BSOD after graphic card installation fix

Good thing about owning a desktop is that you can upgrade its graphics anytime by installing a dedicated graphic card. Motherboard in desktop PC have integrated graphics on board which serves the purpose of everyday computing but if you want to do heavy duty graphics work like CAD or play games which have heavy graphics then graphic card becomes a necessity. After installing graphic card some users report frequent BSOD (blue screen of death) and blame it on incompatible driver or the graphic card hardware itself. However in real, the problem can be your computer cabinet or even moisture. If your graphic card worked fine for some time then driver issues and compatibility issues are ruled out because it would not work right from the beginning if these were the causes.  So if desktop is suddenly showing BSOD post installation of graphic card, watch out for these possible reasons:

1. Alignment problem in chassis: Your motherboard is manufactured by some company while your computer cabinet maker might be some other brand. It is very much possible that your cabinet manufacturer fails to match the alignment so that when you fit a graphic card in PCI-E slot, it face right in front of the opening provided for its connector and the screw hole.  There is some margin for tolerance but sometimes a slight misalignment stresses the card to move either too much up or too much down from its slot and cause problems. Solution to this problem is that you take out the motherboard from cabinet and then insert the graphic card. Now when the card is installed securely and firmly in its slow, re-fit the motherboard in cabinet. Take care that card is not facing any kind of stress from cabinet.

IMG_16412. Moisture between SMD: Your motherboard surface is tightly packed with SMD parts and a computer motherboard as all its part on the front side and solder side is both front and back. This means that terminals are exposed to outer environment. Now when you install a graphic card which has its own cooling fan, this fan draws a lot of air right from the motherboard area causing dust accumulation on its components. When dust settles down and its present there for quite some time (who cleans motherboard religiously anyway?) on SMD, it also absorbs moisture from air and becomes a sticky conductive material. Look at the picture which shows exact same thing which happened to that motherboard. After cleaning that grime, the problem of BSOD was solved in this board.

3. Software issues: Some graphic processors have compatibility issues with certain brand and models of chipset present on motherboard. If you happen to have a combination of CPU, board and graphic card whose driver have some conflicts, then you might experience BSOD. Solution to this is updating all the drivers to latest one and when you update, look at the chipset manufacturer website for the most resent driver. For example if you have a graphic card of NVidia GT220 from ASUS then go straight to NVidia website for the drivers instead of ASUS. Similarly for motherboard, if you have an Intel chipset board from MSI then don’t go to motherboard manufacturer site but go to Intel website.

Mohd. Hashim Khan

I work as a freelance web designer and developer and enjoys fiddling with machines and electronics stuff. I am also working as a part time computer teacher at Aligarh Muslim University. I share my knowledge on various topics here so that others can make use of it and take benefit from my experiences.

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