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New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

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New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby CrackHead » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:26 pm

OK, it's like this:

My 5 year old Radeon 9000 Pro AGP graphics card's fan has finally given up the ghost after several weeks of audible agony, it served me well but it's high time I upgraded anyway, 128 MB of RAM just don't cut it these days.

So I went out and got a relatively cheap but good replacement, a Radeon PowerColor X1550 AGP. I attempted to install it thusly:

1. Uninstalled the 9000 Pro drivers (both "primary" and "secondary," whatever that means, apparently it all has to go)
2. Cracked open the side panel, grounded myself, unscrewed and extracted the old card from the AGP slot.
3. Inserted the new card into the AGP slot, screwed it in and attatched the external power supply.
4. Reconnected everything, plugged the monitor cable into the new card's blue VGA port.
5. Booted up.

Now, according to the manual, I should have been greeted with the usual Windows XP boot-up sequence, but at a lower resolution, allowing me to install the necessary software.

But this didn't happen, what I got instead was a blank black screen and a blinking monitor light, in other words nothing! Everything else was OK tho, I heard the Windows theme so the system was otherwise fine, I just couldn't see a bloody thing! I thought that maybe the card hadn't been inserted right but I checked and the fan was fully functional and spinning away.So I powered off and went online with my laptop to find answers, quickly finding this.

I focused on #2 and figured I should try disabling the onboard video in case it was conflicting with the new card. So I removed the new card, plugged the monitor cable into the motherboard's blue VGA port and booted up again.

Now I got what I'd been expecting the first time: a low-res but otherwise fully functional display. I went into Device Manager and looked for Display Adatpter but oddly it now wasn't there, the closest approximation was Other Devices>Video Contoller (VGA Compatible), which I disabled as seen below:
Image
I shutdown and repeated steps 3-5. This time it seemingly worked, I got the low-res display while plugged into the new card and the usual Found New Hardware Installation Wizard prompt. But I didn't use the CD that came with the box, instead I installed the latest driver I had downloaded earlier from the official site, newer is always better, right? Both the driver and the Catalystâ„¢ Control Center were apparently installed succesfully and I just had to restart the computer. And that was that. Or so I thought.

Namely, I restarted but instead of the expected high-res display I got NOTHING again! Blank black screen and blinking monitor light. So I figured I'd best uninstall the latest driver and use the default CD, cuz you never know. So I removed the card again, unistalled the driver, reinserted the card and booted up, expecting it to work like last time since I'd disabled that VGA function.

But it didn't, now even with the aforementioned disable, I cannot get any kind of display while plugged into the new card, WTF?! I've tried installing the driver while plugged into the default VGA port (motherboard) but it won't fly, says it needs to detect hardware before it can install anything. But if the new card is inside it prevents the default VGA display from working, so I've got a catch-22 situation going on here.

HELP! :(
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby Paladwyn » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:46 pm

You are on the right path, but now...

You need to install the drivers.

Either from the disc, or do what I do..get them from the site... ATI.

edit: hang on, will find more information...

sorry, eating popcorn :)

Anyways, if you can get to a screen..try loading in safe mode and uninstall all video drivers, then reload back up normal and try again.
Don't roll your chair backwards, you might run over my foot.
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby CrackHead » Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:17 pm

Paladwyn wrote:You need to install the drivers.

Either from the disc, or do what I do..get them from the site... ATI.

Well yes, I've already tried that but Windows won't install the drivers unless the relevant hardware is inside, see?
Image
And if it is inside I get no display so I can't install or see anything, that one time seems a fluke now.
Paladwyn wrote:Anyways, if you can get to a screen..try loading in safe mode and uninstall all video drivers, then reload back up normal and try again.

