You’ve recently upgraded your graphics card to get better graphic performance that meets your gaming requirements.
Right after installing the new GPU and booting up your system, you’ll see nothing but a black screen.
Restarting the system doesn’t help, and you start to freak out, thinking there’s a serious problem.
Before returning the GPU, there are different solutions you can try to fix the issue.
This article explores the possible causes of a black screen after installing a new graphics card and tells you how to address the issues.
New Graphics Card, No Display (Causes, Fixes)
A dark screen problem can be the result of various issues with different difficulty levels.
Check the following steps in the stated order to make sure you’ve covered the most straightforward causes first.
1. Make Sure The Internal Connections Are Dust-Free
Sometimes the problem may not be serious, and you can simply resolve it by a deep clean.
Built-up dust, debris, dirt, and even oils from your skin may prevent the components from getting electrical signals.
Before taking any extreme measures, open your computer’s case and perform a deep clean on all the components.
However, be careful not to damage any sensitive components and use compressed air to ensure every corner is clean.
2. Check The GPU Slot
One of the main reasons that your display goes black could be a faulty GPU slot.
The motherboard has several slots where you can put the graphics card.
If the slot is broken, you can insert the CPU card in another one.
To change the GPU slot,
- Remove the back cover of your case.
- Turn on the PC and check the graphics card by looking at its fan and make sure it’s working.
- If the graphics card isn’t working, the slot may be the culprit.
- In this case, turn off your PC, open the case again, and take out the graphics card.
- Find another slot, insert the card in it, and check if things change.
You can try every graphics card slot and see if they make a difference because there might be multiple faulty or damaged slots.
3. Try A Different GPU
To ensure your system and OS can handle and detect the GPU, try using another GPU from a different system and see if it works.
Alternatively, you can connect the monitor directly to the onboard slot if you have an onboard graphics card.
Use an HDMI or VGA cable to connect the monitor to one of the display outputs available on the case’s back.
If you don’t get any display, the problem is with your OS or software-related, and you should contact a technician.
4. Check Your Graphics Drivers
When you change your graphics card, you’ll receive a message saying the graphics card cannot be detected.
In this case, you need to make sure the CPU drivers are installed and up to date.
To check for graphics drivers,
- Open “Control Panel” by typing it in the Windows Search Box on the screen’s bottom-left corner.
- Find “Device Manager” in the list of options and click on it.
- Locate “Display Adapters,” double-click on it to reveal the device shown as the driver.
- Click on the device to open a page with several tabs.
- Click on “Driver” and find the driver version, which shows if the driver is updated or not.
- If you can’t make sure the driver is the latest version by looking at the driver version, you can simply update it and get the latest version.
- Below the “Driver Details” option, there’s another option, “Update Driver.”
- Click on it to open another window, prompting you to search for the latest updates.
- Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software.”
- Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the update process.
If this method fails, you can manually download the latest updates from the vendor’s website.
Whether your graphics card is Intel, AMD, or Nvidia, you can go to their website, look for the latest graphics driver, and download it.
Their installers automatically install the latest updates, and then you can check if things get right.
5. Change BIOS Settings
The BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is the first piece of hardware that gets activated when you start your computer.
It tells the computer how to perform basic actions like booting, recognizing, and configuring hardware.
That’s why if your BIOS settings aren’t correct, you may run into problems getting images in your display.
To change your BIOS settings,
- Turn your PC on.
- Restart your computer, and when you see the manufacturer’s logo, press one of these buttons: F8, F12, F10, or Esc.
- Depending on the manufacturer, you may see two options: the BIOS menu or a list of options containing the BIOS menu.
- In the second case, choose the BIOS menu by navigating to the option through the arrow keys.
- First, you should make sure the settings are correctly chosen for the number of your monitors.
- Look for IGPU or IGPU Multi Monitors, which you should enable if you use multiple monitors and disable if you use one monitor.
- Now find the settings for PCI and PCI-E through options like Onboard, PCI, PCI-e/onboard backup, and PCI-e, depending on the manufacturer.
Try to check one of these options at a time and see if it resolves your issue.
6. Update Your BIOS
When you get a new graphics card, the BIOS may be outdated right out of the box.
It’s a good idea to update it and see if it solves your problem.
However, making any changes to your system’s BIOS is challenging and needs technical know-how.
Plus, it’s a very sensitive operation, and if your computer loses power or crashes during the process, you can’t reboot your system because the BIOS will be corrupted.
You may want to skip this method if you don’t have enough skills or give it to a technician to do it for you.
First, check your system’s BIOS version to make sure it’s updated.
You can do it in different ways within the windows without rebooting the system.
A. Command Prompt
To check your BIOS version via the command prompt, click on the search box and type “cmd.”
It shows a result as “Command Prompt,” on which you should click.
Copy and paste the following prompt in the command prompt’s box (without quotation marks): “wmic bios get smbiosbiosversion”
This command will show you the version number of your system’s BIOS or UEFI firmware.
B. System Information Panel
Open the system information panel by pressing Windows Key and R simultaneously.
Type “msinfo32” in the box and hit enter.
You can see the BIOS version under “BIOS Date.”
How To Update Your Motherboard’s BIOS
To update your motherboard’s BIOS, you need to know its model number first.
You can check it in the paperwork that comes with your computer when you purchase it.
If you don’t have access to the paperwork, you can check it without opening your case, just by using the command prompt within the Windows system.
Hit Windows + R to open the Run dialogue box and paste the following text in it: “wmic baseboard get product, Manufacturer, version, serialnumber”
Note that there’s no space between the terms and just include commas between them.
Again, make sure to remove the quotation marks before pasting.
