TechSpot

Video card not detected

By zeymo
Nov 15, 2009
  1. h t t p://w w w .evga.com/articles/366.asp <---Video card specs

    Ok. I just got an upgrade from Vista to Windows 7, plus I wanted to play Maple better on my crappy Slimline HP s3100n computer so I bought this card. Mine is exactly the same but the 256MB model. Everything went perfect for like around 1month.

    Computer specs link ---> h t t p://h10025.w w w1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01053975&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&product=3440586&lang=en

    One day I turned on the pc , only to find out it didn't show any display on the monitor, so I restarted but nothing seemed to change. I looked at the connection on the back of the pc (DVI to VGA adapter) but eveything was good. No beeps, all fans working, nothing loose. So I had to change the monitor connection to the one on the motherboard and it worked.When I logged in, I noticed the PC slower so the 1st thing I did was to check for the Video card in device manager, and It was not being displayed. So now I had a bigger problem. Unistalled the latest drivers from nVidia and reinstalled them, went to a previous restore point , around 4 days back, but nothing. I even went into the BIOS to change the main video adaptar to PCI-E and to default settings, nothing. So im thinking, "the fan spins, at least is getting power", so at this point I don't know if is the PCI-E slot, the card, drivers, BIOS or what the hell.

    I went on to a friend's house to check the card, but same thing happened, well a little worse. The card was getting power (fan spin) but the card wouldn't display anything and if we changed the connection back to the VGA slot on the motherboard it wouldn't work either. The only time the PC could display anything was to boot it with out the card installed.

    Back at my house I installed the card and went to sleep. In the morning I turn on the pc and WTF? The VGA slot in the motherboard now doesn't work now, so the 1st thing I do is to put the adapter and try the video card slot and works. GREAT! ..But only for 1 day, I turned on the PC in the morning just to find out the same thing happends. No display from the card, and not detected by the system and fan spins.
    Only one new thing comes to my mind, the power supply might not be enough to handle the card, since it says it neads a 350w power supply and mine's 160w, but why would it work for several weeks and then not?

    Any help?
     
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Long story short ;)

    Its your Power Supply, you need a better one (say 450Watt will do)

    Have a nice day :)
     
  3. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    be careful trying to upgrade your slimline PSU, they have a proprietary size and regular PSU's wont fit in them. I am surprised that the card worked at all, but power supplies are funny things, when you put more demand on them then they are rated for they will work extremely hard to provide the voltage/amps that are trying to be pulled from them, and that creates an enormous amount of heat and that damages not only the PSU, but the components that are drawing the power that the PSU really does not have to offer. a 160W PSU is barely enough to for the system without a graphics card, and I noticed that what HP is calling a 'power upgrade' is this http://www.atxpowersupplies.com/270-watt-HP-slimline-power-supply-FSP270-60LE-SL.php which is ridiculous. if you notice the physical size of your PSU, you will see that a standard ATX PSU will not fit your case. so be advised of that if you try to get a 450W or better PSU.
     
  4. zeymo

    zeymo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    So you guys are like 90%+ sure the PSU is the problem here? Since I don't have much money to spare right now. Plus I want to be sure what is causing the problem before taking action.
     
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    No :(

    I'm 100% sure :) Not sure about red1776 though, he may be 99.99% sure ;)
     
  6. zeymo

    zeymo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    So if not sure, what else culd it be?. As I said before, it worked great for almost a month , could installing 2GB of RAM be a problem? Thats the only change I can recall making to the system lately. But the RAm works great and is detected and all.
     
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Extra Ram takes extra voltage, which means the Power Supply needs to work harder
    Also when (or if) you decide to remove that tiny Powerless Supply
    Then blow out all internal dust with a high compressed air can (you can purchase one of these too)
     
  8. zeymo

    zeymo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    My PC is pretty clean btw =) and I'll put the 1GB ram back tomorrow and see what happens. I'll report back.
     