All the drivers are uninstalled, I double checked. :tinfoilhat:
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby velatire » Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:33 pm

You might not have enough power.
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby CrackHead » Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:37 pm

That would do it? How can I check?
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby n9xph » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:13 pm

Check for a clean dust free AGP slot and that there is not any debris stuck on the gold plated contacts on the plug in video card. When you removed the old card some accumulated dust may have fallen into the card slot. Your power supply may not have enough wattage for the new card. You could try a power supply with a higher wattage rating to test this out.
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby Paladwyn » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:23 pm

The power thing was something I was going to suggest, I had seen somebody else take a powercolor card, and for some reason it required more power than the board let it have.
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby n9xph » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:31 pm

Another possible issue I have run into when trying to upgrade AGP cards is voltage. Some motherboards may need a different voltage AGP card than what the card you have will support. Verify your motherboard's AGP voltage is the same as what the card supports.
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby Wham » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:53 pm

What you have is a hardware problem. The card you bought is bad. Sorry to say, it happens. You won't be able to install the drivers if the card is bad. I assume you tried reseating the card. When you reseated the card, did it make any difference. If you don't get any video, try the old card again. If you get video with the old card then your new card is bad!!
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby CrackHead2 » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:18 pm

Hey it's me, I'm just having a lot of issues now, I did a System Restore to before I uninstalled the original drivers and FireFox is all messed up, lost my bookmarks, extensions and passwords, ergo the new account.

Re the power issue: but remember guys, it worked ONCE, I managed to get a low-res display thru the new card right after I disabled the VGA controller the first time, and the fan was working just fine............on the box it says "300 watt or greater power supply recommended." :?
Verify your motherboard's AGP voltage is the same as what the card supports.

How would I do that, are the specs on the actual mobo somewhere?
If you don't get any video, try the old card again. If you get video with the old card then your new card is bad!!

I did indeed put the old card back after a system restore and it works fine, only now FireFox and god knows what else is messed up........
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby tehdoomsayer » Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:15 am

i'm going to have to agree with wham. sounds like you got a bum card. most cards come with either a manufacturer warranty or a dealer warranty. check your manual or check with your dealer you might be able to get a replacement. most hardware companies/stores have a policy for DOA's.
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby n9xph » Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:30 am

The motherboard will have the name of the manufacturer and part number on it somewhere. Usually this info is near one of the PCI slots.

Once the motherboard is identified you can look up its specs on the web at the manufacturers website.

Double check for dirt and dust on the card and in the slot and clean both the card fingers and slot.

What power supply wattage do you have?

You will need a supply rated at about 480 watts max output or more to get a supply that can really output 300 watts reliably.
Power supply ratings written on the supply can be misleading.

The 1550 has 600Mhz core clock and 800Mhz 256MB 64bit ram. This much speed eats plenty of watts.

The 9000 has 275MHz core clock and 550MHz 128MB DDR ram. Eats much less watts than 1550.

A defective card is certainly possible like Wham said and your place of purchase would probably be more than happy to test the card in a different PC to find out.
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby CrackHead2 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:53 am

I believe I have 400 watt max output....

But I think I've found a more likely culprit: the motherboard chipset drivers or absence thereof.

Before you begin to install your new graphics card you MUST uninstall the previous
graphics card drivers. However, if your new card is an ATI model you may need to
check if some motherboard drivers are present for your motherboards chipset prior to
uninstalling your old card. The motherboard drivers which are sometimes left out by
some manufacturers are called any of the following:

- AGP Driver
- AGP Miniport
- AGP VXD Driver
- Chipset Driver
- GART Driver
- VGART

If you continue to install your new graphics card without these motherboard drivers
installed will result in a ‘Blank’ screen after boot-up – which is very difficult to get
out of. What you need to do is make sure the motherboards chipset drivers have been
installed first. If you know for sure they have then you will not have any problems. If
you don’t know if the motherboard drivers have been installed then you MUST install
them now before you proceed any further with the installation of the new ATI
graphics card – nVidia graphics cards are not affected to my knowledge by this
problem.


Added to this is that I tried to connect through the old card after I reversed the system restore (i.e. no drivers installed for either card) and got the same blank black screen and blinking monitor light. I can only connect through the old card if I restore the system to before I uninstalled the original 9000 Pro driver......
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby CrackHead2 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:52 am

Image

http://support.intel.com/products/chips ... /index.htm

Hmmmm, the new card is AGP x8 while my mobo's set for x4. However, this doesn't necessarily mean it won't work:

Q: Will an 8x AGP video card work in a 4x AGP slot?

A: It will work, but it will only work at up to the 4x that your motherboard is capable of. You may need to change your BIOS settings for AGP= 4x to obtain maximum performance from your motherboard and graphics card.