After determining the BIOS model, go to the motherboard manufacturer’s website and look for the Downloads and Support page corresponding to your motherboard model.
The page shows a list of new and old available BIOS versions, their release dates, and any bug fixes or changes made for them.
Find the newest version for the BIOS and download it, which usually comes in a .zip file.
After extracting the file, you should see a README file that tells you how to install the new BIOS, recommending the ideal BIOS-flashing tool for your hardware.
You may receive it in the form of a special key-press option, which you need to copy to a USB drive and enter after rebooting your computer.
Since updating BIOS is a highly sensitive process, most BIOS update tools let you save your current BIOS or create a backup.
Don’t forget to use this option as you may need it.
Here’s a useful tutorial that can help you safely update your BIOS, depending on the manufacturer.
7. Reset The Motherboard’s BIOS Physically
If resetting the motherboard within the Windows system is difficult for you, you can use a switch to reset it.
A computer system features a CMOS (Metal Oxide Semiconductor) that acts like a short-term memory and stores the settings of your BIOS.
As mentioned earlier, the BIOS determines the basic actions that the computer performs upon reboot and CMOS and tells it what to do when the computer starts.
Most motherboards on laptops and desktop PCs have a CMOS switch that resets the CMOS by disconnecting the backup battery to the BIOS.
This pin-and-plug switch helps you quickly and easily reset the CMOS and BIOS.
You can reset the CMOS in two different ways: through the pin and the battery.
A. Clear CMOS Through The Pins
Turn off the computer and open the case to see the motherboard.
Use the motherboard manual to find the CMOS pins.
Depending on the brand of your PC, the switch features two or three pins.
Remove the pins and wait for one to five minutes and then insert them back in place.
When you remove the pins’ plugs, the BIOS will revert to its default settings without erasing any data or files from your PC.
B. Remove The Battery
You can also reset the BIOS settings by removing the battery that powers the CMOS.
Turn off the computer and all the peripherals connected to it.
Unplug the power cord and remove the case cover.
Locate the battery, which is normally the size of a nickel, similar to a large watch battery, so you can’t miss it.
However, the position may be different in various computer brands, such as horizontal or vertical or on an onboard header.
You can remove the battery from the holder simply by prying it out of its connector, paying attention to the + and – locations.
With an onboard header, a wire connects the battery to the header.
You should disconnect this wire from the header.
Press and hold the computer’s power button for 15 seconds until all residual electricity gets drained.
After one to five minutes, put the battery back in place, plug in the PC, and turn it back on.
8. Boot The PC In Safe Mode
If the problem is software-related, you can solve it by booting into the safe mode.
Turn on your PC and while it’s starting up, press the Shift and F8 keys simultaneously to start the safe mode.
However, some computers have a fast SSD or start so quickly that you can’t open safe mode by pressing Ctrl + F8 fast enough.
You can launch safe mode directly within Windows.
Press Windows Key + I simultaneously or click on the “Start” button and choose “Settings.”
Go to Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced Startup > Restart Now.
After the PC restarts, you’ll see the “Choose an option” screen on which you should choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
After your system restarts, it shows you a list of options from which you should choose “Enable Safe Mode.”
After going into safe mode, if your screen is working, update your drivers or restore your system to a certain point or factory settings.
This solution works if your problem is software-related.
However, if your screen is still black in the safe mode, your graphics card may be faulty.
9. Try The New GPU On A Different Computer
If you’ve tried the above solutions and none of them has worked, you should make sure the GPU is OK.
First, power off your PC and disconnect all power cables, the monitor, and peripherals.
Open your computer’s side panel and locate the graphics card.
Unplug the GPU by removing all the power cables attached to it.
For dual Nvidia GPU setups, be sure to remove the SLI bridge, too.
Unscrew the graphics card from the motherboard. (Depending on the GPU, you may have one to three screws to open.)
Release the card from the PCI slot by pressing down the security latch, making sure not to exert too much pressure as it may damage the latch.
Be careful while handling the graphics card since it may prove to be heavier than it looks.
Now, connect the graphics card to another computer and see if it works.
When reinstalling the graphics cards, hold it by the middle, align it with the PCI slot and gently push it into place.
When it falls into place, you should hear the PCI lock snap, and everything should fall into place seamlessly.
Screw it to the motherboard and connect any power cables required.
Turn on the computer after connecting all power cords and peripherals and check the display.
If you have a display on the second monitor, it shows that the graphics card is okay, and the problem may be software-related, or your operating system can’t handle the GPU.
If it doesn’t work on the new system, you should contact the vendor and ask for a return or exchange.
10. Check The CPU Power
One of the main reasons your display is black or you experience any graphics-related irregularities is that your CPU isn’t getting enough power.
GPU is one of the most power-hungry components of a computer system, so you should make sure your CPU isn’t underpowered, affecting the GPU power supply, too.
Check the maximum PSU wattage of your system by checking the maximum output wattage specified by the manufacturer.
Then check the PSU wattage recommended for the graphics cards by referring to the manufacturer’s website and checking the system requirements for the GPU’s model.
You could also use third-party tools that monitor system resources and see if your CPU is underpowered or doesn’t send enough power to the GPU.
If the scans show that your CPU is underpowered, you should invest in upgrading your system’s PSU to make it compatible with the new graphics card.
Contact your CPU manufacturer to get the best PSU upgrades for your system and ask a technician to change it for you.
Sometimes updating the BIOS can change the CPU voltage.
If you think the problem appeared after updating the BIOS, you may want to consider downgrading it to an older version and see if the issue is resolved.
However, sometimes the issue isn’t that serious.
One other reason that makes your GPU not get enough power is a loose connection.
Carefully check all the wires, cables, and connections to ensure everything is correctly in place and nothing is loose.