Troubleshooting Video Cards: Problems and Solutions

These days with computer games requiring more resources than ever, many people are upgrading their own video cards. Most of the time the video card installtion goes without any troubles – but some of the time things dont go so well. Here is a guide to help you troubleshoot problems with your videocard.

Problem:
Cannot replace the built-in video card on the motherboard with an add-on PCI, AGP or PCI-Express video card.

Solution:
Look at the video card vendor and the motherboard manufacturer and see if there is a list of acceptable replacement video cards. Try putting in another video card that has another chipset (eg. If you were trying to put in an nVidia, try and put in an ATI, a MSI with a Gigabyte etc.).

Check the BIOS for a setting that allows you to disable the onboard video. To get into the BIOS press DEL during the very start of the computer startup processes, for some brandname computers it may be F1, F2 or F10 instead of DEL.

Check your motherboard manual for a jumper which allows you to switch between onboard and add-on video cards. If you no longer have the motherboard manual, search for your model on the manufacturer’s website.

If your video card is PCI, try adding the card to another slot and make sure it is fully inserted. From personal experience if video cards are out too much; even 2mm it can cause it to fail.

Problem:
Cannot change resolution and color depth.

Solution:
Check that the video card is properly identified in Windows, if you don’t know how to do this our article here can help you. If the video card is identified properly, check for updated drivers on the video card manufacturer’s website. Use the vendors drivers rather than the ones that Windows supplies.

Problem:
Cannot select the desired refresh rate.

Solution:
Check to see that the video card and monitor are properly identified in Windows (this tutorial can help with that as well). Check for updated drivers for the video card and monitor.

Problem:
Display only works in DOS or during bootup but not in Windows.

Solution:
If you have acceptable picture quality out in DOS or during the bootup stages of the computer but not in Windows, it is most likely that you don’t have the correct video drivers or they are corrupted. To fix this, boot Windows into safe mode (press F8 before the Windows logo appears) which will use a generic VGA driver which will allow you to install the proper driver. Our video card driver article will help you again with getting the correct driver.

If you have overclocked your video card with a manufacturer supplied or third party tool it is possible that you have set the speed too high. To fix this go back into Safe Mode and use the tool to restore the video card to the default speed.

Problem:
Cannot change OpenGL or DirectX (Direct3D) settings.

Solution:
Install the video card vendors drivers rather than using the default Windows drivers. The default Windows drivers do not come with 3D or any other advanced options.

ATI RADEON 9250, (256 MB) PCI Graphic Card



Bryce Whitty

About the Author

Bryce Whitty
More articles by me...
Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

Comments (3)

  • haneef says:

    alright my problem is that our monitor screen is kindof dark to where it’s hard to see pictures and videos to there full extent. we tried buying a new monitor but its still there. somtimes it gets yellowish but when i bang on the computer it goes away. i was wondering is there anything we can do to fix the problem instead of buying a new video card which is kind of expensive.

  • jsnat says:

    try a different VGA cable.

  • kiran says:

    display color as change wht to do plz tel me……