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Home > Installation Tutorials > How To Install A Video Card
Page Overview:
This page will help you install or replace a video card.
On This Page:
OnPageLink Preinstallation Notes
OnPageLink Tools Required For The Installation
OnPageLink Installation Instructions
OnPageLink Selecting the Proper Expansion Slot
OnPageLink Video Card Outputs
OnPageLink Software Installation Instructions
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Document Details:
Title: How To Replace A Video Card
Author: Michael J. Casimir
Categories: Installations
Video Cards
# Of Pages: 1 Creation Date: Sunday, November 30, 2008 7:14 PM
Skill Level: Beginner Last Modified: Monday, October 14, 2013 6:46 PM
Epox EP-8KHA+ with Socket 462 Mainboard

Before installing your video card please shut down your computer and unplug all cables attached to the back of your computer. These include power and monitor cables, your keyboard and mouse.

Document Details

Article Overview

Hardware Installation Procedures

Configuring Through The BIOS

Configuring Through The Operating System

Downloadable Formats
Article Overview [ Top ]
Learning Objectives:
The following learning objectives are presented in this article:
The video card
Understand the differences between PCI and AGP video cards.
Understand the type of expansion slots that video cards can be plugged into.
Understand how to fasten a video card to the computer's case.
Understand how to install device driver software so that the video card works with the operating system.

Video Card Installation Procedures

Pre Installation Notes:

This page will provide a complete walkthrough for installing or replacing a video card.

Static electricity can severely damage electronic components. Take following precautions prior to beginning the graphic card installation:

  1. Before touching any electronic parts, drain the static electricity from your body. You can do this by touching the internal metal frame of your computer while it's unplugged.

  2. Don't remove a card from the anti-static container it shipped in until you're ready to install it.

  3. Whenever you remove a card from your computer, always make sure to place it back in its container.

  4. Don't let your clothes touch any electronic parts.

  5. When handling a card, hold it by its edges, and avoid touching its circuitry.
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Tools Required For The Installation:

The following materials are required for the installation:

pccard2.gif The video card.
pccard2.gif Any manuals that accompanied your card.
pccard2.gif An open AGP slot on your motherboard.
pccard2.gif One screw for securing the internal modem to the chassis.
pccard2.gif Philips screwdriver.
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Hardware Installation Instructions:

1. Shutdown Windows and turn the power off to your computer.
  Unplug the power connector (normally a thick black cable leading to the PSU connector on the back of the computer).
  Unplug all other connectors including the mouse, keyboard, and monitor cables.
2. Pull off the back and side panels of the case by removing the screws from the the back and side of the chassis.

There are normally four screws that need removal on most newly designed cases (two on the left back side, and two on the right back side of the chassis).

Older cases might also have screws that secure the top of the unit to the chassis, so you will need to take a look and remove those screws accordingly if they appear to be blocking the area in which you will need to install the video card.
3. Once you have successfully removed the back panel of the chassis, and top of the chassis (if neccessary), place both panels and screws in a safe place as you will need to re-attach these items once you've finished the installation.

You now have to choose a expansion slot on your motherboard to insert the graphics board into.

Selecting the Proper Expansion Slot

Most computers have a combination of AGP, PCI and ISA expansion slots. All these slots may look similar at first, however you will notice their differences once you examine them more closely.

The following illustration shows the differences in expansion slots on motherboards:

Three primary slot types on any motherboard.

  • ISA Connectors are brown or black coloured and appear at the bottom of your motherboard. Of the three types of expansion card slots, ISA is the largest.

  • AGP connectors are brown coloed. These slots appear closest to the Central Processing Unit (CPU).

  • PCI connectors are white coloured and usually located between the AGP and ISA connectors. They aree made from a white plastic material and are the same connector type that most sound or modem cards connect to.

If you are still unsure which connectors are AGP and PCI, consult your system manual to help you identify them.

Plugging your graphics card into an incorrect slot will damage the card and your motherboard.

Do not try to force a card into a slot that does not accommodate it.

5. Remove the metal cover that is covering the slot on the back of your computer. Save the screw and metal bracket as they may become useful for future installations.
6. Before removing the video card from its packaging read the manual that came with your device to ensure you know how and where the card should be installed.
7. Remove the video card from its packaging and gently take hold of it by its sides.
8. Gently insert the board into the free expansion slot and secure it to the metal bracket with the screw you removed in step #6.

Reattach any disconnected cables, close your system's panels, and power up your system. Most video cards have three output types. They are described below:

Three primary slot types on any motherboard.
  1. SVGA / VGA Out - This connector provides output to your computer monitor.

  2. TV / S-Video Out - This connector provides output to a television.

  3. DVI Connector - This connector provides an output to an LCD computer monitor.
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Configuring Through The BIOS [ Top ]
Assuming the video card has been installed correctly the BIOS will recognize the installed hardware the next time your computer is powered on. You don't need to modify the system BIOS for card to get recognized.
Configuring Through The Operating System [ Top ]
When your computer is rebooted and the operating system loads you may be presented with a limited screen resolution of 640 x 480 unless the operating system can automatically detect the card and install appropriate driver files to increase the resolution.
10. If you are running Window XP and your video card is Plug and Play compatible, then Windows should detect and configured the card automatically. You will most likely want to install device drivers if Windows is unable to automatically assign a value in the Screen Resolution and Color quality options within the display properties window. This is illustrated in Figure 1.1 shown below:

Windows likes to use a screen resolution of 800 x 600 at 16,000,000 colors.

To obtain better performance from your video card it is recommended to install drivers specific to your brand and model of card.

11. After the installation of any video card drivers, you will have to restart your computer for the settings to take full effect. Once your computer is restarted, your screen should display a resolution of anything higher than 256 colors and a 640 x 480 resolution.

Downloadable Formats [ Top ]
This article can be downloaded as a PDF file for offline viewing and printing. To view this file you will need to download and install a program that is capable of reading PDF files.
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