When I came home today, my video card started displaying graphic artifacts, and logging in to windows 7 would cause the computer to reboot. The computer was working fine when i last shut it down last night.

Here's a video of what's happening. I have two monitors, in the middle of the video I pan to the second monitor. At about 0:24, I attempt to login and the machine reboots. My video card is an NVidia GeForce GTX 460.

Some more symptoms I've encountered and stuff I've tried over the course of several reboots:

  • was able to login normally once, but after launching a few apps (chrome, tweetdeck), graphic artifacts started appearing again and the machine eventually froze
  • am able to login successfully in safe mode
  • sometimes the display is fine during the start up, and only starts getting wonky a few seconds after I go to the login screen by selecting a user to login with
  • have encountered Windows failing to start up at all a couple of times (blue screen during startup)
  • have tried System restore/repair a few times. i've already tried all the restore points available
  • have tried uninstalling the vid card driver; machine boots and lets me login and use apps as normal but of course i'm at a low resolution (and won't be able to play games). tried to reinstall the vid card driver using automatic update; after the reinstall, same problem occurred

Now I'm not sure how to proceed; all signs point to the video card being damaged and probably in need of replacement; my question is are there any other things I can try first?

Like, is it possible there's just something loose in the connections internally and I can try to remove and reconnect the card first? Or some alternative video driver to try? Or would a shop tech be able to do something to save the card?

I don't have time to take apart the computer at the moment, probably I'll do it this weekend, but I'd like to know my options ahead of time.


It does sound like your graphics card is faulty, but there are a few things you can check first;

  1. Does the graphics card have sufficient ventilation? Is there dust in the fan? Do you have any other fans blowing air in to your PC case?
  2. Have you overclocked the graphics card? If so, undo that overclock straight away. If you've overclocked the graphics card excessively in the past before this started happening, you may have damaged the graphics card.
  3. Does this only happen on this computer? Have you tried this graphics card in another computer?
  4. Is your power supply able to supply enough power to your graphics card? The specifications for this should be available online and your power supply's rating should be printed on the side.

Removing and reinserting the graphics card may help if it has come loose. It is unlikely that this is a driver problem if you are seeing artefacts on your screen.

  • I've had this card for a while (I think almost 2 years), and I haven't overclocked it or anything. Would the power supply or ventilation conditions just change suddenly overnight enough to cause this problem?
    – Roy Tang
    Dec 13 '12 at 2:03
  • It's unlikely that a power supply problem would occur overnight. However, with ventilation it may have simply built up to a point where the card is hot enough to experience these issues.
    – KingJ
    Dec 13 '12 at 11:11
  • I just went ahead and replace the card. Thanks for the advice.
    – Roy Tang
    Dec 17 '12 at 4:59

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