Here’s a step-by-step guide to swapping out your graphics card on your PC
Replacing the video card in a desktop computer may be necessary if your old video adapter breaks down, or if you need to replace an outdated and slow video gas pedal, with a newer and more powerful model.
If you have never done this, you may have trouble removing, installing and connecting the video card. Below I detail the step-by-step steps so that you can replace the graphics card yourself. There is nothing complicated. All you need is a little bit of care and attention.
How to cool a graphics card
If you have cooling problems with your graphics card or any other computer component, the first thing to do is to check the fans. To do this remove the left side cover of the computer (left when viewed from the front of the computer). Usually the side cover is fixed with two screws at the back of the system unit. Unscrew these screws and slide the cover back.
After removing the cover look at the rotation of the fans on your graphics card. You should also check the fans on the computer case.
In some cases the cause of fan stoppage is cables that are loose inside the case, but more often the fans simply fail and you need to replace them with new ones.
If all fans rotate normally, the next thing you need to do is to clean dust off the radiator of the video card. To do this, remove the graphics card from the computer and very carefully air blast its heatsink.
This procedure is performed in the following sequence. First, you need to turn off your computer, unplug it, and remove the side cover. After removing the cover need to disconnect the auxiliary power video card. Usually one or two cables. But, on low-cost graphics cards extra power supply may not be.
Next, unscrew the screws which secure the graphics card to the computer chassis.
Then just release the catch on the PCI Express connector and gently pull the graphics card out of the slot. It should be noted that the retainer can be of different design. So if you are having difficulty, you can study your motherboard manual.
Once the graphics card has been removed, it should be cleaned of dust by blowing air through it. To do this you can use a bottle of compressed air.
Improving the cooling of the system unit.
If you have removed dust from the graphics card heatsink, but its temperature is still too high, then you can try to cool your graphics card by improving the system box cooling. To do this you just need to install one or more extra fans to blow air in or out of the system unit.
The picture below shows how air needs to move around inside the system unit to ensure that it cools as efficiently as possible. As you can see in the picture, the cold air should be coming from the front, bottom and left side of the system unit. Whereas hot air should escape through the back and top of the system unit.
So the front, sides and underside of the system unit should have an intake fan, and the back and top of the system unit should have an exhaust fan.
If it is the graphics card that you need to cool, it is best to install an intake fan on the underside of the system unit. If your case does not have a bottom air intake, you can install a fan on the side cover or the front of the case.
Blowing fans are not to be forgotten. A system box must have at least one blowing fan in order to keep the heated air out of the case and to prevent a lot of pressure inside.
If you have done all of the above but are still not able to cool your graphics card. There may be a problem with the video card cooling system. For example, the thermal paste on the graphics chip may have dried out and chipped. What caused a layer of air between the chip and the heatsink.
To replace the thermal paste you need to remove the video card cooling system. To do this, unscrew a few screws on the back of the video card. The number of screws to be unscrewed depends on the specific video card.
After removing the cooling system you need to remove the remains of dried thermal paste from the graphics chip and heatsink. After that apply a thin layer of new thermal paste and install the cooling system back on the graphics card.
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How to switch graphics cards through BIOS?
To switch from one graphics card to another, you must boot into your BIOS. To do that press F2, Del, F11 (combination of keys to enter BIOS is listed in the manual to the motherboard or laptop).
Next you need to find “Config” or “Advanced”. Choose “Graphics Device”. You will see a list of video cards. Choose video card which needs to be disabled and set its value to “Disabled” or “Enabled” to enable.
Press “F10” to save your settings. Changes will be applied after system restart.
Disable graphics card additional power
If your graphics card has auxiliary power you need to disconnect it before removing the graphics card. The auxiliary power cable is located on the right side of the graphic card. There is a special lever on the auxiliary power cable which is fixed to the video card.
So in order to disconnect the extra power, you need to press this lever and at the same time pull up on the connector on the cable.
The auxiliary power cable should come off fairly easily. If it doesn’t, the lever may still be holding the connector in place. Push the lever a little harder and try rocking the auxiliary power connector from side to side.
The correct and only method to remove the graphics card from the system unit
Remove the video card from the PC
Dismantling components from the system unit is a relatively simple task that does not require any special technical skills. To remove the graphics card, simply follow these steps:
Switch off your PC, unplug the power cord and disconnect all cables from the system unit, and then remove the side cover, first removing the screws that hold it on the back panel.
Remove the side cover by removing the screws that hold it in place on the rear panel
Examine the motherboard. Locate your video card and find out if there are any additional power cables connected to it. They should be disconnected. to do this, just pull the connectors (but not the wires). Any cables that might interfere with the removal of the video card must be removed from the connectors or simply moved away.
Remove all cables from the connectors, which prevent to get to the video card, or just move them aside
Unscrew the screws fixing the video card strip or open the clip fixing it
Determine what type of connector the video card uses. Almost all computers built in the last decade, working with a standard PCI-Express x16, in older devices there are cards with AGP connectors.
Determine which connector type your video card uses
Open the locking mechanism on the edge of the connector. In most cases it is hinged or toggle- just slide the latch to the right. Some AGP sockets have round spring-loaded latches that you need to pull towards yourself.
Remove the graphics card from the slot. Try to hold the part by the strongest places, like the heatsink case or the free of electronic components.
Remove the video card from the socket by holding the heatsink covers or electronic component free textolite
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Important! Note that even the smallest static electricity can cause damage, so avoid touching the terminals with your bare hands.
