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Install a Video Card

Your system's video card is the component responsible for producing the visual output from your computer. Virtually all programs produce visual output; the video card is the piece of hardware that takes that output and tells the monitor which of the dots on the screen to light up (and in what color) to allow you to see it.

These instructions will work for the majority of Pentium or newer PCs running Windows 95/98. If your computer currently has a video chip or your video card that  requires a change in jumpers or IRQs, installation will be much more complicated. 

Necessary tools: 

  • Non-magnetic #1 Phillips-head screw driver.

  • Anti-static grounding wrist strap.

  • Windows rescue disk.

Before physically removing the card, go to Start> Settings> Control Panel. Open up Control Panel then select the "System" icon. Double click on "System" and select the tab which says Device Manager.  In the Device Manager, find Display Adapters. Click the Plus symbol to the left of the Display Adapter icon to expand its contents. Click once on the expanded text to highlight it. Now look to the lower right of the window and you should see the option "Remove". Click on "Remove" to remove the display driver for your current video card. At this point, you may be asked if you are sure that you want to continue...etc. This is normal, it is OK to continue. After removing this from your system, you will need to restart your computer for this change to fully take effect.

Steps: 

1. Shut down the computer.
2. Leave the computer plugged into the surge suppressor. 
3. Disconnect all peripherals from the computer. 
4. Remove the cover of the CPU (central processing unit). 
5. Put on a grounding strap if you have one and follow its instructions. Otherwise, ground yourself by touching a shinny metal part of the computer. 
6. Remove the computer's back panel if necessary. 
7. Remove the modem cable from the video card.  Remove the video card. It may be necessary to rock the card gently back and forth to get it to unseat from its slot. Use caution not to break the slot. 
8. Install your new video card into this slot. It is important to make sure that the video card seats properly, don't use excessive force. It sometimes takes a little  force to get the card in. Just use your own judgment. You can also try to install one side first, then the other, rocking the card into place. 
9. Replace the back panel and any removed screws. Screw the video card into the slot holder if it has a screw hole. 
10. Reconnect the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Reboot the computer. 
11. If your monitor displays properly, the card is working. 
12. Follow onscreen instructions to install driver and additional software. If Windows doesn’t prompt you, manually complete the installation using the Add New Hardware control panel. 
13. Adjust controls on your monitor and settings in the Display control panel. 
14. Shut down the computer. 
15. Replace the computer cover. Reboot the computer. 

Tips: 

  • If possible, do the installation in an uncarpeted area to avoid static. Use non-magnetic tools.

  • If possible, use a slot with the most open space around it.

  • If you have installed a game prior to your install of the new video card, it may be necessary to uninstall the game (using the uninstaller if available), then reinstall for it to recognize the new hardware.


Warnings: 

  • Be careful not to touch any chips. Touch as little as possible on the video card or inside your machine. 

  • If your computer is under manufacturer's warranty, modifying the product usually voids that warranty. 

  • If you do not understand these instructions, have a qualified technician install the video card for you. 

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