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My screen wouldn't display any picture today. It hasn't shown any problems until today. While doing light web browsing in Windows the screen went black to power save mode. I did a hard reset, picked start windows normally from the options, it booted to the Windows login screen. Then it went to power save mode again then soon after couldn't detect an input. Now it won't recognize the display at all, even during POST.

I checked cables and things first - all plugged in tight. I checked the screen with another computer and it works fine, so its not the screen. My computer also makes the right bleeps for POST (hard to tell if its booted windows or not though). My motherboard has no onboard graphics.

So at this stage i'm assuming its either the DVI cable or the graphics card. Does this sound about right?

I can't test the cable yet unfortunately, plus that seems pretty unlikely ae?

Which leaves the graphics card.

The card is a 3-4year old Nvidia 8600 GTS. It hasn't shown any recent trouble, no flickers, no funny colours - until black out today. Does this sound like a typical graphics card failure? Do my assumptions sound about right or could it be a software issue?

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It's most probably a hardware failure considering the symptoms.

I've had similar behavior before and it wasn't the card, but rather the power supply which stopped feeding the card enough power to keep running.

If I remember correctly (I usually don't), the GTS line of cards all had an extra 5v or 12v connector to feed it extra power.

Check to see if your power supply comes with another cable which you can use to replace the one that's powering the card now. If not, you're going to have to find a friend that's willing to let you plug your card into their computer to check if it works.

If so, your power supply is beginning to fail; if the card doesn't power up, you have a blown card. At this point I would disregard the failed DVI cable theory unless you've been walking all over it and the dogs have been feasting on it.

Anyway, if you do find out that the card has failed, I would still recommend running some checks on the power supply to make sure that it's not giving power-peaks which could cause other hardware failures.

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