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Geforce 9800 not working with windows vista 64-bit - power dips and screen goes blank on start-up

Posted on 2008-10-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
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 (installed on the PCIE 16 slot)
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 which comes with the operating system and is the driver utilised by safe mode (ie the driver makes no use of the benefits of a 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).

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 screen then goes blank as normal
- my usb keyboard with backlight starts to power up - again as normal
- then the power momentarily reduces or goes off (you can hear the fans power off for a split second) and then the screen stays blank permanently (with no mouse pointer), but the computer is still running

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

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 particularly odd.

Does anyone have any thoughts?

Checks I have already done:

- made sure the driver is for VISTA 64-bit - I have downloaded the latest driver from the Nvidia site, and from the Palit site. I have also tried the driver that windows automatically picks up as part of a windows update. All give the same result.
- I have tried both DVI outputs from the graphics card on two different new TFT monitors. Same results.
- I have taken the video card out several times and physically reinstalled it making sure connections appear good.
- I have installed a graphics card out of my other PC (Geforce 6800) and this runs fine on the most up to date drivers (although this card was in the PCIE 8 slot on the motherboard rather than the PCIE 16 slot)
- I have tried doing all the above with my fingers crossed

I have now run out of ideas.
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Question by:jollipop
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by:tk421storm
ID: 22726382
Well it certainly sounds like a power supply issue - probably little to do with the drivers, if it is actually physically affecting your fans. You wouldn't happen to have another power-hungry card on hand would you? It could be a power supply issue - when put under heavy loads it can't provide adequate power - certainly specific to your power supply, as 800w would seem more than efficient.

It could also be the video card, drawing an uneccesary amount of power, though I haven't heard of that before. Does your video card come "overclocked" or "extremeclocked" or anything like that?
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Author Comment

by:jollipop
ID: 22728282
Hi
Thanks for this. The video card, as far as I know, is just standard off the shelf. There is no overclocking that has been added, although I will double check with the suppliers website.
Unfortunately, the Geforce 6800 that I have already tested is the highest spec. alternative card I can get my hands on (and this does not even have a direct power supply from the PSU).
I will put some thought into how I might test the power supply, but any thoughts would be welcome.
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Expert Comment

by:tk421storm
ID: 22731004
Do you have another power supply on hand? Perhaps the one that ran the 6800? That would be a way to isolate the problem - but it seems to me you're definitely looking at a power supply/graphics card issue, rather than software/driver.
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Author Comment

by:jollipop
ID: 22738308
Many thanks - my other power device does not have the right type of connector for this graphics card. However, I will look at if I can get an adapter and report back.
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Author Comment

by:jollipop
ID: 22747706
I have now performed a couple of extra checks.

I have run the unit on an alternative PSU. Exactly the same symptoms.

I have plugged the TV out into a TV in case the signal had been isolated to that output, but no signal was detected.

What should I try next?
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Author Comment

by:jollipop
ID: 22747718
Just to add, I also looked at the lights on the motherboard when there is the temporary reduction in power before the screen goes blank. They all remain on with no sign of flickering. The sound of the reduced power is the noise from the fan on the graphics card which seems to lose power for about a third of a second.
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Accepted Solution

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tk421storm earned 500 total points
ID: 22748952
Well! I think you've narrowed it down to the graphics card. It certainly sounds like a hardware problem, as it's affecting the fan and not outputting any video. Looks like the solution is to send it back and get it repaired! A bummer, I know, but at least it's something concrete like hardware and not esoteric like software that we may go in circles around for weeks and never isolate. Is it under warranty from the point-of-sale or the company?
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Author Closing Comment

by:jollipop
ID: 31506492
Hi
Thanks for your help.

Fortunately it is under guarantee - only a couple of weeks old.
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