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My computer had a nVidia GeForce 8500GT based graphics card, the fan on that card stopped working during the weekend (so I couldn't just replace the fan) I pulled an nVidia 9500GT from a less important computer and replaced the card.

Windows Vista tried to automatically install drivers for the new card but failed, I downloaded and installed the driver from nVidia's web site, driver version is 301.42

Ever since I replaced the card it takes about 10 hours (yes, 10 hours, this is not a typo) for the computer to shut down, that time is spent in the shutdown screen, this happens both on shutdown and on restart, there is hard drive activity during that time.

Windows updates shows an upgrade for the 9500GT, but the update is "software update released in February, 2012" and the installed driver "Driver Date" on the driver properties dialog is 5/15/2012.

I don't really want to experiment too much because every reboot requires either a 10 hours wait or to reboot using the case switch during a time with disk activity.

Operating system is Windows Vista Ultimate 64bits.

Old video card is a generic 8500GT based card with 1GB memory, new video card is a generic 9500GT based card with 1GB memory.

The computer has an E8400 CPU on a GIGABYTE motherboard, 4GB memory, there is no other hardware in this computer except for an hard drive and a DVD burner (there are also an external USB disk and a printer connected)

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Another than a fresh install of Windows, I have no other ideas. Also, keep in mind that you asked your question on a holiday. In other words, you might not get as much help as you would on a normal business day. –  SgtOJ May 28 '12 at 13:14

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