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    ok

    Also if I had opened that computer up and seen 160Watt PSU, I think I would have fallen on the floor laughing :D
    Its definitely not the lowest I've seen (but then again I go way back :))
    But for todays Windows computers and addon Video cards, its pretty bad.
    It was a good computer once I'm sure :D (Nah, that's unlikely too)
     
  10. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    put it this way, your CPU alone is taking at least 65 watts, your video card is probably taking using 45-60 watts, add your HDD , CD, Ram. etc, and your 160w PSU is running at near 100%, PSU's are not meant to be run at anywhere near that. as they say "somethings gotta give" when you tax them like that, they heat up, when they heat up they become less efficient, when they become less efficient your measly 160W PSU becomes a a 120W PSU and that's less than the demand you are putting on it.... put me down for 100% Kim LOL
     
  11. zeymo

    zeymo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Well I just did a Watt calculation --HERE-- and it came out that the PC without the 8400 GS video card would need a 170w PSU, and with the card would need a 212w PSU. I guess is not T H A T overwhelming! ... as it sounds.

    and btw, I couldn't check it at my other friend's house , but I did check it on the same computer as before because he just formated his HD and this time it displayed the boot screen and we could access the BIOS but nothing more, everytime it gave us some kind of error with a black screen and codes, I didn't write them down but I think they were something called Port 80h POST Codes, im not sure.
     
  12. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    what that calculator does not take into account is the quality ,efficiency, or the amp rating needed to run your system. not to mention that you need to allow a 30% overhead to that figure as running a PSU at 80% + all the time is problematic...did you take into account system load and cap aging? but hey, its your system. Im telling you that a 160w,a 170w, or a 212w is not sufficient for your system.
     
  13. zeymo

    zeymo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    OK, I guess you have a point there. But my point is that my psu is weak but is might not be the one causing the VIDEO CARD PROBLEM, wich is the REAL problem here.

    Maybe you can help with the Intel codes I mentioned ?
    Or any ideas about other options besides the PSU being weak?
     
  14. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    can you duplicate it and write down the error codes? or do they disappear to quickly?
     
  15. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    this is why, a Port 80h POST Code is a post sequence that calls out to (checks the subsystem and peripherals ) to pass post check. (see here) http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/CS-025434.htm#port80h, there is something that is not passing P.O.S.T and it could be your memory, keyboard, or any number of things, etc. see if you can get the code, or if you have a sytem speaker, a beep sequence.
     
  16. zeymo

    zeymo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    OK, back on track with my problem.

    The card works, I tested on two different computers and worked great on both. So it's not the card.

    So, I have two options left, the PSU or the PCI-E slot being faulty.

    Two questions:
    1. If my PSU is insufficient (160w) , could it lead to make the card not display at all but turn the fan on?
    2. Is there a way to check if the PCI-E slot works, other than installing another PCI-E device (if there's any other than video cards)?

    Remember, lets keep in mind the card WORKED on both of my HDs for like a month, Vista and W7 and then suddenly stopped working.
     
  17. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    its your psu
     
  18. zeymo

    zeymo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Well, any recommendations for small 350w PSU ? I haven't found one yet.
     
  19. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

  20. zeymo

    zeymo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    They look kind of big for my case.. I have HP SLIMLINE wich is tiny, LOL. The Corsair looks good, nice price but I'll look for the real size or a smaller version.

    That one is 2 inches wider than my PSU. It wont fit.
     
  21. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

  22. zeymo

    zeymo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Yeah , none of the "little PSU" that I found pass the 270w mark.

    Check this. http://http://www.directron.com/fsp27060le.html

    and this http://www.censuspc.com/Sparkle-Power-SPI270LE-270-Watts-FLEX-ATX-20-24-Pin-RoHS-Power-Supply-Bulk-pack-pr-5902.html

    Now I found this 300w woot! http://www.directron.com/flex0130b.html

    ***UPDATE***

    Im now thinking on moving the insides to a bigger case, so I can just get a decent PSU plus I get the extra space and ventilation.

    This might be my choice : http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5250569&CatId=32
    This should work right? I mean, as far I could research, my motherboard (HERE) should fit in there without any problems right?

    Anyway, any suggestions?
     
  23. denns25

    denns25 TS Rookie

    red1776:
    the site you mentioned is about to release a device that can power the video card from outside the computer case without disturbing the existing power supply configuration.

    disclaimer: I am affiliated with the site that red1776 mentioned.
     
  24. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Are you aware of any higher wattage Power Supplies than the one red1776 mentioned (270 Watt :( )
     
  25. zeymo

    zeymo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Sure!

    After some hours (literally) of searching I found this one. Seems reliable and well , the best mini-PSU of 270w+ available out there.

    300w mini-PSU : http://www.directron.com/flex0130b.html

    Could you link it please? :D
     
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