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Install problems for "a not so techy guy"

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Hey guys,

I'm new around these parts, so thanks for letting me register and any help that anyone is willing to offer. This post is going to be quite long, but I figured I'd explain everything so that way if you guys can help, everything was explained in detail and it would save you time in the end. My apologies, but my response won't be this long lol.

This is my first card install ever, so please bare with me here. Trying to learn about building and modifying a pc so I can build my own one day but I'm having a problem getting my new card installed on my desktop, not sure if it's a driver issue, card malfunction, or I'm just missing something in my installation process.

I'll start off with my system and pc specs incase you need the information;

Dell Dimension E510
Windows XP 32bit (Media Center Edition)
upgraded RAM to max of 4GB (4 1GB sticks) from the stock total of 512MB
stock graphics card is a ATI X300
500GB Hard Drive
everything is stock as well (MB, powersupply, etc.)

Here's what started this journey of mine

I'm an art student and I use Photoshop (CS5) extensively. While in Photoshop, I could not make use of the rotate tool and get an error message that says "Could not complete your request because it only works with OpenGL enabled document windows." Going into the performance settings of PS, it says that there aren't any GPU settings available with Photoshop Standard. When I hover over that section, it says "Graphics hardware acceleration is unavailable, you will need to upgrade your video driver, and possibly your video card."

Ok, from there I was recommended by a friend that an ASUS 5450 HD card was compatible with my pc and would solve my issues I was having with PS and I could utilize OPENGL documents and what not.

I purchased the card reading and reading many different ways of how to properly install the card. I followed them numerous times, and all I ever end up with is a pixelated screen, a forced reboot after installing the new drivers, and a blue screen of death afterwards.

I'll list everything in my process that I did because maybe I'm missing a step or just not doing something correctly.

1. Right Click "My Computer>Properties>Hardware>Device Manager>Display Adapters>Right Click RadeonX300 SE 128MB> "Uninstall"

2. Turn PC off

3. Install new card, and turn PC back on (screen is already pixelated from here)

4. Install new drivers from the disk (forced reboot after installation is complete)

5. screen is still pixelated, and right after Windows loading screen, blue screen appears and says it's stuck in a continuous loop and a problem with ati2vag.

That's the process that numerous sites have told me I should follow, but it does the same thing every time. If I put my old card back in, it works fine. Not sure if the old drivers are still hidding somewhere or not, but that's what's going on.

Again, sorry for the long post, but I don't know what else to do. Any thoughts?
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· Premium Member
14,323 Posts
Okay, I just watched your video. Lulz ... dunno who told you those steps, but ... they're WAY more involved than they should be, and arguably 'wrong' in many regards.

HOWEVER ... none of what you did 'sorta wrong' in regards to the driver installation matters one whit, because drivers are NOT in play when your PC is Posting/pre-Windows. The fact that your 'Dell' startup screen, and the text-mode stuff prior to Windows safe-mode starting, is jacked up like that ... it means that you have bigger issues than just drivers.

If you bought this card at a retail store, you should return it and tell them it's broken. Now, it MAY not actually be broken, but if it's relatively easy to try a different one of the same card, it's worth a try as the simplest option. I'd say there's about a 50% chance that's the issue.

Other possibilities include:
1) Your motherboard plain won't support that card, even though it's got a PCI-Ex slot and all that. This can happen w/older board and newer cards. If that came w/a x300, I'm guessing it's quite an old machine, yes? BTW, you didn't tell us what processor you have ... what is it, do you know?
2) Your mobo won't support that card unless you do a 'flash' to the latest firmware available for the board. You may not feel comfortable doing this at your level of expertise. It's not that hard, but if it's done wrong, you could end up 'bricking' your system, which means having to send your PC in for service to get it fixed.
3) Do you happen to know if that mobo has on 'onboard' graphics capability along with the X300 Card? Is there a VGA looking plug on the back I/O panel anywhere? If so, then the issue may be that the OB graphics aren't disabled, and it didn't matter with the x300, but it does with the new card. If it does, let us know and we'll help you get it disabled.

For future reference, this is actually the proper steps of what you should've done, start to finish:

1) With the old card in place, go into the Windows Control Panel/Uninstall Software, and hit the ATI Uninstall Utility, and choose to remove all ATI/AMD GRAPHICS software. Not the chipset stuff.
2) Shutdown, and install the new card
3) Startup, and go ahead and let windows auto-install drivers. At that point, it should either install a generic VGA driver, or a generic ATI driver made by Microsoft and included in Windows. It may then tell you to restart, and if so, go ahead.
4) Upon reboot, put in the driver disc, install the drivers on the disc, and restart.
5) At that point, aside from adjust resolution to your native size (if it isn't already), you're done.

Seriously, that should be all you have to do.

However, what you did, whilst WAY overly arduous, shouldn't have actually borked anything, because you did, at one point or another, basically follow those steps. The only thing you did really quite wrong was installing the new drivers before the card.

You see, gfx cards are NOT USB devices, you don't install drivers first, you install them after the device. But ... it shouldn't have 'broken' anything the way you did it, and this problem is NOT drivers at all, because drivers aren't active during the POST

The only other 'easy' thing I can suggest is just REALLY making sure the card is seated properly. But unless your board has an onboard gfx capability, you should return the card for another one. Then just put it in, attach monitor cable, and if your Dell screen still looks jacked up ... you're done ... unless you wanna see if there's a newer BIOS for your board, and 'flash' it, if there is.

· Premium Member
14,323 Posts
Okay, well since you ordered on NE (thus it's not super convenient to exchange it), AND your board apparently has onboard graphics (does a VGA cable plug into this jack you're talking about?), I would give one last thing a try, and that is going into your BIOS and looking to see what's selected as default video out.

To get into the BIOS, watch closely on the Dell startup screen, there should be a message that says 'Press X Key for Setup'. Typically it's Del, Esc, F1 or F8. It has to be pressed before that screen disappears, so if you miss it, press ctrl-alt-del quickly to reboot.

Once you're in setup aka BIOS aka CMOS (which should be really basic), look around for anything that suggests an option of which video out to favor or initialize first. You want to choose something that sounds like it's NOT the onboard. Sometimes it'll say "PEG" or something that suggests PCI-Express. Choose that, and try again. If you still get the jacked up Dell screen ... send the card back and try another.

If you don't, though, and everything looks okay, chances are everything will work fine after that. Might want to re-install the drivers from the disc though as you got errors the first time ... hopefully this time you won't

· Premium Member
14,323 Posts
Well, I would try both settings, since it's so easy to do.

If no luck there, the only other possibility other than a bad card is that the board and card are incompatible. It *might* be fixable w/a bios flash, but no guarantee, and like I say flashing a mobo bios is inherently somewhat risky, esp. for a novice or if having a working PC at all times is 'business critical' because if you bork it, you'll have to have it serviced to be fixed.

Might as well try sending back the card for a replacement, or if there's someone else who's machine you can try the card in, that might be worth trying as well before you do ... cause if it does work in someone else's machine, then it's likely a compatibility problem w/your board, in which case you'd want to angle for a refund.
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