So there I was, looking down the barrel of having to basically rebuild my home PC. It’s been more than a month since the box stopped working, and after further research I came up with the following revised shopping list:

Component Model
CPU AM3 x4 640
RAM Kingston 4GB Kit(2Gx2) DDR3 1333
Motherboard GA-870A-UD3
CPU Fan Noctua NH-U9B-SE2

That motherboard recently gained an ‘Editor’s Choice’ award from XBit Laboratories, which is nice.

However, [Duncan commented on my previous post]/2010/09/rebuilding-home-pc-on-budget.html) that maybe the hardware wasn’t at fault. It was a good suggestion that I should really try and isolate what the cause of this problem is before just “throwing new hardware” at it (as he put it!).

So I scrounged around and found a spare old hard disk that I was able to plug in to the system and successfully installed a clean version of Windows 7. So far so good, but then I noticed something odd – Windows insisted that I just had a basic VGA adapter. Nevertheless I then installed the most recent NVidia driver (96.85) and rebooted. Eureka! It booted successfully.

Buoyed by this success, I then swapped back to the original boot disk and booted into “Safe Mode with Networking”, located the display driver in the Device Manager and uninstalled the existing driver. I then rebooted Windows.

Rebooting worked ok, and I was now in VGA mode again. I then repeated the process of installing the NVidia driver and rebooted again… And it worked!

So we’re now back working again, and I can leave my shopping list for another day 😀