Step 1: Power down the PC completely. Remove any peripheral devices from the PCIe slots, such as USB card readers, external monitors, etc. You should be left with only one or two active motherboard connectors or PCI slots for power to supply to your video card(s). Some advanced motherboards will allow you to control just one video card simultaneously. If that is the case, make sure it is the last video card powered on before powering down your system and removing other components that may be causing issues with your computer.
Step 2: Power on the PC and run any hardware diagnostics programs you may have available. This can help fix many hardware-related issues if they still need to be part of Windows’ built-in troubleshooting features. Many users suggest running a program called TestDisk, free to download and use in combination with version 6 of Microsoft’s (now discontinued) “Windows Diagnostic Toolkit.” The image below shows TestDisk being used in conjunction with Windows XP SP3 for testing for bad sectors, which may cause unresponsive video cards; however, you should test this step with whichever software will run on your PC without issue before going further:
Step 3: Update all drivers using the manufacturer’s updating tools or manually downloading them from manufacturer websites (if multiple drivers are needed) or using a driver extractor program. Reboot after each driver has been installed successfully and tested to verify it is working correctly. Verify after each update if any new/changed settings need to be changed manually by experimenting until they work correctly with your hardware configuration settings and other software applications you are currently running on the computer. Only install all necessary drivers matching your hardware configuration requirements when the setup process appears complete, and no error message(s) pops up asking if you want to continue installing additional drivers (usually named something along the lines of
There may be a hardware blockage.
There may be a hardware blockage. If your computer is overheating and the fan is running, you have a problem with your video card.
The video card may be overheating.
If your video card is overheating, there are several things you can try. First, check your computer’s fan speed and ensure it’s not too high or low. The default setting is usually 45%, but this may need to be adjusted depending on how much heat your system produces. If you’re still having problems with responsiveness after changing this setting, consider replacing the card with a new one with better cooling capabilities than what came with your computer’s motherboard (you can find these by searching for “video card” on Amazon).
Once again: don’t panic!
A lot of drivers need to be more consistent.
If you have one video card and it’s unresponsive, the other devices are also not working. Make sure your computer can recognize the monitor and other components. If your video card works with both devices, check to see if any drivers conflict with each other.
If you can’t find any conflicts, try reinstalling your drivers from Microsoft or AMD (the manufacturer).
You may need Windows 10 to get an unresponsive video card working again.
If you’re having trouble with your video card, Windows 10 may be the culprit. While it’s true that Windows 10 is not a cure-all and won’t make everything right, it can help with some issues.
If you’re still running an older version of Windows (for example, if you’re on Windows 7), then upgrading to the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system will likely resolve most problems with your unresponsive video card. Like everyone else who has upgraded from an older version of their operating system over the last decade or two (and even beyond), I’ve had my fair share of crashes during these transitions between generations—but after having tried everything else under the sun (including contacting tech support), I finally found something helpful: upgrading directly from my current OS version instead of waiting for updates within days after each new release!
Updates can be an issue.
Updates can be an issue. Updating drivers, installing new updates and patches, and upgrading your operating system take time. And this is where you run into problems: it may take time to work.
Updates often require more space on your computer’s hard drive than what you have available for everything to go smoothly (especially true when dealing with graphics-intensive applications). If there isn’t enough space for the update process to complete successfully, then unresponsive video cards will be one of the top symptoms of this problem.
You may need to update your BIOS or firmware.
If your video card is unresponsive, a BIOS or firmware update may be the solution. This can be done in two ways: by using the computer’s BIOS to update the card and driver or downloading an updated driver from the manufacturer’s website.
If you need help installing an updated driver, ask a technician to help you with this process.
Sometimes reinstalling the display driver will help.
Try these troubleshooting methods to fix an unresponsive video card.
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