Broken Graphics Card
January 15, 2011 2:06 PM   Subscribe

I think my graphics card is do I fix it?

I have a Dell Inspiron 530 desktop computer, running Windows Vista Home Premium. A couple of days ago I turned it on and the graphics were horrible--very low resolution, very few colors. I tried adjusting the screen properties back to hi-res and 32-bit colors, but they immediately reverted to the lowest possible settings. Then I thought to check the graphics card through the control panel, and found out that the computer had disabled the graphics card due to a problem. At this point the computer was still usable, just crazy low-res. I rebooted (the first resort of the computer amateur) and things seemed to work fine, but then as I was Googling about graphics card troubleshooting, the screen slowly became covered with static dots and then froze. I rebooted again, and now the monitor is acting like it is receiving no graphics signal at all. The rest of the computer seems to be working--I can hear the Windows start-up sound, and the light on my USB wireless adaptor comes on to show it is connected to the internet.

I'm about a moderate level computer user--I've added new sound cards or other components before. I'm not afraid to open up the case. But I haven't ever encountered this before. How do I fix a problem when I can't see anything at all on the monitor?

The graphics card was an NVidia GeForce 8300 something or other. I bought a new GeForce 8400 and installed it, hoping that the driver would be close enough that I would get a picture when I rebooted, but my monitor is still blank. What do I do from here? Is there a chance I have misdiagnosed the problem?
posted by D+ to Technology (2 answers total)
Best answer: Have you switched out the monitor? It seems like graphics cards should work under Windows without special drivers, if only at a very basic level.
posted by papayaninja at 2:27 PM on January 15, 2011

Response by poster: Oh, hey, never mind everyone. Looks like my preschooler switched the monitor input setting from VGA to a non-existent digital input while the troubleshooting was going on, which is why it blank-screened. Things are hobbling along now, and I'm installing new drivers.
posted by D+ at 2:37 PM on January 15, 2011

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