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I have a Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2 motherboard with integrated graphics that shows up on lspci as an ATI Radeon 2100. I also bought a PCI-Express Nvidia graphics card so I could use the VDPAU feature on Linux (plays H.264 in hardware). The BIOS has three settings about which display to initialize first:

  • Integrated graphics
  • PCI graphics
  • PCI-Express graphics (PEG)

I set the BIOS on PEG, but

  • I cannot get anything, not even a splash screen or POST messages, to emerge from the PCI-Express graphics card. (I'm using a DVI connector; the card also has an HDMI output.)

  • I cannot get the kernel lspci to see the graphics card; the only VGA controller it acknowledges is the integrated one.

  • Running dmidecode acknowledges the existence of an x16 PCI Express slot, and it says

    Current usage: Unknown

There is an additional BIOS setting called "Internal Graphics Mode" which is normally set to "Auto" which means it is supposed to prefer a PCI Express VGA card. I set it to "Disabled" which now means I'm getting no output at all. I will soon be learning how to do a BIOS reset!

Other information:

  • The PCI-E card is a MSI N210-MD512H GeForce 210. This is a fanless card.

  • Although there are no fans to see turning, the heat sink on the PCI-E card is definitely getting hot, so the card is getting some sort of power.

  • It gets all its power from the PCI-E slot; there is no external power connector.

  • The BIOS is an AMI Award BIOS.

My question: how can I make the PCI Express graphics card visible to Ubuntu?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

OK, I am a prime idiot. Leaving this up in case it helps somebody else:

  • To solve this problem, remove the graphics card from its slot and reinsert it.
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A false seated card was the first thing which also came to my mind. It can happen that it looks like its seated correctly, but if it is not even delivering the BIOS screen it's either that or the card is screwed (or it is a PCI-E card in an AGP-Slot :o ). –  Bobby May 2 '10 at 21:20

On most modern computers, the BIOS will have a configurable boot order for your graphics device, This should be set to PCI-E, PCI, Integrated. If it does not find one, it will move to the next, and the next and the next.

This is the best method to start with.

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The solution was to reseat the graphics card. Your solution states that it will eventually find the card since it will keep moving on to the next one, but does not attempt to solve the problem. –  Rsya Studios Dec 3 at 9:21

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