Want to know how to install a new video card?

Question

I want to install a new video card,visiontek xtasy 64 mb pci slot we disabled on board video card installed new card and had major problems kept getting error mess.not enough mem. monitor size was messed up nothing worked right how do i disable on board video and install new video card so that everything works as it should i would greatly appreciate any and all help you could give me. thank you for your valuble time. Jim Phoenix Az

Answer

This question was answered on March 15, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The first step in installing a new video card in a system involves removing the current driver from Windows Before you do that, however, you might want to read the User Manual that came with your new video card Often, they list detailed directions for you to follow to install the new video card and drivers The manufacturer may cover steps that we won't cover here, but which might be required for your particular card Otherwise the following instructions are a general method of swapping video cards.

New Drivers:

You must check to make sure you either have the new video cards driver cd that would have come with the new card, or you must download the latest drivers for your videocard prior to installation This means that when you have physically installed the card you will then be able to install the driver and have things working a lot quicker You can obtain the latest drivers for your video card from the video card manufacturers website.

Remove The Old Driver:

Restart the computer and load Windows in Safe Mode You will want to remove the current video card driver in the System Properties Do this by opening up the Control Panel, and double clicking the System icon Click on the Device Manager tab, then scroll down to Display Adapter Click once on the "plus" sign next to Display Adapter, it should list your current video card driver Highlight the driver and select the 'Remove' option, choosing "yes" at the prompting window If you see more than one video driver, remove them all You can remove the driver in Normal Mode if you wish, but the computer may lockup on you and you won't get anywhere So it's just as easy to do it in Safe Mode Using Safe Mode to do this you should avoid any lockups To do this in Safe Mode, restart the computer holding down the F8 Key A menu will open Choose load Windows in Safe Mode Proceed with the instruction given above.

Note: You're old video card may have installed software that only it can use Go to the Control Panel, double click on the Add/Remove Programs icon Search through the list of programs to see if there are any programs relative only to the current (old) video card They will normally be listed by the name of the video card, or a variation of it If you are unsure of the program to remove, leave it alone and do not remove it It is better to leave it than to remove the wrong program Remember, there may not be a special software program that was installed with the old video card You can always go back later and uninstall these programs if need be.

Once you've removed the drivers, and programs if necessary, you're set to remove the old video card from the computer Shutdown Windows Turn your PC off and remove ALL the leads coming from the case of your computer.

This is the process that newbies are usually afraid to do because of the unknown Fear not, it's much easier than you might think But take note, when working on a computer with the case off, always make sure you have grounded yourself first before touching anything inside the computer!

How to ground yourself:

You can either buy an antistatic strap from a computing or electrical store, or having made sure that all leads coming from your computer case have been removed, and the power is off Take off the case of your computer Then touch the metal outside casing of your powersupply or a non-painted part of the case chassis If you can it is good to do this work on a wooden table so there is no conductive path Static electricity can fry a computer part in the blink of an eye

Disabling Onboard Video:

If you have an onboard video card which is what you are wanting to replace in this tutorial you should make sure you have disabled the onboard videocard This is normally done using 1 of 2 methods which are entirely dependent on your motherboard manufacturer and motherboard manual It can be as simple as going into your BIOS and finding the Onboard Video entry, or you will have to move a jumper on the motherboard to disable it The moving of the jumper option is a little harder for those new to this sort of thing, but it is a relatively simple operation to do.

How do I find out if I have an onboard videocard ?

When you purchased your computer you should get a system specs sheet detailing the computer hardware It should be mentioned there If you do not have such a list note down your motherboard manufacturer and model number and take a look for your motherboard at the manufacturers website where it will tell you, or you can post requesting assistance on our support forums and we will help you.

How do I know whether I should disable my onboard video in the BIOS or move a jumper ?

This is entirely dependent on your motherboard manufacturer and model number We cannot tell you without knowing those details.

