How Do I Know a Video Card is Dead?

By Cameron Easey

Video cards are used to process the video signal and to send it to the display or monitor that is attached to the card. If your screen goes black and does not display an image when restarting the computer, your video card may be dead. You can check and see if your video card is indeed dead by trying to use it in another machine.

Step 1

Turn off the computer and then unplug the power cable from the computer or wall outlet. Disconnect the VGA cable or digital cable from the back of the video card.

Step 2

Loosen the screws that are used to secure the side panel to the computer case with the screwdriver. Pull the side panel off of the computer and set it aside.

Step 3

Find and remove the screw that is used to secure the face plate of the video card to the case. The video card will be the one that you removed the VGA or digital cable from earlier. The screw is located on the end of the metal face plate.

Step 4

Pull the video card out of the motherboard and set it on a table or desk.

Step 5

Repeat steps 1 and 2 on the computer you want to use to test the video card on.

Step 6

Insert the video card into a free PCI slot on the motherboard. If a PCI slot is not available, the video card currently in the machine will need to be removed.

Step 7

Secure the video card to the case by tightening the screw for the face plate.

Step 8

Reconnect the VGA cable or digital cable to the back of the video card. Plug the power cable back into the computer or wall outlet.

Step 9

Turn on the computer and see if the splash screen appears. If the monitor remains black after starting the computer, the video card is dead.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you see an image on the other computer, the video card is working.
  • If the video card is working, a more severe problem may exist, such as a bad motherboard.