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I have an MSI GeForce 550 Ti graphics card, which was working till very recently in a 785GM motherboard without any issues. I removed it from the slot for easier access to a hard disk in the case.

Later, when I put it back and start up the system, there was no video output. Checked that everything works just fine with the onboard VGA graphics (HD 4200), before finally noticing that card isn't getting fully seated.

As you know, PCI-E cards have a connector base split into 2 parts. Basically, the smaller part (towards the back of the card with the ports) is not going in fully for some reason - maybe by 1 or 2 mm?

I have used adequate force in case it was just a problem of needing to jam it a little bit, which didn't help. Also suspected the tabs at the bottom of the rigid metal plate around the ports might be not getting proper allowance when put into the case, and tried to ensure those areas didn't have any grit in them.

I have bought and installed this card myself a few years back, and installed it just fine. Even removed and reinserted it a few times, but for some reason had issues this time.

How should I troubleshoot and fix this and ensure the card is seated correctly in the slot?

  • Sounds like you know how to tell if it's properly seated, the lock, will engage – Ramhound Jun 18 '16 at 17:12
  • Why is this getting close votes as 'too broad'? Its looking for steps to properly seat a pci-e card and troubleshoot problems related to that - I don't know how I can get more specific. I even provided the actual card & mobo info in case that was relevant for my particular case. – Alok Jun 18 '16 at 19:37
  • Well there isn't much to it, you align the card, and you push until the lock engages. – Ramhound Jun 18 '16 at 23:24
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The motherboard might have sunk in a little bit inside the case, and the metal bracket at the end of the graphics card (which supports it on the edge of the backplate) wouldn't allow it to be pushed down further to fit properly.

I folded a piece of plastic (expired membership card) below the motherboard to support it a little bit higher inside the case. This seems to have fixed the problem with card seating as it can now be properly inserted fully with ease as expected.

@Ramhound: I would align and push till the lock engages, but I couldn't do so earlier - and actually managed to break off the end of the plastic tab during all my attempts earlier :(

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