might be? And if so, how do I locate and read the results from the diagnostics, given my display problem which makes it very difficult to read the display?

    I was going to jump in and buy a PNY GeForce FX 5200 256MB card as a replacement, but thought I should verify the problem is the card before purchasing the card from Amazon, for about $30 (after rebate). Any thoughts on this card as a replacement / upgrade for this PC?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
     
  2. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,066   +257

    Boot to Safe Mode. If the picture is fine, you have video card driver problem.
    If Safe Mode gives you same problem, you need new video card.
     
  3. cah14522

    cah14522 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Safe Mode

    OK - Dumb Question - how do I boot to safe mode with this PC again?
     
  4. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,066   +257

    Restart computer and keep tapping F8 key until menu screen appears.
     
  5. cah14522

    cah14522 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Awesome - thanks for the help, and for not taking a shot at me for being uneducated on that topic. So if the monitor seems fine in safe mode, it is definitely (or very likely) NOT the graphics adapter card that is the problem?

    Do I put this new card (whichever one I buy) in the exact same spot that the old one was in? Thanks again.
     
  6. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,066   +257

    So, is the picture in Safe Mode OK?
    If so, you may simply need to reinstall video card driver.
    Go to Dell's site, enter your computer service tag number and download video driver.
    Uninstall current driver and install fresh one.
     
  7. cah14522

    cah14522 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I was never able to get around to trying it out in Safe Mode...I did update the driver from Dell's site, with no improvement in results.

    I've ordered and received a new Sapphire Radeon HD 3650 card, and plan on installing it either tonight or tomorrow. What steps should I do to do this? What's the best order to remove the old driver and install the new one and is there a utility to use to do this? I read something about going into Safe Mode to do this, and then use some Driver Cleaner utility program to completely remove the old driver.

    Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  8. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,066   +257

    The procedure should be pretty straightforward.
    Put the card in, turn computer on and install drivers.
     
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