Faulty graphics card?


Active Member
Hi there

I was playing a game (Quantum Break if it matters) on my PC last night, when totally out of the blue the game crashed and the PC rebooted. Except when it rebooted, the monitor would not pick up a signal. I rebooted a couple of times but this did not help (had to force shut off the PC due to no screen).

Attached the monitor to my work laptop, all works fine, so it isn't the monitor.

Having tested the monitor was ok, I plugged the monitor into the onboard graphics DVI connection, and it booted fine with an output on the monitor. I had what I believe to be a similar issue before where the only fix seemed to be to turn off the onboard graphics as this was 'taking priority', and that fixed my problem. So I figured that I would try this again, which in hindsight was a bit daft, because it booted with no output again and of course I had disabled the onboard graphics. Anyway, reset the BIOS, got back in on the onboard graphics and decided to uninstall and reinstall the Nvidia graphics drivers. Uninstalled fine, but now get the message that the driver is "not compatible with this version of Windows".

The driver/card/display was working fine before, so the 'not compatible' error message seems unlikely. So, a couple of questions:
  • Can I install the Nvidia drivers when using the onboard Intel HD graphics?
  • The Nvidia GTX780 seems to be working in terms of power, the fans are spinning....but does this mean it is working properly? It is not listed in device manager, even before I uninstalled the drivers. It seems to be seated ok.

So, I have to consider whether the card is 'blown'. But how do I know, I haven't got another PC I can install it into to test.

Ideas welcome.
Windows 10 version 1909
16Gb Ram
Everything else seems to be working fine, I'm using it to type this message


Active Member
Thanks for that, I will have a look later. Also thanks for the 1660 suggestion, from the limited research I've done, that was looking like the best replacement (there are different 1660 versions I know). Don't need anything too radical as I only game at 1080p anyway


Well-known Member
First can you give us the details of your PC, if from the likes of dell,HP etc then the make and model.
If a custom one then motherboard details,cpu, etc

There are a couple of possibilities -

Card is faulty
Motherboard graphics slot is faulty
Graphics driver is corrupt.

Since the machine works while using the integrated graphics then there is no reason why you can't download the latest drivers for the card.
Nvidia Graphics Drivers

Uninstall current graphics drivers for card.

Check the card is clean, if dusty give it a clean.(go outside and blow on it to dislodge dust etc. Use dry cloth and cotton wool buds as well.)
Check board slot is clean as well while machine is off and mains PSU switched off and mains lead removed.
Try reseating card and then rebooting machine.


Active Member
Hiya, thanks for your reply.

PC is made by Novatech, around 5 years old now:
Intel Core i7-4770K (not overclocked)
Motherboard is Gigabyte Z87-HD3
16Gb Ram
GTX 780 (3gb ram)

I have uninstalled the drivers and tried reinstalling the latest and the next to latest drivers direct from Nvidia site. I get the 'incompatible with this version of Windows' message every time, which also says about not finding the graphics card.....presumably because it isn't even listed in device manager.

My next task over the weekend is to remove card, clean, check cables, and re-seat as you have suggested. I'll report back how that goes. Certainly I've never cleaned it in 5 years.....whoops :)


Well-known Member
Check for Windows 10 Updates.
Check BIOS firmware of m/board, the latest is F8.

Also your motherboard has two graphics card slots on it. so if 1 doesn't work you could try the card in the other.


Active Member
Thanks again. Windows updates are up to date and checked BIOS, and it is F8.

Didn't realise there were two graphics card slots, according to the manual the slot the card is in is x16 and the other one is x4. So this would purely to be to test if the card is working or the motherboard is faulty rather than a long term fix.....would the card run properly in an x4 slot long term?

I would have to re-site a couple of other cards to move the graphics card (WLAN card and a firewire video capture card). Annoying, but cheaper than buying a £200 graphics card I might not need! :)


Active Member

I removed, cleaned and re-seated the graphics card and put it back in the same slot, no joy same result.

I removed the graphics card and put it in the other graphics card slot, and voila! I have a working GTX780. Installed the driver ok. However....

My TP-Link wireless card stopped working. Fearing that despite being REALLY careful, it was very close to the graphics card, I moved it to the next slot, but still not working.

Moved everything back to where it began, wireless card and graphics card back in its original slot and back to no working graphics card....but the wireless card is fine again?!

So I assume this confirms that it is in fact the MOTHERBOARD and not the graphics card at fault. Therefore my questions:

  • Can I leave the graphics card in the second slot, will it work....but just slower?
  • Any ideas about the wireless card? Device manager knew of its existence but said it was "not present"?
Thanks again for your help.
Can I leave the graphics card in the second slot, will it work....but just slower?

Yes and possible not that much slower depending on how much of the 16x bus it was using before, some tested done on a 1080 gpu were getting 78% speed in a x4 slot

if the wireless card is not working in the slots but still showing as present, likely you have some kind of partial failure of the pins , not something I have seen before but I support your testing proves the MB is faulty. short term fix get a usb wifi dongle cost around £15



Active Member
Brilliant, thanks ever so much for your help, you could well have saved me buying an unnecessary graphics card!

If I went down the new motherboard route what would be a rough equivalent of my Gigabyte?


Active Member
Found the reason my WiFi card doesn't work when the x4 graphics slot is used (from Gigabyte website):

"The PCIE x4 slot shares bandwidth with all PCI Express x1 slots. All PCI Express x1 slots will become unavailable when a PCIe x4 expansion card is installed."

So it isn't a fault, it is by design.

Found a brand new Z83 HD3 Motherboard on eBay for £120, seems a bit steep. Seller confirmed it is old stock but definitely brand new. I'm thinking it is the cowards way out, saves installing new drivers and potentially having to re-activate Windows. But it does buy some more life out of the PC, which I am otherwise completely happy with for now. Struggling to find a socket LGA1150 compatible motherboard too. Either that, or stick with the £15 solution and buy a WiFi dongle.....o_O


Active Member
I'm back, unfortunately.

New motherboard installed, exactly the same model. Exactly the same issue.

The graphics card works in the 2nd Graphics slot, but does not work in the x16 slot!

So having splashed £100 on a new motherboard, I'm left still needing a new graphics card?

Initially when I installed the new motherboard with everything in its 'normal' place, the onboard graphics kicked in and the GTX780 was not recognised, as before. Switched the card to the second slot and it wasn't recognised there either. Turned off the onboard graphics and voila, the card is there and working. Move the card back to the x16 slot, still with onboard graphics turned off, but this time not only no graphics output, but actually no boot at all, no beeps though. This is different behaviour from last time because it did boot but with no display output. Reset bios, and booted into Windows using the onboard graphics, with the GTX780 still in the x16 slot, but again not recognised in Device Manager.

I'm stumped.


Active Member
I've had a suggestion from a different forum that it might not be either the Mobo or Graphics Card at fault, but the processor! The x16 PCIe slot is controlled by the processor, whereas the x4 PCIe slot is controlled by the Z87 chipset on the motherboard. Hence because I moved my existing processor over to the new motherboard, I've transferred the problem along with it. I hate computers!


Active Member
Just to close this off, it was my old graphics card at fault. I put a new 1660 Super in and it works fine. My old GTX780, for some reason, only works in the x4 slot but not the x16 slot, weird.....

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