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Windows 7: NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS 256mb Blank Screen

15 Feb 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS 256mb Blank Screen

Hey everyone,

So I'm posting this in the Graphic Cards section because after troubleshooting it appears as if the card is my problem. So about a week ago, my computer started lagging really bad, which is usual. The computer is about 7-8 years old so every so about two times a week I restart her to give her a little "boost". She is kept on 24/7 (yes, my computer has a pronoun) besides the random night (VERY random) that I turn her off and give her a break. So when I restarted her, she got as far as the Windows 7 Startup screen, and shut off. Then I booted her back up and got a blank screen. I thought, okay, she just really hates me right now, I'll switch the PSU rocker to off for the night.

So I did, and the next morning, I switched the rocker back to I and tried her, and nothing. So, I took my graphics card and wireless card out and tried using the onboard, nothing. Tried unplugging my HDD, nothing. Tried reseating the RAM, nothing. Reseated my CPU fan, nothing. Opened up and reseated the PSU, nothing. Reseated EVERY plug in the computer, nothing. So I then processed to clear the BIOS by removing the battery for two hours. YES, it worked (by this time my graphics card was back in). It got as far as the Windows login screen, and froze. So I powered her down using the rocker switch. Tried to turn her on and off a few times, nothing. So at this point I unplugged the HDD and tried to get into the BIOS to update it. After a lengthy process of getting the computer to recognize the jump drive in the EzFlash2 utility, I got it updated. However, as soon as I plugged the HDD back in, it stopped again. So from there I proceeded to unplug it again, and the computer wouldn't boot. So I pulled the CMOS battery out and left it out for the night.

The next morning I put it back in, tried to turn her back on (with the HDD unplugged) and I got nothing. So at this point I took the graphic card back out, and tried, and got nothing. Left her for another night because I was cranky and didn't wanna deal with it.

SO now we reach last night, at about 3am, I reset the BIOS by moving the jumper (with NO GRAPHIC CARD). I plugged the HDD back in, everything in besides the graphic card. The computer turned on, went and logged in to Windows, and sat at the desktop for a good 15 minutes until I shut her down. After that I reseated the graphic card, and it wouldn't turn on. So I have this strong feeling something is wrong with my graphic card but I don't know what.

I have the NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS 256mb. The fan on it is running. I have tried both the VGA and DVI ports, nothing. Help!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Feb 2014   #2

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 8 Pro x64 dual boot

I don't think it's your graphics card. More likely, given the age of the machine, the machine is just worn out. Either the power supply or the motherboard is going bad.

If you have access to another power supply, you could hook it up and see if that improves things. Also, take a look at the capacitors on your motherboard and see if any of them are swollen, or have domed tops like this:

NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS 256mb Blank Screen-458360537_o.jpg

That's a sure sign of age and failure.

Given the age of the PC, it might be worth just replacing it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2014   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I sadly don't have access to another PSU. I looked at the capacitors on the motherboard and they all look like they are in perfect shape.

I just feel like it's the graphics card due to the fact using the on board (after resetting the BIOS) I could get all the way into Windows, but with the graphics card I can't even get the computer to POST.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Feb 2014   #4

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 8 Pro x64 dual boot

It could be that the graphics card is drawing more power from the power supply than it can provide anymore. It could be a power supply failure, or it could actually be the graphics card. Graphics cards take a lot of power.

The fact that you tried to boot without the graphics card in it and it wouldn't post leads me to believe that it might be the power supply.

One way to test that theory is if you're in the Halifax area, try Brilliance Computers. They have a great used section, and you can often get a supply for around $10 - $15. It's a cheap test, and if it works, as long as it fits in your case, you're good to go. They have used graphics cards there too.

And no, I don't work for them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2014   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Thank you for the recommendation! What you're saying makes sense! I'll see what I can do to get my PSU tested.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2014   #6

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 8 Pro x64 dual boot

No problem. I hope it works out for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS 256mb Blank Screen

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