The bottomline is that your 8X video card can theoretically be safely TESTED in any 1.5V motherboard for compatibility. But if you know for a fact that your board only runs 1.5V AGP 2.0 spec and your 8X AGP 3.0 card runs only 0.8v spec, then the two should NOT be compatible one another. At the very least it will be unstable, if it runs at all. However, we've had a lot of users tell us that their AGP 8x cards work on 4x only motherboards. This is likely due to the fact that some AGP8X video cards are in fact universal 1.5V capable AGP3.0 cards that can run on either 1.5V or 0.8V (remember, AGP speeds are backwards compatible, only voltage incompatibilies cause problems).


:shock:
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby IneptVagrant » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:50 am

Don't disable the on-board display, in either the bios or OS. You just leave it installed, and choose not to use it later. There may be a bios choice to try "AGP first", set it but its not required. Which port gets output initially doesn't matter either, you will change it after drivers are installed. Either card or both can show up as "Video Contoller (VGA Compatible)", thats just the default driver for video output devices.

Make sure the new Card is "firmly seated". This can mean alot of different things depending on the MoBo. Most you won't have any problem with. I had one where the manual explicitly said, "push extremely hard".. and I did indeed have to. It was about the dumbest thing I've ever read in a manual.. but it worked.

-- At any time, if a display appears to stop working, just switch cable to the other output and see if it is working instead -- It Doesn't matter which is working at any particular time. As long as one of them is. I use the same on-board video chipset (Intel(R) 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV) at work, and also have a FX5200 with dual display -- for a total of 3 monitors to work on.

If you have 2 moniters in the house, borrow the 2nd one to work with and hook em both up. Having both hooked up, lets you not have to wry about which is getting output. Return it when you're done... Or not.. extended desktop is nice at times.

****

Start by booting in safe mode, "F8" during start up, I think you're familiar with that. Install a driver for the on-board display if its not already. Your link to Intel above goes on to this page. Download, install, reboot, going back to safe mode.

Run driver cleaner. Reboot, back to safe mode.

Install your ATI driver "ATI Catalystâ„¢ 8.3"... I would only install the display driver (the 14.1MB package)... but its up to you. Reboot, back to safe mode.

Make sure hardware acceleration is set to "FULL". For both devices. Control Panel, Display Properties > Settings (tab) > Select a display (drop down menu) > Advanced (button) > Troubleshoot (tab) > Hardware Acceleration (slider) > move to the right. Repeat for each display in the drop down menu. Reboot, ok to goto normal now.

Set the ATI display to "Use this device as the Primary Moniter". Apply. Move you're vid cable, you have 15 seconds to comply and hit accept. Finally adjust the resolution and color depth.
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby CrackHead2 » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:25 pm

OMG, thank you soooooooooooooooooo much, I was at my wit's end and literally 1 mouse click away from buying another, weaker card when I decided to check Slyck forums 1 last time in case anybody else had any suggestions, you just saved me a few bucks.
:toast:

First of all, I was missing that onboard graphics driver you so kindly linked, once I installed that the Display Adapter reappeared in Device Manager, which gave me a good feeling that I was finally making progress.

Then when I was inserting the card I noticed that when I pushed it in equally on all sides the fit with the screw-hole wasn't quite right, it was obscured half-way, when I had been screwing it in previously it therefore hadn't been inserted properly.

Anyway, I managed to improvise a solution with a plastic toothpick to keep the card in place and when I booted up all was well, I installed the driver with ease and everything's cool now.

Thanks again. :)
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby CrackHead2 » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:48 pm

One more thing, the card's RAM is being given as 512 MB even tho the one I purchased is 256, even says so on the box.

Is this because it's running at 4x instead of 8x or did somebody screw up and send me a better card by accident? :?

Image
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby Paladwyn » Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:07 am

Looks like you got lucky and ended up with 512MB card.
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby IneptVagrant » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:11 am

I would guess it was returned at some point, and repackaged wrg.

GPU-Z will give ya all the nfo on the card
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Re: New GFX card & blank screen, blinking monitor

Postby CrackHead2 » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:40 am

Yep, it's 512, the X1550 apparently comes in 2 versions, 256 MB and 512 MB, somehow I ended up with a 512 in the 256 box I purchased, I guess it's God's way of making all the pain and hassle worth it. :mrgreen:
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