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Troubleshooting Session: Video Cards

Friday, December 21st, 2007 by | Filed Under: System Tune-Up Help
 
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Q:
I’ve been having some trouble with my monitor and I think my video card may be going bad. I’m not 100 percent sure though. Do you have any troubleshooting tips for video cards? Please help!

A:
No problem at all, but before you get started, keep in mind that all of the below techniques require you to work inside your computer. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, please find someone to help you. Whether it’s someone you know who is really good with computers or if you have to take your PC to a shop, it’s better to get some help with this kind of thing. If you don’t, you could end up messing up other parts of your computer and I would hate it if that happened. So, when you’re ready, let’s get started!

1.) Reseat Your Video Card – The first thing you can try is just a simple reseat. That is, removing the video card from its slot and putting it back in. Doing that ensures the card is in tight and properly set. Note: You cannot do this with an on-board video card.

2.) Try a Different Card – If reseating the video card doesn’t work (or if you have an on-board model), try exchanging it with another one. Maybe you have access to an old card and you can try putting that one in your computer instead. If that one works, you’ll know for sure that your video card has gone bad. Otherwise, keep troubleshooting!

3.) Replace the Video Card – If the above two methods didn’t do the trick, you may just want to go ahead and replace your video card. Unfortunately, if an alternate card doesn’t work, it’s almost certain you’ll need a brand new one.

4.) Replace Your Motherboard – Now, this one should only be used as a last resort. If you’re still having trouble after replacing your video card, you may need to look a little further into the problem, which brings up the topic of your motherboard. In fact, you may not have a bad video card after all. Yep, you could have a defective motherboard instead. In that case, you’ll want to replace your motherboard and you can then try your old video card again. That should solve the problem.

Of course, it’s unfortunate if it goes that far, but it does happen every now and then. Also, you’ll definitely want to get some help with your motherboard if you don’t feel comfortable working inside your computer. As you can probably tell, things are pretty cut and dry when it comes to problems like this. You can either fix it very easily or you have to do a little more digging to get it resolved. Either way though, it’s good to know what you can do to get the problem fixed once and for all.

~ Erin


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