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Dell desktop won't accept upgrade video cards

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by sharpshooter, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

    1,850
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    Dec 25, 1999
    NV
    My Dell tower is 2+ yrs old. It was a good setup at the time, upgraded processer, memory, latest GeForce 8600 video card, etc. Had no probs with it, even running Vista.

    My video card started going bad so I dropped it off at the repair shop also for a 1tb hard drive. I do a lot of digital photography. 4 weeks later they say the computer won't accept any add on video cards. They tried 4 confirmed good ones, the screen goes blue and freezes. They can't figure it out. But the standard built in video card still works.

    Any ideas? Is this going to slow down my dig photography? What about dig video? I don't game at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  2. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,930
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    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    I can't imagine it significantly slowing down your digital photography using onboard video ram. You will want to make sure your system ram is maxed out. Digittal video, if you're doing some heavy editing, etc.. it could be an issue.

    My first thought regarding your problem is you've got a bad "port".. wherever the card is plugging into... In fact, your video card likely wasn't going bad, there's a problem w/ the port. What that could be, I don't really know. I imagine it's a PCI-e card that is the problem.
     

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011

  3. havensal

    havensal Nozzle Jockey CLM

    2,939
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    Aug 14, 2003
    Western, NY
    Do they know what they are doing?

    I assume they disabled the on-board video and enabled the add-on card in the BIOS.

    Most name brand PC's will not let you use both, you have to disable one to get the other to work. :dunno:
     
  4. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,930
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    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    Most computer motherboards(that I've dealt with anyway) do automatically disable the on-board video when a video card is detected. I've actually never dealt w/ one that didn't disable the on-boat automatically.

    The fact his previous card was "going out"... makes me strongly suspect that there's a problem w/ the motherboard.
     
  5. gemeinschaft

    gemeinschaft AKA Fluffy316

    2,202
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    Feb 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    +1

    Is there a way to test your old video card in a known good box? That might help identify the issue or fry the slot on that box, either way, you'd be able to figure out what happened so you know how to fix it.
     
  6. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

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    it sounds a lot like what happens when you do not uninstall the drivers of the card you are replacing before installing the new video card and booting up.

    Though usually that is only the case when switching brands of video cards. Like going from Nvidia to ATI or vice versa.
     
  7. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

    1,850
    21
    Dec 25, 1999
    NV
    They (reputable multi-location repair shop) could not figure it out. So now I'm stuck with the on board video card which is quite a downgrade from my GeForce 8600. Not too happy about that.
     
  8. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,930
    1,157
    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    To expand a bit on what Dragoon said, what did you try replacing the 8600 with? Did you stay in the Nvidia family, or did you try to go ATI? Removing the old Nvidia drivers, before installing the ATI drivers, is a good point. I'm guessing they tried this though, if they went to the issue of testing 4 confirmed working video cards and none of them worked.

    I still think this issue has to do with the motherboard, and not the card. I take it the computer is not under warranty. I'm sure its frustrating, but I don't think this is the repair shops fault.
     
  9. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    19,242
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    Apr 30, 2005
    The repair shop should have had testing hardware that they could determine whether or not the Video card slot on the motherboard was bad or not, did they? if they determined there was nothing wrong with the video slot then I would check the following.

    The first thing I would check if I were trying to solve this problem is the Power supply. Dell uses top quality power supplies But any PS can fail or be failing which can cause a lot of problems.

    If one of the rails is going bad it can cause various glitches and hardware failures with any device that draws power on that rail.

    Download SIW and check check the voltages of the Power supply. It is a freeware utility and you can find the voltages under "Sensors". it shows what the voltages should be and what they are. it is not a problem if they are not exact look for a wide discrepancy between what the voltage should be and what it is. also be alert for constant fluctuations which should not be occurring.

    http://www.gtopala.com/siw-download.html


    Another possible source for the problem could be again the power supply, as I noted Dell uses high quality power supplies. However, they tend to use the bare minimum for a power supply tailored to the system as it was built.

    Adding components that draw considerably more juice that the component the system was built with can cause problems since the power supply used was just enough to power the system as built.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  10. kc8ykd

    kc8ykd

    2,090
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    Oct 6, 2005
    michigan
    ^ i agree

    it's pretty easy to outpace an oem power supply with an aftermarket video card these days.

    usually the video card manufacturer's website will specify the minimum required power supply wattage to support a particular card.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  11. BINGO. Have them check and see if the onboard graphics has been disabled.
     
  12. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Indiana
    Very unlikely....

    IGF
     
  13. Linux3

    Linux3

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    I have to go with this.
    Dell computers usually use very, very proprietary BIOS's. Non standard to say the least.
    A buddy replaced his on-board video on a Dell with a NVidia card and we really had to fiddle to find the BIOS entry to turn off the on-board.

    Also, Dell turns off all the unused SADA hard drive ports. If you add a drive and connect it and do not turn on the port the system will be very unstable and not see the drive.

    Doesn't matter what you have seen with other systems. Dell's are weird.
    Not bad but proprietary.
     
  14. furioso2112

    furioso2112

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    Dec 12, 2007
    i was about to rant about dell. im reaching for a rant tonight.
     
  15. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,930
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    Indiana
    I can perfectly believe that... but he took the PC in, because his video card was having issues (which means if it was in the BIOS, then it was disabled in the first place, because he was originally running a video card and they would have had to disable it to make the onboard work)...

    IGF
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011