In this post, we will show you how to fix your computer when you get no display with a graphics card plugged in. Sometimes this happens when you install a new GPU or update some AMD or Nvidia drivers.
This will be a longer article as we will try to cover all of the reasons you get a black screen when booting your PC. Often you can’t even see the bios splash screen.
I was stuck with a specific computer repair after adding a new GPU and I had the dreaded graphics card black screen of death. It took me over 20 hours to find this simple solution.
In my case, it was an incorrect Bios setting. PCI-E was selected but the onboard motherboard video was deselected. Enabling VGA and PCI-E at the same time meant that I could use 2 monitors and then boot into windows. Without this option selected I got a black screen on boot up.
The problem was that the GPU was too slow to boot up so the video was being told to output to the VGA which was turned off hence the black screen. No matter where I plugged the HDMI cable into I got a black screen.
Removing the GPU card completely and plugging my monitor into the onboard video meant I could see the bios and boot into windows. Strange boot bug.
Table of Contents
Check your GPU Power
When buying a new graphics card check the minimum power requirements for the GPU. Then add an extra 100 watts so you are not on the borderline.
These cables provide extra power for the graphics card. PCI Express slots on motherboards can provide up to 75 watts to the graphics card. So for high-power GPUs, we need extra power from the PC power supply.
For older PC power supplies they may only have one 6-pin GPU plug. Sometimes there will be an extra 2-pin plug that can be added together to make 8-pins.
Make sure your PC power supply is rated for everything that is in your case. A high-quality 550-watt power supply should be able to power most mid-range systems.
If you have a high-end graphics card that uses both the 6-pin and 8-pin cable then a 750w power supply would be the minimum. Without this external power connector, it could mean that the graphics card was detected but no display.
Check your Bios PCI-E settings
My older Asrock H97M Pro4 motherboard needed a bios upgrade to enable a new GPU to work correctly. So if you are getting a black screen on startup check if there is a bios upgrade for your motherboard.
If you can’t see the bios splash screen remove the GPU and plug your monitor into your motherboard video connections. It doesn’t matter if it is VGA, DVI, or HDMI it should output to your monitor on startup.
Also in BIOS “Fast Boot” is enabled automatically. Disable Fast Boot which causes many problems for Users.
If your motherboard has a setting that is causing the motherboard VGA to not display you can always reset the bios settings to default. Usually, this is as simple as removing the motherboard battery and main power. Depending on the motherboard you may have to short out some terminals on the MB.
Once you enter the bios screen you can then check the model and bios versions. If an upgrade is needed put the new bios file onto a USB flash drive and upgrade the bios.
Make sure the bios file is on a fat32 USB drive and that is the only file on the drive. Make sure it is not in a zip format.
Plug 2 monitors into both the Motherboard display output and Graphics card output.
The reason here is to see whether the bios is displaying firstly to the GPU or the motherboard. If you don’t have a spare monitor you can use a TV with an HDMI connection or VGA port.
This is how I found out that the display signal was being sent to the motherboard output first before the GPU. The Bios is usually smart enough to work out the best one to display out. Sometimes it gets confused and needs some help.
Forcing PCI-E as the first boot order will help but not always. Disabling VGA is not recommended if your GPU fails.
Updating the GPU drivers.
Once you can boot into Windows it is time to upgrade the graphics card drivers. Go directly to the AMD or Nvidia website to download the new drivers.
I recommend using Display Driver Uninstaller DDU to remove any old drivers.
- This tool can be used in Normal mode but for absolute stability when using DDU, Safemode is always the best.
- Make a backup or a system restore point (but it should normally be pretty safe).
- It is best to exclude the DDU folder completely from any security software to avoid issues.
How to install RX570 into Asrock Motherboard and avoid black screen.
I ran into the no display with graphics card plugged-in problem while upgrading my GPU on an older budget PC. Had me stumped for a while until I did the following.
- Run the DDU program and shut down the PC. Remove the old GPU and install the new RX570 graphics card. Or any other GPU
- Plug in the 6 or 8 pin power cables to the graphics card. (or both if required)
- Install your GPU into the main slot PCIe x 16 (2.0 or 3.0). But most likely is Slot number 1 closest to the CPU. The other PCIe x 16 is (x4 speed):
- If one is damaged try the other.
- Connect two monitors into both the GPU and the onboard graphics. A TV can also be used if it has the appropriate video connection.
- In the BIOS set it to make PCIe Graphics as the Graphics for booting up and using.
- Once past the bios screen and Windows boots up install the relevant GPU drivers. Reboot the PC.
- When the PC starts up and Windows 10 loads you can remove the monitor cable that is plugged into the motherboard display port.
Fault finding graphics cards
When you install the RX 570 or any other graphics card, does your motherboard have any odd beeps thru its speaker when it is booting up? It should just beep once. If it beeps more than once, write down the Beeping sequence to see what is at fault.
If you have a multimeter it can be a good idea to check for 12v from the yellow cables to the black cables.
You should be between 11.9v and 12.4 volts. Any more or less and you have a power supply problem.
Burnt out fans and shorted cables can cause power supplies to fail and not output the correct voltages.
If your power supply is over 10 years old I would look at replacing it.
If you have 4 or 2 memory chips installed try removing a few. Try with only one memory slot installed to see if you are still getting a black screen during boot.
Nowadays most people have more than enough memory to run everything under the sun. I can remember a time when I was struggling to run Call of Duty 3 Black ops as it was crashing to the desktop with 8 gigs of ram.
Hopefully, with the steps mentioned above, you can fix your black screen when adding a new graphics card.
It is rare to find a faulty motherboard or graphics card. If you can try them on another machine it will rule out these issues.
When PCs fail it can be so frustrating especially if it is your only computer in your house. Good luck and let me know in the comments below if you have any other tips or tricks to fix a black screen during boot up.
I am a qualified Industrial Electrician for the past 20 years and I love to share my knowledge on home repair and maintenance jobs.
I love fast toys like Motorcycles, Cars, Jetskis, Boats, and Computers so writing about them is easy. Working on them is fun.
To keeps costs down I do all my own mods, repairs, and servicing. These skills I want to share with everyone. DIY is a skill everyone can learn.