Unknown problem (possibly video card)

By JesseM
Jan 26, 2007
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  1. My friend has a problem and neither of us can figure it out:

    When a driver for a graphics card (that had previously been used on the same computer) was installed, the computer froze mid-installation and the screen turned black. After a little bit, my friend took out the (PCI) video card and booted the computer using the integrated Intel graphics that came with the computer. The computer started up, everything worked like it should have. So, we though for sure it was a problem with this video card. We went and got a brand new card, and when the computer started up with the new card there was nothing but black. The same thing happens in all of the PCI slots as far as I'm aware of.

    Does anyone know what's going on? Is there a problem with the power supply? Feel free to ask questions, I know I didn't put much information up but I didn't know what would be needed.
  2. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,407   +6

    What video cards have you tried, and what power supply do you have? could be a PSU (power supply unit) problem. Is it PCI or PCI express? cuz if it's actually PCI express, it could have been that you forgot to plug in the extra power thingy.
  3. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,088

    How much was that new HP Pavillion, I have a PC with same specs, just want to know how much i saved :)
  4. JesseM

    JesseM TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 258

    kitty500cat: It's PCI, and I don't know what power supply it is because we are not talking about my computer, so I can't check...I'm guessing it's a power supply problem though. I also can't remember the specifics about the video cards we tried, I only remember that the integrated graphics were Intel 64MB shared, the original graphics card was an nVidia 128MB PCI, and the brand-new card is an ATI 256MB PCI (maybe a 9550?).

    F1N3ST: my brand new computer (not the one with the problem) was $1,029.99 with a $50 rebate. The monitor was $399.99 with an $80 rebate and the graphics card was $169.99. That makes for a total of $1469.97. :) A lot of money.
  5. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,407   +6

    Is your friend's computer a pre-built one (Dell, Compaq, HP, etc.) or one that he built himself? Maybe you can get him to check the power supply.

    I'd recommend downloading CPU-Z from here. Go the 'mainboard' tab. What does it say in the 'manufacturer' and 'model' boxes?
  6. JesseM

    JesseM TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 258

    Yeah it's a pre-built HP. I'll check her computer's power supply and post details on here when I do. It's a pretty bottom-of-the-line computer, so I wouldn't be suprised if the power supply couldn't handle it.
  7. Loucifer1

    Loucifer1 Newcomer, in training

    I have had this same problem before.
    Possible Causes:
    1: The BIOS setting for which graphics card to use is set to an incorrect setting. You can get into the BIOS by pushing delete as the computer is booting...on some pc's it is the F2 button. The Bios should have a setting which will enable you to disable the on-board graphics. Also there may be a setting for what type of card, AGP or PCI. Set it to PCI and make sure the on-board video is disabled.
    2.If the video card is AGP, some motherboards (most) require GART drivers. This enables the AGP 8x and Fastwrite for AGP. If you recently rebooted and are using and aftermarket board, install the motherboard drivers and reboot.
    3. Check the documentation with the card and make sure you aren't running a PCIe video card in a PCI slot. It won't work nearly as well, not even CLOSE.
    4...Sometimes certain monitors will not work with certain refresh rates. Try changing the refresh rate to 60hz in your advanced video settings, and rebooting..I have seen this lead to the black screen problem..
    5.I have seen motherboards that just WILL NOT take an ATI card. Pretty rare but true. Usually COMPAQs.
    6. Try downloading and installing the latest drivers from the vid card manufacturer's site.
    Hope this helps out....Good luck
  8. JesseM

    JesseM TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 258

    I thought there might be some setting in BIOS for the video card. That would make sense since the onboard graphics work. Thanks a bunch for your help.
    Also, I thought PCI-e cards wouldn't physically fit in a PCI slot?
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