To decipher whether the video card is dead or not

one year back i purchased a dell pc. it came with a nvidia 8300 graphics card which i hooked to my dvi compliant monitor for use as a primary display device.

several months ago whenever i turn on my pc it would turn off and on for exactly 3 times before it boots windows. and the monitor would display a no signal warning despite proper factory setting at auto detect and attempts to switch it to digital and analog mode. however as soon as i plug the old vga cable to the mobo vga plug my monitor would work and all seemed fine.

back then atleast having to resort to use my pc with onboard mobo vga i was able to see a windows message popping up the instant i plug the monitor’s dvi cable into the dvi port on my nvidia graphics card, nowadays i just don’t see that anymore.

device manager display only one primary display device “standard vga” and that’s it. back then i recalled seeing the fine print of “gf8300gs” displayed there.

display drivers used were from the disc and bios is factory default, no OC nor flashing has ever been done, as i’m no geek, i never dare to touch even the device manager or the brightness setting on my monitor. my pc has always been protected with norton and avira, as well as adaware and iorbit of which is always updated and i’m proud to say i’ve not even ventured anywhere on the net that gave even a spyware and virus reading, especially when i surf with firefox

i tried taking the graphics card out to reseat it, but every tug and wank gave an awful fright. it won’t budge, it is secured as the wires connected to it.

restarting the pc lots however yields the same result of no signal for the monitor, where as only days before the dvi would be working fine again.

i recalled in the early weeks of my usage of then this brand new pc and the entire screen simply disappears for 2 secs before coming back on and reporting that the nvidia display driver has recovered from a “serious critical error” i didn’t have internet back then nor do i run it for anything other than my old purchased copy of coral draw and msoffice so virus was out of the question.

so my question would be if there are any obvious symptoms/signs to which to tell a video card is failing or has failed. any help is greatly appriciated, thank you mates!


you may try this:
Since this is a Dell computer, you may try the Dell Diagnostics utility to test your hardware. If it is not preinstalled (check your manual for details please), then you can create a bootable CD or USB device with the Diagnostics tool. You find it in the “drivers” section on

You may try the Utility either with your screen connected to the onboard VGA as well as with your add-on VGA card.

Add-on cards are often well-secured, so you may check the service manual for your computer, which is also available on Dell support website in order to find out how to remove or reseat the card.


This could also be a sign of a bad power supply.

dell diag reports no problems on all devices.

any way to tell other than transfer the gfx card to test on different mobo?

You can stress your video card with Futuremarks 3D Mark 06, its free, get it HERE

Before you install Futuremark, you might want to install the latest Directx, get it HERE

[QUOTE=eric93se;2482045]You can stress your video card with Futuremarks 3D Mark 06, its free, get it HERE

Before you install Futuremark, you might want to install the latest Directx, get it HERE[/QUOTE]

the gfx card isn’t showing up on any 3d intensive apps, it’s like it’s no longer in my pc chasis.

Hi,[QUOTE=tomoyoafter;2482029]dell diag reports no problems on all devices.[/quote]So you get a picture with Dell Diag when the monitor is connected to your VGA card?
What happens if you load Windows in Safe Mode? Do you then get a picture also?


vga onboard mobo works with monitor

vga and dvi on gfx card is unresponsive to monitor.

while starting pc with mobo vga as prime display mode, plugging dvi cable in gfx card no longer illicit a response message of detection from windows

Okay. Either the VGA card is dead or simply has to be reseated.


well i’ll be, vga mode on gfx card suddenly works again, however dvi is still unrespondsive to monitor and the same message of no signal detected is given again by monitor, when i plug the dvi cable to the gfx card while it’s connected to my mon in vga mode windows notifies of hardware detection.

this is rather odd, how can a display card have only div mode damaged?

I would try uninstalling the device then reinstalling every thing with latest drivers. Then if its still giving you trouble put it in another port (If you have another depending on what it is PCi etc) I would test it in another computer if you could too…

See if the auto online Nvidia graphics driver detection tool can fined your card

Try using SIW to see if you can fined the card in your computer. SIW finds a lot more then normal system info

find find find :smiley:

tomoyoafter, try reseating the card as mciahel suggested. You just have to remove the phillips head screw at the back of the card, after that their might be a locking tab that you have to press down on to release it (where the card meets the MB). Make sure you turn the PC off and unplug the power cord.

i tried pulling really hard at it while pushing down hard on the plastic plastic knob at the pcie slot, it just won’t come out, i reckon almost snapping the pci modem that’s next to it. i’m planning on selling the pc at local auction site so it’s just too much trouble to replace it with new one.

[B] right now it seems as long as i don’t turn the monitor off no matter what happens, the dvi mode on graphics card would work fine no matter how many times the pc is turned back on, once i turn the monitor off and turn on my pc, the video card would be as if it’s dead. this is just very peculiar. [/B]

Do you have a digital camera to take pics of the locking tab, you might be pushing in the wrong direction, some down some to the side.