Help needed - bizarre PC problem.

Philocalist

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Does anyone have any bright ideas on how to fix a software problem - most likely a corrupted driver for the graphics card - when you can't see / read the screen?
It's a desktop / tower PC, (was) perfectly functional, but older, so not worth throwing much money at. Over the years, I've been able to dig computers out of some very deep holes, but this one has me stumped....
Just before the screen greyed out, a brief message - too quick to read / understand properly - flashed up a warning (I think) of corruption on the graphics card driver. Lines on the screen, followed by the screen correcting itself, then greying out a minute or so later.
Attempts at rebooting, even in Safe Mode, lead me to believe the PC is still booting OK - but the screen is badly garbled, though vaguely recognisable.
Any other driver, I could sort it in minutes - but how do I access Windows 10 to achieve this on the graphics card driver, when the existing driver is corrupted, preventing me from seeing what I'm doing, even in Safe Mode - the monitor itself I quite new and apparently, otherwise working OK independently of the PC.
 

Fugley-fisher

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Does it have a separate graphics card or integrated ? If its got two monitor outputs you've a chance to connect to the other one failing that it's getting hold of a suitable graphics card and installing it with the hope the mother board will recognise it and output an image, old graphics cards are cheap enough to have punt. If you've got a pc repair place near they will most probably have something.
 

baboboy

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If a windows update may have screwed the graphics card driver . Is it an onboard card. You could see if you could flash the bios.
 

Dave

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If there is a separate graphics card installed, remove it and Windows will use the one that's integrated into the motherboard.
If there isn't a separate card then it looks like you might need a new motherboard, either that or add a separate graphics card which windows will then use as default.
 

JLK

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First test is to check if the board has got integrated graphics and switch to this. If it works. You could disable the driver for the current gfx card or update it if need be. Windows 10 should default to a basic driver.
If this doesn't work it may well be the monitor/screen that has packed in.
Try hook it up to the TV and see what happens.
 

Dave

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Just a thought, did the issue start after you swapped the monitor?
If so was the previous monitor analogue and the new digital?
 

Philocalist

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Does it have a separate graphics card or integrated ? If its got two monitor outputs you've a chance to connect to the other one failing that it's getting hold of a suitable graphics card and installing it with the hope the mother board will recognise it and output an image, old graphics cards are cheap enough to have punt. If you've got a pc repair place near they will most probably have something.
Yeah - seperate card, two outputs, but if the driver is screwed, which I strongly suspect, that will apply to both.
 

Philocalist

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First test is to check if the board has got integrated graphics and switch to this. If it works. You could disable the driver for the current gfx card or update it if need be. Windows 10 should default to a basic driver.
If this doesn't work it may well be the monitor/screen that has packed in.
Try hook it up to the TV and see what happens.
Problem is, you cannot see Windows on the screen in enough detail, to be able to navigate and make the changes
 

Fugley-fisher

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Turn pc off unplug, press power button a couple times leave for 15 minuets, open the case remove the graphics card put monitor on to the mother board connection and see if it powers up just because the graphics driver is corrupt does not mean the motherboard on board one has as well, if this proves unsuccessful power off the pc again replace the graphics card but in a different pci-e slot re connect everything if this also proves unsuccessful, only one avenue a different graphics card but that would be the last ditch effort.
 
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Philocalist

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@Philocalist has the old beast come back to life yet ?
Sort of, just a short while ago, though its a case of finding an alternative way to make things work, rather than actually fixing the problem properly (yet).
When I eventually found time to get around to looking at the problem, transpires that there was another socket available on the rear of the PC that i could plug the monitor into, off / away from the graphics card (an older AMD Radeon R9 200 series) - rebooting the PC, and all started working OK again without involving the graphics card. THAT siuation then meant that I could now actually see what had happened, within Windows, and was able to confirm (as I suspected) a propblem with the AMD driver.
It SHOULD then have been as easy as a simple update of the driver via Device Manager (failed) - I then uninstalled the card and driver completely via Device Manager, rebooted again, and the PC recognised the card and reinstalled a driver for it, which I recognised as an older version (genenerically for a 200 series AMD card) - there is a more recent version specific to the model 270, which is what I have / what was always in use.
I then tried the automatic update to this newer version of the software, but that failed part-way through - in short, the generic '200' driver was something specific to the PC manufacturer, not AMDs own (though it IS an AMD driver(?), and consequently, the updated driver, issued by AMD will not update automatically - and finding the specific reason / workaround for that is proving problematic so far - it MUST be possible, as I've already done it, though several years ago.
So: PC is currently up and running, apparently Ok, though with far less options available (display-wise) as the monitor is running off the on-board Intel graphics card, not the AMD one, and the AMD card currently displays (apparently harmlessly) as having the older driver installed, flagged as a fault within Device Manager.
From memory, the AMD was originally custom-added at time of manufacture to allow me to run multiple large screens at the same time (at one point, 3 were running off there simultaneously, faultlessly, for several years).
I currently run a single, very large monitor (and I've better things to do than sit gaming), so the Intel card seems to tick all the boxes - I'm inclined to leave things as they now are, (subject to all remaining OK), and accept that although I would maybe get more features / better performance from the AMD unit, its not really necessary - and giving in gracefully is far less hassle than trying to properly fix the problem :)
 

Dave

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If there is a separate graphics card installed, remove it and Windows will use the one that's integrated into the motherboard.
If there isn't a separate card then it looks like you might need a new motherboard, either that or add a separate graphics card which windows will then use as default.
;)
 

Fugley-fisher

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@Philocalist there is possibly a problem with handshake between windows and the driver not being supported so crashes or fails to update there would be an open source generic driver but getting windows to accept it may need some coding and far to much trouble, the other option is a newer graphics card assuming it's compatible and supported by both Microsoft and the card, but as you said if the motherboard is outputting a signal that is good enough for your needs why invest more time and money, glad the old girl lives to fight another day, I've a converted windows to Linux laptop and a spare desktop with an old graphics card installed it's feble compared to newer ones but I'll happily pop it out and send it along, it is from memory able to output a hdmi signal but without getting the thing fired up that's about all I remember. But it's yours if you want it.
 

JLK

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Download the updated driver yourself. Extract the package and
Then install it yourself using the 'have disk...browse option' Plenty tutorials how to do this online if you don't understand what I'm saying.
 
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