About a year ago I build myself a rig, mainly for gaming. Not high end, but still:

  • i5-4460 CPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • nVidia GTX-760 graphics card.
  • Windows 10

Today I was playing a game, when suddenly both monitors went dark. I rebooted, but one monitor remained dark, while the other had switched to 1048x760 resolution (which I was able to reset to 1920x1048).

But that monitor also has lots of graphics errors, particularly red, broken, vertical lines in dark areas.

When I started the nVidia tool, it installed a new driver, told me to reboot, but that didn't fix the issue. When I started the tool again, it again "updated" the driver, and so on. It won't let me do anything else.

When I swapped the two DVI cables at the back of the graphics card, the symptoms switched between the monitors, suggesting that it's not an issue with either the monitors or the cables.

Are there any tests that I can do to check whether it is indeed the graphics card that is now broken? I don't want to pay good money for a new card to find out that it was something else.

  • When you swap the cables and the other monitor remains dark, then it is an indication that it's a cable issue, no? The driver update problem could be something separate, depending on when you last updated, how much you install etc. – Run CMD Mar 18 '16 at 9:54
  • The symptoms depend on which DVI port on the graphics card, not on the monitor or the cables. So no, it's not the cables or the monitor. – chw21 Mar 18 '16 at 9:57
  • Ah yes, on second reading, you seem to have written that you only swapped the connectors. "Swapping cables" triggered different associations at my end. – Run CMD Mar 18 '16 at 10:00
  • Do you have access to a separate system that you can try the monitors on? The way to approach troubleshooting is always a process of eliminating possible sources of the problem, until only a single one remains. If you hook up both monitors using the same cables to a different system and they both work fine, that would point quite clearly toward something inside the computer, meaning most likely the graphics card but possibly the motherboard. To rule out driver issues, you could try something like booting from a Linux live CD and see if the same issues show up then, pointing towards hardware. – a CVn Mar 18 '16 at 10:04
  • Well, I did switch the monitors around, and deduced that the symptoms depend on which connector of the graphics card the monitor is connected to, so I can rule out the monitors and cables. Unfortunately I don't have another system in which to easily try the graphics card, the other computers are notebooks or too old or physically too small. – chw21 Mar 18 '16 at 10:08

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