I had display issues with an extremely old integrated graphical chipset on Windows 8.1 Preview, so I decided to purchase the Nvidia GTX 660, imagining that it would have a slightly better support.

It appeared that it's actually worse, since the new GPU is... well, not working at all (unless displaying a black screen can be qualified as working). This is the default behavior (i.e. before installing any driver), and remains the same both when installing the non-beta drivers through Windows Update (version 320) and when installing manually the latest driver for Windows 8.1 Preview for this GPU (version 326.19).

I don't care about advanced support for games, 3D, etc. I also don't care about performance. I just want the GPU to display at least something. Is there a way to make it work in a sort of fail-safe mode or some sort of generic mode (maybe some Windows generic drivers?), where performance of a particular GPU is lost, but it is still possible to use the GPU?

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    I can't think of a vid card I've ever used that did not work with standard VGA drivers. more likely you need to disable your integrated card in your BIOS, while connected to the integrated cards port, and save changes. then plug into your expansion card, and you should see output. if you don't you have a installation problem of a defective part somewhere. also, how are you installing drivers if you are not getting any vid output as you describe? – Frank Thomas Jul 28 '13 at 21:48
  • "how are you installing drivers if you are not getting any vid output as you describe?": by using the second monitor plugged to the integrated graphics chipset. – Arseni Mourzenko Jul 28 '13 at 21:52
  • "I can't think of a vid card I've ever used that did not work with standard VGA drivers": good point. Maybe the GPU is broken in the first place. – Arseni Mourzenko Jul 28 '13 at 21:53
  • The joy of extreme beta operating systems and driver support. Windows 8.1 Beta Test Preview probably doesn't like running the onboard graphics and the video card simultaneously, even if your motherboard manual and/or Nvidia says this can be done. Until 8.1 reaches RTM, this is one of those things... probably to be expected. – Fiasco Labs Jul 28 '13 at 21:58
  • Frank Thomas or Fiasco Labs, can you post your comments as an answer, please? – Arseni Mourzenko Jul 28 '13 at 22:49

Most Motherboards will not run both an intergrated and an expansion video card at the same time (the exception being a Crossfire rig.)

Plug the monitor into the Integrated port, and reboot your PC, entering your BIOS Setup screen. look for a menu related to Integrated peripherals, and check for a setting related to vid card selection, and set it to use the expansion card. save and exit your bios.

plug the monitor into your expansion card and you should get output. drivers should not limit the ability to recieve output, so if its still not working, consult your motherboard maunal, recheck your BIOS settings, and reboot. if you still cannot get a response, try reinstlaling the expansion card, and make sure everything is plugged in, including PCIE power. if it still does not work, you may have a defective part on your hands.

good luck


Do you have both devices connected to your system? If so, perhaps your system is trying to use the old one, instead of the newer one. Perhaps you could connect your monitor to both cards, and see which one works. That will at least give you video long enough to figure out what's going on. You may have to go into your BIOS/UEFI settings, and select the card you want to work from.

If you boot in Safe Mode, any/all graphics cards will run the default/generic VGA driver on all cards. They will also display the exact same thing on every monitor connected. Regardless of whether the the above answer is true or not, you should be able to boot into Safe Mode with Networking, connect to the Internet, download/install the latest Nvidia drivers for your device, and get something working.

Then, if the above answer is true you, could power down, remove the old card (assuming it's not integrated), and with any luck, all will be well. You may (depending on your system) have to go into your BIOS/UEFI settings, and specify which device your computer should use.

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    Is your answer truncated? – bwDraco Jul 29 '13 at 2:13
  • Oops! Yes, it was truncated. I'm not sure how I let that happen, but it's fixed now. – TSJNachos117 Aug 4 '13 at 20:34

Since Windows XP1, Windows includes a generic VGA driver that allows 2D applications to run at all resolutions supported by the monitor, but obviously without 3D acceleration. If the official driver for a particular GPU is not installed, or if the system is in safe mode, Windows will use this driver.

However, don't expect very good performance. Windows 8 uses software rendering for desktop effects if 3D acceleration is unavailable, and performance in all but the simplest 3D applications will likely be poor. Especially on less powerful systems, you might actually see windows slowly draw their contents.

If you are getting no output from a GPU at all:

  • Plug the monitor into the video connector on the motherboard, then enter BIOS setup and make sure that the BIOS is correctly configured to select the card in the PCIe slot for video.
  • If the correct video device is already selected, the video card probably is either inoperable or incorrectly installed. Make sure that the video card is properly seated and all connectors required for it to function (including PCIe power connectors) are correctly inserted. Also, consider running the computer with the case open to see if the fan on the video card is running. If the video card still does not work, or the fan visibly isn't running, the card is likely to be broken.

1. Windows 9x/Me can only run at 640×480 without a proper video driver installed, but that's besides the point.

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