Graphics Card Issues?

By capco ยท 16 replies
May 27, 2009
  1. Hi there. Sorry to skip the introduction thread but I'm having some frustrating problems. I spent a considerable amount of time in the search facility reading articles. However, none of them seem to show all of my symptoms. Sorry if this has already been posted :(

    Recently, I have been having some type of computer issue. It began 2 weeks ago, when my monitor didnt't wake up along with my computer. After moving the mouse to get out of hibernate or whatever, the monitor stayed black. Not knowing what to do, I took it to a local repair shop. The guy hooked his monitor up to my computer through the graphics card slot, and the same thing happened. He then hooked it up to the onboard graphics unit, and it worked. His conclusion was a faulty graphics card, and he recommended I pick up a new one.

    So, I ordered a new graphics card, which just came in the mail today. I hooked up the new graphics card, and voila: the monitor reads "No Input Signal." Great. So now I have a new useless piece of hardware.

    There is also a previous issue that may be relevant. About 9 months ago, the exact same issue happened. Thinking it was the monitor, I purchased a new one, and somehow it fixed the problem. This reinforced the issue stemming from a faulty monitor. However, my aunt took our old monitor and she says it works fine!

    I would like to add that I have been using the computer with the onboard graphics unit for a little over a week with no problems, other than the computer sometimes requiring a manual restart (holding the power button) because of not coming out of hibernate. It has been running ok without a graphics card, but I really don't want to use this onboard forever, and I would like to ride this computer out as long as possible (please don't tell me it's the motherboard).

    Some specs off-hand:
    HP Pavillion m7790e
    Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core +5000 ~2.6 GHz
    2Gb RAM
    Geforce 6150 LE (onboard)
    Gefore 7600 GT 256mb RAM (factory installed)
    Geforce 9500 GT 512mb DDR3 (brand new)
    Power Supply: 350 Watts (the card's min. power supply is 350)

    If there are any other specs you need, I'd be more than happy to get them (if you can tell me how, that is).

    I have already changed the Primary Video Adapter settings in BIOS. It's weird because while I was using my onboard (during the new card's delivery time), my BIOS was set to PCI, and not onboard, yet it was still functioning (I only found this out today). My BIOS has 3 settings, PCI, PCI-E, and onboard. And no matter what I seem to do, nothing seems to get any signal from the graphics card, while all three settings work with the onboard. Even with the card in the slot, the onboard doesn't auto turn off. So I don't think it's the monitor (which I have checked on another computer, plus it works fine using the onboard).

    I am sure that the card is in place. I haven't checked the card to see if the fan is running, but I'm almost sure I can hear it (it just sounds a bit louder on startup). The new card does not have any external power supply requirements. All power is drawn from the motherboard.

    The monitor is a Soyo Pearl Series 20" LCD. It has two detachable slots. One for DVI, one for RGB.

    Onboard uses RGB, card uses DVI.

    The original setup consisted of using an adapter for DVI-to-RGB, that went from the DVI output from the 7600 GT to the RGB reciever slot in the monitor. I've never used the DVI mode on the monitor before. I just bought a DVI cord today, because I thought that might have been the reason, but that didn't work either.

    Any suggestions? Could it be the PCI express slot, or maybe a software/virus issue? I have no clue. The closest answer on this board that I've seen has something to do with resetting CMOS by leaving the battery out for 2 minutes (and I haven't the slightest clue as to what that is or how to do that).

    I'm sorry if this is too much at once :(
  2. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Posts: 319

    From reading your specs one question comes up.
    Do you two graphics cards installed ?
    The Geforce 7600 and the 9500 ?
    This may be the problem if in fact you do.. Try just one card (your newer one), attach it to your monitor via a DVI cable and use the RGB for your on board. This way you can quickly switch cards by simply changing the setting in the BIOS. (Which should work) and if does not then YES it may be some malfunction on your motherboard. You can load BIOS defaults to reset it (so to speak). Removing the battery will do nothing except get rid of passwords etc. You can also flash it to the newest version.
  3. capco

    capco TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The 7600 GT was supposedly the one that fried. I gave it to a friend who lives some distance away, and he hasn't gotten around to testing it yet. There is only 1 PCI-e slot and the 9500 GT is the replacement. No two card setup.

