Windows XP SP3 32-bit, AMD 3800+ 2x core 64bit CPU at 2GHz, PCIe graphics slot, SB Live!, 4GB RAM (with the usual 3GB cap thing going on; too busy/lazy to change it)
Last night my XFX Radeon HD 4770 finally kicked the bucket. He put in something like 6 years of almost 100% system uptime, so he earned his retirement. Unfortunately, my onboard video card doesn't have a DVI port and I don't have a VGA cable. I went to Canada Computers to buy a cable, and found an inexpensive Sapphire Radeon HD 6450, so I just bought that instead, because RMAing the 4770 would cost money for shipping, and then I'd have to wait, etc., so this is just faster and cleaner. So far, so good.
When I plugged in the new card and booted up, my computer came up fine, and it auto-detected the 6450, and I installed the drivers. However, I never got a chance to uninstall the drivers from my 4770. I immediately had problems with the 6450, in the form of draw issues, screen refreshes and system crashes, to the point that I was thinking about manually removing all the driver files in order to start from scratch (because when I uninstalled via Device Manager, it just reinstalled right away again).
After I made my list of driver files, I decided to try turning off all hardware acceleration, and it managed to run for a couple minutes, but then it froze anyway. I removed the card and just for fun put the 4770 back in, and it's running fine now for some reason. However, I noticed that the list of driver files is identical to what I saw for the 6450.
That suggests to me that the new card was trying to use the old drivers, which would obviously be a problem. My question is, is this theory plausible? Is this what happens when you are unable to uninstall your previous card properly before installing a new card?
And in furtherance of my situation, since it's entirely likely this will happen again, what is the correct way to uninstall my 4770 the next time this happens?