eVGA GeForce 7900 GT blank screen with Dell computers


Ahhh, I love computers. I recently acquired an eVGA e-GeForce 7900 GT CO SUPERCLOCKEDâ„¢ PCIe video card from NewEgg. After I installed the unit into my el cheapo Dell machine, I was greeted with a lovely blank screen upon reboot. I knew the card was installed properly because my computer actually booted into Windows properly (I could VNC into it); it was just that the video part of the video card didn't work. Here's the fix: I looked in eVGA's knowledge base, but it didn't have a solution, so I called their technical support line -- and actually had a good experience! The guy I spoke with said that it was a known problem with Dell machines and immediately e-mailed me a firmware update. But there was a problem: the firmware update required a floppy disk to complete. (LAME!) Furthermore, I was going to be attempting what they called a "blind flash," which is so called because you obviously can't see what is going on if the video on your machine doesn't work. The idea is that you boot from the firmware update floppy disk, and it automatically updates your firmware while you pray in front of the monitor. Scary, huh?

Luckily, I have an old USB floppy disk drive laying around, so I created the upgrade disk and tried to boot from it. No luck. Apparently, my Dell doesn't like booting from this specific USB floppy disk drive. Out of desperation, I created a bootable CD image from the floppy and booted from that.

At the blank screen upon reboot, I waited... and eventually heard a total of three beeps (within just a few seconds). But since I couldn't see the screen, I waited another 5 minutes or so (just in case) and then restarted... and it worked! Amazing.

I've put an ISO of the CD image I used online:

[EVGA-7900GT.ISO, 1.9MB] CD boot image conversion, firmware for part number: 256-P2-N565-AX

DISCLAIMER AND WARNING: If this doesn't work, YOU CAN DESTROY YOUR VIDEO CARD. Call tech support first and try to use the floppy firmware update they will send you. If you can't do that, try my solution. Please use it at your own risk! Don't blame me if it doesn't work. Having said that, it worked for me, so there is no reason it won't work for you if you have the same product I do.

What's funny about all of this (if you're a computer geek) is that I had just finished chatting with Adam Tow, who said that he can't upgrade his video card at all because nothing is available for his Quad G5 Mac. This seems to be a perfect example of the problem I have with the two platforms:

1) you can't get the thing on the Mac 2) you can get it for the PC, but you had better know what you're doing