    There is an interesting update, however. I just turned on my computer with the side plate off, and I noticed the fan for the graphics card isn't moving! I haven't had a chance to check the card on another computer, but I am looking to later today.

    If the card is in working order, what else could be the culprit?

    I'd be surprised if I fried one and ordered a faulty replacement. Just coincidence, I suppose. We'll wait and see.
  4. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Posts: 319

    Well if fan on the card does not power up and it does not need exgternal power, then that's where I would look. If you just bought get a replacement or try it in another pc just to make sure.
  5. capco

    capco TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I don't know now

    Ok, so I just plugged it back in and tried to start up the computer again. On startup, the fan DID spin, but the fan eventually stopped spinning. As the computer was only connected to the outlet and nothing else I could not see what was happening when it stopped spinning. So it may not be the card just yet. I'm planning on going to a friend's house shortly to test it.

    Thanks for taking your time to help me out a bit :)
  6. capco

    capco TS Rookie Topic Starter

    New Card Works

    I am writing this at my friend's house after testing the new card on his computer, along with my new DVI cord, and they worked perfectly together. So it can't be either of those.

    When I get back to my house, I am going to reset the BIOS settings and hopefully that will work.
  7. capco

    capco TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So I reset the BIOS to its base settings by clearing the CMOS ram. And still no good on the new card. The loaded factory settings had the primary video adapter set to PCI, and not PCI-E. I tried it with the PCI setting and the PCI-E setting, and still no go.

    If it's not the card or BIOS, what could it be? A faulty PCI-E slot?
  8. capco

    capco TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Still no go

    Not only did I reset the BIOS, but I also installed an update. I just don't understand why this isn't working :(

    I think I'm going to have to take it to a repair shop. Oh well. I'll post on how it goes :(
  9. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Posts: 319

    Did you say you had another video card in the same slot? And it was also giving you problems? Could be the slot, firmware on the motherboard or any number of things.. It could also be an incompatibilty between the video card and the motherboard, I dont know for sure only a guess.. I noticed you have an HP system. Have you tried their tech support? Is it still under warranty? A lot of if's in this situation. I would tell you to get another motherboard but you would need to know if it will mount in the HP case (it should if it's ATX or Micro ATX). I dont know to what extent you will go to get this graphics card to work. Let me know what happens
  10. capco

    capco TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I took it to the shop and the repair guy said that it shouldn't be a problem to fix, but that was before I began to tell him about the things I have done already. When I was finished telling him, he gave me an extremely puzzled look. He said that if it's not those things, he'd have to "open it up and get in there" to find out what else could be the problem.

    I haven't tried HP tech support because I'm no longer under warranty and I figured they wouldn't help me. I remember laughing at the reminders to extend the warranty...

    About the motherboard replacement. I have very basic experience with computers. It's a lot of basic experience, but only basic, and so I'm no too sure about replacing this motherboard. This particular model has an EXTREMELY crowded inside from over a dozen different connections for different media devices. I don't even know what they all are and I haven't even used all of them. If there were only a few things I had to attach to the motherboard, I'd be gung-ho about it. But there is SO much stuff, I think I would have to get it done by someone else. And if that is too costly to have done, I think I'm up s@#!'s creek, because I am not in a position to buy a new computer.

    Man I hope it's not the motherboard (faulty, incompatible, or otherwise). I'll keep you posted gguerra.
  11. capco

    capco TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Tough luck.

    Well, I just got my computer back from the shop.

    The final report? The PCI-E slot was the culprit. The guy said that he tried everything he could but in the end there was nothing he could do, outside of getting a new motherboard. Apparently, he said he has never seen anything like this in his twenty year career. Luckily, there was no charge for the diagnosis, seeing as he couldn't fix it. He also said that it was very likely that the old graphics card is still in working order.

    He also said that the motherboard in my computer was custom made by ASUS for HP, and that the only way to get an exact replacement would be to order it directly from HP (for around $200). Rats about that warranty :(

    He said that he could probably find another adequate replacement for around $100, and put it in for around $50. Considering how cramped the inside of this computer is, plus all of the extra connections for the different media drives, I am seriously thinking about paying him to do it, however outrageous it may be. It's better than buying a new computer.

    If you have replaced a motherboard yourself, would you mind discussing what is involved, both in buying a suitable replacement and installing it yourself? Is it doable?
  12. TazarZero

    TazarZero TS Rookie

    Ok, so I feel kinda awkward for butting into this discussion, but I'll be over that by the time I'm done with the reply. Just threw that out there since it's been mostly two people going back and forth.

