How to install a graphics card

Filed Under: PC Tips, Tech Tips

This is a simple tutorial on how to install a graphics card or video card [PCI card or AGP card] in a computer. Find here the step by step instructions and a video explaining the video card installation process.

Before buying a video card, you must also find out whether your computer has a PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) slot or an AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port). Unless your computer has an AGP slot, you cannot buy an AGP card.

If you are replacing an old card with a new one, first uninstall the drivers of the old card. You can do this via Device Manager >> Display Adapters. Right click the display adapter and choose the “Uninstall” or “Disable” option. If Windows prompts you to restart your computer, select “No” and shutdown the computer normally.

The video card is the attachment point where the monitor is plugged into the back of your computer. Disconnect all peripherals from the computer.Remove the back panel (cover) of the computer chassis. Put on a grounding strap, if you have one or ground yourself by touching a metal part of the chassis.

Remove the chassis and then remove the old video card (if you are replacing it with a new one) gently but firmly. You can do this by detaching all the connections to the motherboard. Make sure that you don’t damage the video card. As you pull the card out, you may gently rock it back and forth, but do NOT bend or twist the card itself.

If you decided to switch to an AGP video card from the current PCI card, locate the correct slot (brown) on the motherboard. This slot is towards the top of the case, and set back further from, all the other white slots.

Next, insert the new video card in the slot. To ensure the card sticks to its place, press the card using both the thumbs until you feel the card is fully seated and secured. Screw the video card into the slot holder, if it has a screw hole. If the new video card has any wires attached to it, connect them to the power supply. Your video card manual will have more detailed instructions on this. Put the back panel or cover back on your computer and screw it up properly.

If you had replaced the old card with a new one, Simply use the cable removed from the old card and plug it into the new one.Your new video card will now have VGA or Digital Visual Interconnect (DVI) output ports to connect to monitors or external devices like the TV. Be certain that the computer monitor cable is plugged in to one of the ports on your new video card and secured properly.

Note: Ensure that the monitors support the VGA ports or the DVI ports, as the case may be.This should be taken into consideration before you buy the video card with VGA ports or DVI ports.

Switch on the computer and the monitors. If your computer has an integrated video card and you are installing a PCI video card, then you may have to alter the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) settings to disable or give lower priority to the integrated hardware, so that the newly installed card can be used to its full potential. Generally, you need to press the F2 or F8 key immediately after booting the computer to get into BIOS.Most computer manuals will have instruction on how to get into BIOS.

After modifying and saving the BIOS settings, if any, continue to boot into windows.Note that modifying the BIOS settings is necessary only if you PC has an integrated video card and you are installing a new card.

Ensure that the computer detects the monitors. Once the computer detects them (If your monitors display properly, the card is working).Install the drivers for the video card, by inserting the CD that came along with the card, in the CD drive. It is usually easy to install the drivers. However, each video card manufacturer has a different method of installing the video card drivers in Windows. So, check the manual on installing the video card drivers. Drivers are usually supplied in a CD along with the video card, when you buy it.

That is it. Check out this video that explains how to install a graphics card.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGmnZyJuytw

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