System crashes/ blank screen after install driver for Geforce 9800 with windows vista 64-bit

I have just attempted my first PC build.
All components are new and reasonably high spec.
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
MOTHERBOARD - Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS4
RAM - 8gb (4x 2gb) G.Skill PQ Series PC-6400 DDR2
GRAPHICS CARD - Palit GeForce 9800 GT
POWER SUPPLY - Tagan TG-800-U33 Force II v2 800watt
HARD DRIVE - Seagate Barracuda 500gb w/32mb cache

The system seems to work fine using the standard VGA graphics adapter.

However, if I install the most up-to-date 64-bit vista driver for the graphics card, on a reboot:
- all starts fine
- the copyright Microsoft notice comes up with the progressing green stripes
- the usb peripherals start to power up
- then the power momentarily reduces or goes off (you can hear the fans power off for a split second) and then the screen goes blank

I can only get the system working again by starting in safe mode, rolling back the graphics driver, and rebooting.

Does anyone have any thoughts?
jollipopAsked:
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TCB1Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Have you tried physically taking out the card and reinstalling it into the slot. Make sure you unplug the system before doing this. Also, hold only on the edges so you don't zap any parts. (It's always good to have an ESD wrist strap) Maybe the problem is due to "card creep"?
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TCB1Commented:
Were you having trouble with the previous graphics driver. Sounds like there is a problem with the latest version. If everything works with the previous driver, then stick with it.

Also, you can try this driver finder utility DriverMax and see if it can find updated drivers that work with your graphics card.

http://www.innovative-sol.com/drivermax/
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jollipopAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the comment - also the DriverMax website looks great, although yet to cover 64 bit drivers I see.

The original driver I mentioned is simply the basic standard graphics adapter provided with the operating system. Therefore, it does not utilise any of the benefits of the high-end graphics card or its memory. On the "windows vista experience" index, for example, the graphics only achieves a 1.0 whereas all other components achieve a 5.9. Therefore, I need to find a graphics driver that will work with the video card.

I have tried the latest driver listed by Nvidia, the latest driver listed by Palit, and also an Nvidia driver that windows update automatically installed on my first update. All have the same result.

To me, the fact that the system seems to loose power temporarily just before the screen goes blank (and presumably at the point the graphics card is about to kick in) seems odd. Might this indicate a faulty graphics card?

Are there any checks I can run?
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russell124Commented:
Since the video card shows the low res graphics during startup, and during the windows install, I wouldn't immediately say the card is faulty, this really sounds like a driver/configuration issue.

Even though your screen blanks out on startup, does your computer shut down after that, or is it still running with a blank screen?

Does your video card have multiple outputs?  If so, have you tried using the other video out?

Could there be an issue with your display resolution not being supported by your monitor?
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jollipopAuthor Commented:
After the momentary loss/reduction in power during bootup, the computer continues to run, just with a blank screen.

The video card has two DVI outputs. My preferred screen is running from an analogue input with a DVI converter from one output. The other output does not seem to have a signal even on the low res graphics. On receiving the blank screen, I have tried both outputs and neither seems to have a signal. I have also tried both on another screen with direct DVI input. Again, no signal.

The screen is brand new and so hopefully it is not a case of resolution not being supported. How might I test this?
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jollipopAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion - it was worth trying, but no success.
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jollipopAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your help.
I have decided to repost the question consolidating all of the current information.
I figured you desrved points for your assistance so far.
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