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I have PC with GTX 580 which is requare an external power to work but at the moment I can not plug those wires in to GPU and waiting for a new PSU to arrive.
I need to copy some files from this PC and as far as I know video card can actually start even without external power input, it will run in minimum settings ofc but it will allow me to use PC for a while at least.
But I'm worried about doing so. Is there any possibility that if I'll start my PC with GPU external power wires unplugged for a few minutes it will cause some damage to GPU?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Do you have a second PC where you could put the harddrive(s) in to copy the files? That would avoid the risk of damaging your video card.

What I know from my own experience is that it won't damage the card. I have a GT9600 which also requires extra power, and I had not seated the power cable correctly in the plug. The computer did work but games started to act weird so I checked my video card, plugged the external power cable in and the problem was solved. In theory playing games without the extra plug, may have brought damage to the card, but as far as I can see it didn't.

If you want to be very sure, you could under-clock your video card, via the BIOS if that's possible, or else in safe mode. You also may want to try a lower resolution, just to be safe.

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Unfortunatelly no :( I have no other PC to plug HDD. And I copied my files. Without external power and it loaded but automatically lowered resolution as much as possible. I copied files and turned it off again. It showed no error or something so it seems like ok. Thanks for the answer :) – Nelrum Jul 12 '13 at 10:07

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