I hate hardware.
December 26, 2005 8:33 PM   Subscribe

Why does my new video card cause a memory dump during boot?

Long Story: I have a Dell Precision 350. A few months ago the fan on my video card got clogged up, overheated the chip and kaputznik. I threw in a spare card i had laying around - I bought it in... say 1996 or so. So it's working, but sub-optimal at least. Today I went to the store and bought a 256mb GE-Force something or other. Here is where I made my first mistake, I left the old card in, because I thought I could run both - dual monitor-style. Upon further inspection, I found I could do this without doing that. Anyway, while both were in the computer I installed the drivers for New Card, then i pulled the old card, and it booted with a generic VGA adapter running, however the card was listed in the hardware manager. I played around trying to get it to use the new card, and went so far as to disable the generic VGA adapter that was listed in the display settings. Since then, booting with the new card in causes the machine to crash in a memory dump during boot, around the time it's loading the AGP drivers. I went back to the store, figuring I'd just get a PCI card and skip this whole mess, but accidently bought another AGP card (long day.) It's doing the same thing with this new Radeon something card. So, can this card be saved? Will buying a PCI instead skip all this hassle?
posted by muddylemon to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Boot with your old crappy spare card. Go to your device manager. Right-click on any display adapter and 'Uninstall'. Shut down. Remove old card, insert new card. See if you can boot.
posted by Jairus at 8:43 PM on December 26, 2005

pci rather than agp may not save the day. ultimately, either bus protocol is simply an input for the drivers used by the computer; and while the code in the drivers for each protocol is different, it sounds to me like the drivers themselves are at issue.

if the generic VGA adapter is getting chosen instead of the drivers for the new card, it would seem that the computer is thinking that those drivers aren't actually compatible with the card. i can't tell you why -- but maybe uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers can help.

the crashes at boot are probably happening because that's the time that windows wants to use something as the driver for your video card. since you'd taken the generic adapter away as a possible choice, the os isn't sure what to do since nothing else is a good fit for the card. hence the crash. a memory dump is in line with standard windows procedures (i'm guessing you're running windows here); on linux, a similar scenario might cause a kernel panic and end the boot process.

if you're in windows, definitely boot into safe mode. that should force windows to use the generic vga adapter. re-enable it for the time being, then go back to playing with the drivers.
posted by moz at 10:38 PM on December 26, 2005

more: Going into safe mode doesn't help, crashes anyway. When I boot with just the old card, the new one isn't in device manager, when i do both, it shows the correct card with the correct drivers. This is W2k too, btw. Thanks for the input so far...
posted by muddylemon at 11:31 PM on December 26, 2005

I've had this problem with Nvidia drivers and my Tyan 2460. I have to use some of the oldest drivers available (or the ones that install by default on the OS install), or the card won't install right or it bluescreens like you describe...
posted by jackofsaxons at 11:38 PM on December 26, 2005

Try looking in the bios for an option to change/retrain the AGP apature.

My guess though is that it's a software problem stemming from not having removed the old drivers completely/using the wrong drivers when installing.

Using the system 'Remove this device' tool does not even come close. ATI supplies software for removing its older drivers before upgrading, I can only assume Nvidia does the same.
posted by tiamat at 11:22 AM on December 27, 2005

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