    Anyhoo, in regards to your question about replacing motherboards, I've only replaced one (1) board since I've been into repairing computers, but I was fortunate enough to be able to find an EXACT match for my board.

    At first, I checked to see what kind of motherboard I had by going to the manufacturer's website and searching for the spec's on my machine, and since the details provided were very basic, I actually opened up my machine and looked around on the motherboard itself for the MODEL number. I then searched that number on Google and found the maker of the board itself, not the PC. They had all the details I needed to know about the board, but nowhere to actually purchase a new one (as of right now, it's a 4 year-old system).

    I ended up looking on Craigslist for systems that were being sold and actually found a post for a system that had the same motherboard as mine. I told the guy that all I needed was the motherboard, but I ended up buying the entire tower anyway since he didn't want to part it out. I find it funny that when you really want something, or put a lot of focus on an item, it usually comes to you with little effort on your part. :) It's pretty cool.

    Ok, so as for switching out motherboards. If you are building a system, they are the first thing set into your case; if you're replacing hardware, they are the last thing to be removed since you have to clear the way to pop them out (some are subtly locked in place). This means you have to remove any expansion cards, the CD/DVD (optical) drives, and if you're case is newer, the Hard drive carriage. Basically remove anything that would make pulling the motherboard out difficult.

    If you aren't fortunate enough to find an exact replacement for your board, then take note of the screw placement on yours, and be sure it matches on the new one. Example, if you're board is a MicroATX, any other MicroATX board should have the same placement of screw holes. Another thing you want to look for with a new board is the CPU type and RAM type of your current setup. If these things are different, chances are you'll be buying a new CPU and new RAM. Also, make sure the Expansion slots on the new board don't exceed the number of openings on the back of your case, and try to find a board that has the type of slots you need for your peripherals (PCI, PCI-E 1x or 16x, etc.).

    I'd say the rest is pretty much history. One thing I would recommend is taking pictures! Take pictures of your current setup, especially of the connector placements, that way you can refer to them when putting things back together. This idea can really go both ways, it'll work if your new board is the same as the old one, but then again, it may be tricky if your new board has a way different setup. But yeah, open your case, discharge static from your body by touching any metal part of the case, remove any hardware that will get in your way from getting to the screws and eventually pulling the old motherboard out, install the new board and make sure ALL screw holes line up, return the screws into the holes and DON'T over tighten them, then return all hardware to its respective places, and make sure all connectors are snug (they usually have only one way to be inserted, so don't force it if it doesn't go on smoothly), and then put the cover back on.

    Umm, the only other thing I can think of to keep an eye out for is the front panel connections on your case; make sure your new board will support them.

    So, that's pretty much the process I went through to get my motherboard replaced, minus the picture taking part because I'm good with logistics of connections and what not. I hope I didn't put you to sleep reading this, and if nothing else, I hope it was a useful and decent read. If I missed anything, let me know. :)
  13. capco

    capco TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Tazar, your post was exactly what I was looking for. There are several helpful hints and you have pointed me in the right direction. Thank you for taking the time to write that. That's a pretty good post in general for motherboard replacement for noobs :)

    I'm looking into it in the very near future.
  14. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Posts: 319

    capco, I just noticed in your original post that you stated that the card's min. power supply is 350. Is that in the specs for the card. If you only have a 350 watt PS and the graphics card asks for 350 watts that does not leave enough for anything else. Just a thought, did you try a bigger PSU? Another reason I mention it is that you stated that the fan on the GPU would not turn on (could mean not enough power). I know CPU, hard drive, motherboard all require a certain amount of power which would reduce the amount available to your GPU
  15. FoReWoRd

    FoReWoRd TS Booster Posts: 204

    that rating usually includes a fully loaded system, if you read the smallprint.

    i built my pc last year at the age of 15, then my bro's and rebuilt mine again this year. if you read up as zero suggested it is very easily doable, and we will help you out if you need any help
  16. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Posts: 319

    He did state in a previous post that the card did not require external power.
    PS, PSU who cares.. It does describe a power supply doesn't it?
  17. FoReWoRd

    FoReWoRd TS Booster Posts: 204

    true, but you answered whilst i was editing :)
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