This is a question that was recently in the PCIN newsletter:
I plan on replacing my video card. Is there anything special
I should do? Do I uninstall the old drivers? Do I just change
cards and install the new drivers? Any advice to make this
as smooth as possible would be appreciated.
Here are the responses from the subscribers:
John Hills said, "First thing to do is to visit the graphic
card website to get the very latest drivers. Normally the
ones on the CD are not the latest. Save these driver files
in their own separate folder for immediate and future use.
Then uninstall the existing graphics card driver first. Turn
the PC off andstick the new card in which windows will then
find and then browse to your updated drivers files.If windows
has your graphics card drivers, then it may load them automatically.
This is OK but then go into Advanced (In your Display properties
box, Settings section) choose adaptor and then choose CHANGE
and browse to your new driver folder. When this is all
done and the PC reboots, go back to the same spot and make
sure that the adaptor is at optimal and not adapter default."
** said, "( im assuming only using windows here ) The latter.
unless there are problems. then goto safe mode ( tap F8 whilst
computer is starting ), goto system in control panel, the
second tab in the new window will show you all your devices\drivers.
delete all the display adapters and restart the computer.
dont worry, the new card should come with instructions.
of course even better would to leave the new drivers in the
box and get the latest ones straight off the 'net."
Sylve M. Davis said, "You do not mention which operating
system you are using - this will be for win98; Boot into safe
mode and then go to Control Panel - System - Sound and video
adaptors. Remove the video adaptor you will be replacing.
Shut your system down, pull the old card and install the new.
Have your install disk (or CD) ready when you reboot for Windows
will find the new card and ask to locate drivers. (Till the
new card drivers are intalled you will be running with generic
640X480 16 color drivers so don't panic.) Your install disk
may tell you to click on cancel and then run the installation
program from the install disk. I know it's not cool, but read
the paperwork that came with the card!If your video is onboard
(built into the motherboard), you will have to go into CMOS
at boot and disable it and activate the PCI (ISA) bus so that
your new card can be found. Check the different sections in
your specific CMOS to locate it before you start if this is
Chuck Quenzler, Jr. said, "It is always advisable to remove
existing video card drivers and changing adapter to a standard
VGA video card. Some video cards don't care but a lot just
won't install. Sometimes the manufactor of thecard will state
that, up front, in their instructions. I had to reinstall
Windoze just because I got ina hurry and didn't follow this
basic rule. Also never assume that the drivers that
were shipped withthe card are the latest. Always check
with the mfgs. web site for latest. Also if you are
not a bigvideo person, installing all the bells and whistles
software that comes with the card sometimes turnsout to be
a pain in the backside. Reading the readme.txt file
often clarifies just which driver file(s) are the only necessary
one(s). For Win9x often only the .inf file needs to
be used. I firmly recom-mend copying the drivers to a folder
on the hard drive for future use. Copy them to a second physical
drive, if you have one, if not to a different partition then
the one Windows resides on. Another tip would be to
check in advance to see if drivers for the card you plan to
buy can be found for the OS system you are planning to use
in the future, i.e.: Win2000 etc. I C U cq2"
Ken Berry, "Yes. Definitely remove your old drivers first,
then shut down the computer and replace the card. Make sure
if you are upgrading from an ISA/PCI video card to an AGP
video card that you make the appropriate changes in your system
bios when you turn the power back on. Usually hitting F2 or
the Del key during the Power On Self Test. Look for settings
that configure your video card (AGP Mode 2x/3x/4x and other
stuff). Leave at default or "Auto" until you get everything
running good then consult your card manual for the best settings.
If things get screwy put your old card back in and try to
download a detailed installation guide for your card."
Steve Henthorn said, "When installing a new video card, it's
best to follow the manufacturer's advise about the installation.
Specifically, if given the chance to determine on your own
where to load the files that come with the card, opt to use
the default location ... usually a folder that the installation
program creates.As to the matter of the drivers for your old
card, I would suggest that you don't discard them. Instead,
(assuming you know which ones they are) move them to a special
temporary folder. This may save you a huge headache should
those drivers be used by another program. With a computer,
you just never know."
SImon Duffy said, "Start in safe mode and remove all old
drivers thenturn off put in new card and install, install
direct x7 too and it should be fine, you can mess with bios
settings depending on graphics card, aperture size, etc."