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Adding PCI graphics card to Dell Dimension 2350


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#1
garyshiow

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This isn't a new topic on this forum, but I am a new and somewhat frustrated member. I've been working on this Dell Dimension for about 8 months. Literally working. I'm a writer, I do a lot of on-line research, and I do a lot of my own graphics work. On this Dell Dimension 2350. Frustrating ain't in it, folks. I've upgraded to 1 GB RAM and I am now trying to upgrade to a PCI graphics card with 512 MB RAM in the hopes that it will take some of the pressure of my 1 GB RAM. And I play DOOM, sometimes. But mostly I work. Really. I do.

So that PNY GeForce 8400 GS PCI card arrived today. I should add that I've been working with computers since 1971, so I know just enough to be dangerous. But I do know how to swap out cards. However, it didn't work as well as it should have. Actually, it didn't work at all.

First, I went into BIOS and made sure the display was set to AUTO. It's either AUTO or ONBOARD, and I figured AUTO meant search for an active device and use it. But that's not necessarily so.

Anyway, I saved the change in BIOS and shut down the machine, added the card into the top PCI slot and rebooted. The monitor worked in DOS just fine and even displayed the Windows bootup screen. After that it was black. I shut the machine down and moved the card to the middle PCI slot. No change. Did it all over and moved the card to the bottom PCI slot. No change.

So I yanked the card and restored everything to the way it was.

Then I found you guys with a Google search.

After reading some of the much earlier posts on this issue I saw where one fellow installed the card but left the monitor cable connected to the onboard graphics connector, got into Windows, installed the drivers, disabled the onboard graphics drivers, rebooted, went into BIOS and disabled the onboard graphics, etc, etc, etc.

But this machine wouldn't boot into Windows with the PCI card installed even when it wasn't connected to anything. Am I in deep yogurt here, or what?
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#2
Alzeimer

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Did you try to boot in safe mode (pressing F8 before windows starts to load) to see if your card will display anything and if yes then install the drivers for your card and reboot.

Hope this will help

Edited by Alzeimer, 17 December 2010 - 02:45 PM.

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#3
Alzeimer

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If that does not work you might consider Dell generic Power Supply that is not sufficient for the power required for your new card. They are usually sold with the minimum wattage required and also not the best models.
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#4
garyshiow

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Couldn't get to SAFE Mode. The monitor display was black.
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#5
garyshiow

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I am thinking about upgrading the power supply, though it won't solve my current problem of installing this card (or will it?). Anybody have a model they can suggest for this machine???
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#6
Alzeimer

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I am thinking about upgrading the power supply, though it won't solve my current problem of installing this card (or will it?). Anybody have a model they can suggest for this machine???



What is the wattage power of your current Power Supply and what brand is it, Graphic Cards are now very power hungry (some more than others) and yes it can stop your card from working properly.

Check the minimum power requirement for your card and add at least 150 to 200 watt more to be safe.

Dell like other brand name computers have sometimes smaller PSU than regular desktop so make sure if you buy another one that it will fit in your case.
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#7
phillpower2

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Hi garyshiow :D sorry to hear you are having display issues.
Alzeimer is most likely correct in his assessment that the PSU is not powerful enough, as your card requires a minimum of 300W alone you would need to have a good quality 400W or more to be on the safe side, see attached link
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814133245
Check out your PSU if it is the usual 250/300W rubbish try loaning a better known working PSU, also try clearing the CMOS by removing the silver CR2032 battery on the MB for a few moments and then replacing it, if you get the screen back you will need to enter the BIOS, reset the time and date and then save and exit (tap F10).
Battery image courtesy of rshaffer61.

Edited by phillpower2, 17 December 2010 - 03:44 PM.

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#8
garyshiow

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Okay, so if I pick up a 400 watt compatible power supply I should be able to run this card, is what you're saying. What about the issue of the BIOS configuration? If I have the graphics display set to AUTO in BIOS is that sufficient? I mean I could "see" the display during the boot up with the new card and even when Windows was booting up I got their graphics in DOS, but Windows itself was just a black screen.

So if I do install the 400 W PSU, and the graphics card and leave the monitor cable on the integrated display connector, boot into Windows, and install the drivers and then shut down the machine, move the monitor cable to the new card and reboot, I will be able to get into Windows and in Device Manager switch out the display to the new card?

Does that make a bit of sense to anyone?
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#9
phillpower2

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Fit the new PSU> Save the drivers for the new card on your screen> Shut the computer down> Attach the cable to the new card and reboot, you should get the new hardware wizard message, if you do follow the on screen message, if you don`t install the drivers yourself from where you saved them.
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#10
garyshiow

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I'll give that a shot. Thanks. Any other comments/suggestions are welcome.
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#11
phillpower2

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Whilst researching the PSU for the computer you are working with I came across this; http://www.911forpcs...dedi23posu.html I recommend you use the specs from there including the PSU dimensions when looking for a replacement, the OP where I got the link from said that when they examined their Dell Dimension 2350 it only had a stock 200W PSU fitted! Is this the same as is fitted in yours? I cannot vouch for the quality of this PSU but here is another replacement option http://www.cputopia....nsion-2350.html
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#12
garyshiow

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I have the tech specs for the Dell Dimension. That states 300 W PSU. I have not yet checked the actual PSU to see what they installed, but I will before I do anything else with the unit.

Thanks for help!
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