Removing the Graphics Card from Your Notebook
First of all make sure that your notebook is equipped with a discrete graphics card, not an integrated one. You can do this via the Control Panel, or you can find the necessary information on the Web. You will usually get a discrete graphics card in a gaming notebook. Check out ? Then do the following:
- Switch off the device, detach the battery and unscrew the screws fixing the bottom lid. Their number and location may vary in different models of notebooks.
Remove the screws fixing the notebook’s bottom cover
Disconnect the antenna connectors (circled in red). Then remove the hard disk drive or SSD in the direction of the arrow. Please note that there are several screws that may hold it in place and you will need to unscrew them.
Disconnect the antenna connectors, remove the hard drive or SSD drive in the direction of the arrow
Remove the graphics card in the direction of the arrow. It should easily slide out of the standardized connector. Follow the same precautions as when removing the part from a personal computer.
Remove the graphics card in the direction of the arrow
Important! Some top-of-the-line computers and laptops have two graphics cards. The second part is removed in the same way as the first. In addition, sometimes there are cards with liquid cooling. with them you must remove the entire cooling unit with tubes, pump and cooler. We recommend not to service such video cards yourself due to the complexity of their construction.
Remove the side panel
After you have disconnected the video cables and power cord, you must remove the side panel of the computer case. Remove the fasteners from the panel and carefully pull it out. Be careful, if you have a cooler (fan) on the side panel, you will need to disconnect the cooler’s power cord when removing it.
After removing the side panel you should be able to see the inside of the computer, roughly as in the pictures below. The graphics card must be located at the bottom of the computer case on the left side.
Cleaning and Maintenance
First of all, if you service any of the components yourself, you will automatically lose your warranty. So it is better to work at home only with video cards whose warranty has expired.
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As a side note! Most cards can be cleaned without disassembly, using a pneumatic blower to blow dust off and a soft brush to treat hard-to-reach areas.
Clean the video card and its cooler from dust with a soft brush
Stale contaminants will require removal of the radiator shroud, and sometimes the forced cooling fan will need to be removed. Its blades can be wiped with alcohol. The only trouble is for those who decide to remove the radiator. there is thermal paste under it and you will have to replace it.
Usually only the surface of the main chip is covered with thermal paste (red circle), but in some models the common heatsink can cool other chips too (yellow circles).
Only the surface of the main chip (red circle) is covered with thermal paste
Replacement begins with removing the stale thermal paste from both the chips and the heatsink. The main part of it can be removed with a wooden spatula or even the tip of a ruler.
Remove the old thermal paste with a wooden spatula, then remove the remains with an ordinary school eraser and degrease with alcohol
Uninstalling graphics card drivers through the control panel and Display Driver Uninstaller
The usual way to uninstall. go to the Control Panel, select “Programs and Features”, find all items related to your video card, and then uninstall them one by one. Anyone, even the most novice user can do it.
However, this method has some disadvantages:
- Uninstalling drivers one by one is inconvenient.
- Not all driver components are uninstalled, the remaining drivers for NVIDIA GeForce, AMD Radeon, Intel HD Graphics video cards from Windows Update (or installed directly after uninstalling drivers from the manufacturer).
In case you need to uninstall due to any problems with your video card when updating drivers, the last point can be critical. The most popular way to perform a complete removal of all drivers is the free program Display Driver Uninstaller, which automates this process.
Uninstalling video card drivers via Control Panel and Display Driver Uninstaller
The usual way to uninstall is to go to the Windows Control Panel, select “Programs and Features”, find all the items related to your video card, and then uninstall them one by one. Anyone, even the most novice user can do it.
However, this method has disadvantages:
- Uninstalling drivers one by one is inconvenient.
- Not all driver components are uninstalled, the remaining video card drivers are NVIDIA GeForce, AMD Radeon, Intel HD Graphics from Windows Update (or installed directly after uninstalling drivers from the manufacturer).
In case the removal was required due to any problems with the video card when updating drivers, the last point can be critical, and the most popular way to perform a complete removal of all drivers is the free program Display Driver Uninstaller, which automates this process.
Get rid of viruses with antivirus software
We do not say that antiviruses are completely useless and we even recommend you to install one of the most popular. It’s just that in the case of a Trojan Miner, they are not always effective. Consider good additional programs that will not only help with how to find the mining program on your computer, but also remove it from the system:
- Web Cureit or Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool.
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware or
- Kaspersky Rescue Disk or Live Disk fromWeb.
First of all, you need to download the latest versions of the following items from point 1. They do not require installation, and run immediately after you click on the file.exe. Dr.Web Cureit or Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool will check your computer and if they find a threat they will ask what to do about it. You will not be able to use the system in the process, as it will not respond to pressing even the standard ctrl alt delete or ctrl shift esc to bring up the task manager.
Participants in paragraph 2 are an alternative way to combat viruses. If the first method didn’t help, it’s worth rechecking with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware or Adwcleaner. It works in the same way and shows detected trojans.
Detected threats like xmrig cpu miner file, etc.п., We recommend to delete them right away, bypassing the quarantine. It happens that the neutralization process stops, and the anti-virus is unable to destroy the miner. This means that the Trojan is too deeply embedded into the registry of your operating system or some other location. How to stop mining on your computer, if the anti-viruses do not cope?
In this case point 3 will help. Kaspersky Rescue Disk or Live Disk from Dr.Web allow you to create a boot disk, which runs before the start of the operating system. Such a check in 99% will find a mining program on your computer, be able to stop it and remove it completely.
Step 4 is required to clean the PC from residual files. After removing a Trojan, the operating system may still contain “tails”, which stop consuming power but negatively affect the operation of Windows. CCleaner finds and removes them.