Remove The Old Video Card:

OK, let's do it Take the case off - there are usually 4 screws to remove in each corner of the back of the case on a standard mini-tower case

Locate your videocard by looking on the back of the computer if you can't remember which card is the videocard

Take out the screw that fastens the card to the computer case Save the screw, you'll need it for the new card

Now gently pull the card from its slot You may need to rock the card from front to rear a little to pry it loose Be gentle but firm when doing so as to not break the slot or the damage card And, you may need to use one hand to hold the motherboard down if the card pulls out hard, it will tend to pull the motherboard up too much

Once you've taken the video card out, examine the interface style (the part of the card that plugs into the motherboard slot) that it uses The type of video card should be labeled on the box that the card came in It should be one of two types, a PCI interface card or an AGP interface card The PCI card goes into a motherboard slot that is white The AGP card goes into a brown slot on the motherboard AGP slots are also situated further away from the back of the case than PCI slots

There may be some very long black slots on the motherboard, those are ISA slots, which are normally used for video cards in much older computers and install the same way as the others

Once you've removed the video card, place it in a antistatic bag to ensure that the card isn't damaged You may need it again at some later date, or a friend could use it.

Most new video cards use the AGP interface which runs at a default speed of 66MHz, while the PCI runs at 33MHz Most applications only need a PCI card Some high end programs, such as CAD's, and some 3D games require the AGP video card to run correctly because of superior processing.

Installing the New Video Card:

Now install the new video card You'll want to match the card with the correct slot located on the motherboard Remember, the white slots are PCI, while the brown slot (only one) is AGP Once everything is lined up correctly, press firmly and evenly down along the top edge of the card to install it into the motherboard slot Some cards slip right in, others need some extra effort

If the card does not want to slip into the slot, remove it and try again making sure the card's interface lines up exactly with the slot Make double sure it's the correct slot You should reach a point where you feel it slip in place and where you can't push down any further Make sure to push down along the entire top edge of the card, so that all of the connectors reach the base of the slot However, be aware that if you push down too hard on the motherboard you may cause damage to the motherboard, or even reset the BIOS by shorting it out Been there, done that So just take care and not get carried away And be aware that the card can look like it's all the way into the slot and not be In this case, it may easily work itself out at a later date, and you'll suddenly have no monitor So make double sure the card is seated all the way into the slot This is important.

Now fasten the video card with the screw you saved when taking the old card out Tighten the screw down into place to secure the card The screw doesn't need to be real tight, you don't want to strip it Now put the case back on to the computer and put the leads back on to your computer Now connect the monitor cable to the video card Tighten it down making sure that the plug is inserted all the way.

Driver Installation:

After making sure that the card is firmly installed, and the monitor cable has been hooked back up to the video card, turn the computer on, and make sure you turned the monitor on You should be seeing your computer bootup at this point with writing of various information on the monitor

If not, perhaps you placed the card in the wrong slot, the card is not seated correctly in the slot, you forgot to connect the monitor, you forgot to turn the monitor on, or you forgot to disable the onboard video chip and there is a conflict, or possibly the video card is bad It happens.

Start the computer and allow Windows to load Once you are within Windows the computer should auto detect (find new hardware) the new video card It will prompt you for the drivers of your card, which you can generally provide with the manufacturer's CD disk The video card should come with instructions how to find the correct drivers on the CD If there are no instructions, Browse the CD until you find the win98 (or win95) folder, which is what you'll want to choose If you don't have the installation disks, you'll have to install the Standard Graphics Adapter driver from a list that windows will provide, and then later get the latest drivers from the manufacturer's website Some video cards come with a software package, which will require an installation process These will most likely install your video card drivers at the same time when installing the video program(s).

If the computer won't bootup after you've installed the video card you might want to try removing the new card and placing the old card back in the system If that works chances are you've either got a system conflict with the new card, or the new card is broken for some reason If it's an IRQ conflict, it's going to take some doing to correct You might have also knocked something loose inside the computer while swapping cards Inspect all of the other cards in the system as well as cables...both ends of the cables However, if everything works correctly, shutdown the computer and replace the case Do not replace the case with the computer running Now restart the computer and enjoy.

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Author

Posted by ricardo of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on March 15, 2003