Need help installing a graphics card

Hello Everyone,

Thanks to everyone who has offered advice over the last few weeks concerning my recent PC purchase and help with the COD game. Unfortunately I’ve run into a new problem and need some additional help. I’ll try to include as much detail as possible, but let me know if any additional info is needed.

I went out and Purchased a new Gateway computer. It isn’t top of the line, but offered good value for the money. Surprisingly the computer runs Call of Duty very well with the onboard graphics card. Sadly however the graphics have to be dialed down to get acceptable performance. So, I have decided to updgrade to a PCI Express card. The problem is I can’t seem to get it working although I have searched Google countless times. I have done all that I have read and still no luck.

First, here is the hardware that we are dealing with:

Computer: Here are the specs copied from the retailers website. I’m running Windows 8:

Gateway DX4375G-UW20 Desktop PC:

Key Features and Benefits:
AMD Quad-Core A6-5200 processor
2.00GHz, 2MB Total Cache

6GB DDR3 SDRAM system memory (expandable to 16GB)
Gives you the power to handle most power-hungry applications and tons of multimedia work

500GB SATA hard drive
Store 333,000 photos, 142,000 songs or 263 hours of HD video and more

16x SuperMulti DVD drive
Watch movies, and read and write CDs and DVDs in multiple formats

10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
Connect to a broadband modem or wired broadband router with wired Ethernet

AMD Radeon HD 8400 Graphics

Additional Features:
1 memory card reader
2 x USB 3.0 ports, 6 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x line-in jack, 1 x line-out jack, 1 x RJ-45 Ethernet port, 1 x microphone jack, 1 x VGA port, 1 x HDMI port, 2 x PS/2 ports
1 x PCI Express (x16) slot, 1 x PCI Express (x1) slot, 1 x 5.25" bay, 2 x 3.5" bays

Genuine Microsoft Windows 8 Operating System
Microsoft Office Trial
Norton Internet Security trial
Gateway Recovery Management

The Video Card I’m trying to install is a AMD XFX R7 240. It uses a PCI Express 3.0x 16 interface and has 2gb ddr3 memory on the card.

To do the install I have done the following:

1: Upgraded the power supply to a 450W unit.

2: Disabled Secure Boot in the BIOS. I have read that this is the main problem when trying to install a new card in Windows 8

3: I have enabled Legacy mode via the command prompt. This might or not might have any bearing on the card install. It doesn’t look like it hurts anything being disabled and gives me the option of booting to Safe Mode.

4: I have disabled the onboard graphics card using the Control Panel. I would disable it in the BIOS, but while it is listed there it is in black and you cannot select it to disable it.

5: I have not installed the included drivers for the video card as the installation instructions (meager at best) say to do it after Windows has detected the card.

6: I thought that perhaps the PCI Express card needed to be “turned on” in the BIOS for everything to work. I couldn’t find any entry in the BIOS that was obvious in this regard, but I did enable an option that read “Power on by PCIE devices”. I don’t really have a clue what this option does, but being related to the PCIE I assumed that it should be on. A Google search hasn’t unlocked the mystery of this option. So, for what it’s worth, this option is enabled in the BIOS.

What’s happening: I have installed the card in the available PCI Express slot and booted up the computer. The card is getting power as the onboard cooling fan is spinning. However when I boot up with the monitor plugged into the new card I am getting zero on the monitor. It isn’t even waking up. Perhaps this is because I haven’t installed the included driver that came with the card, but I thought that even without a driver a video card would display basic graphics. After I type this I will go ahead and boot up with the onboard graphics card and install the new drivers and see if that will solve the problem, although that is contrary to what the installation instructions say.

Well, that is where I am at and I don’t know how to proceed from here. I am looking forward to getting the new card working as it would be awsome to see COD in it’s full graphic glory. Any advice would be appreciated. If installing the drivers works, I’ll report so that there isn’t any wasted effort. Thanks in Advance!

Two things:

  1. Look in the BIOS for an option to initialize the add-on video card first.
    This is not the same as trying to disable the onboard graphics.

The options will be similar to onboard/PCIE, onboard/add-in, something like that. Since I can’t find any documentation for the system’s BIOS, I can’t tell you anything more specific. Look through all the available options, if necessary. The system will continue to use the internal video for the initial boot until that is changed.
Once you set this, save the setting, turn the system off, then connect the monitor to the add in card.

  1. Reenable the onboard graphics in the OS and boot with the card installed and the monitor connected to the internal video to verify the card is being detected in the OS. It sounds like you are already going to do this.

The Power-on by PCIE devices is for waking the computer from sleep, as in the Wake on LAN function. It isn’t related to supplying power to PCIe devices.

A)That Power On option is most likely a setting so that another device can turn your computer on via that card. For a monitor, I’m not sure it would get much use, but if that was, for example, a LAN card, another computer on the network could remotely turn on your computer. Google Wake On LAN for more info, it’s probably along those same lines.

B)There’s the slim chance the card is DOA.

C)I see that card has DVI and HDMI outputs, have you tried both? I’m guessing you’re using the DVI, do you have an HDTV you can try the HDMI output with?

D)Are you sure it’s in and PCIe slot. It’s been a number of years since I’ve built a computer, but something tells me you can wedge a PCIe card into a PCI slot and you just end up with part of it sticking out…or is it that you can stick a PCI card in a PCIe slot? Eitherway, just make sure all the hardware jives.

E)Are you sure you have the model right? Is this the one with all the cooling fins on it, because I’m reading that it doesn’t have a fan and you said you heard the fan spin up.

I’m going to stop there, because I’m guessing you heard a different fan spin up and this actually isn’t getting power. If you haven’t already done it, pull it out and push it back in, make sure it’s really seated in there. As long as you push it straight down, in all my years I’ve never broken a card. I’ve cut myself, I’ve seen them flex, but I’ve never broken one and some of them take a lot of muscle to go all the way in before they work. If you weren’t sure if it was in right when you were putting that screw in, this is the time to check.

Who made the card? I got two duds this summer from PowerColor (they were Radeon HD 7850). I eventually gave up after their tech support decided they were non-functional and bought a Geforce 660. It didn’t require any changes to the BIOS despite it being PCIe - just put it in the slot and hooked it to the power source and it worked without any of the things I was advised to try to get the two cards that didn’t work to function.

I’ve never had a computer with a PCIe card before, but I’m pretty site it’s in the correct slot on the on the motherboard. I’ll double check tomorrow morning. The card is firmly seated, I can feel it seat plus I can no longer see the gold connectors after it’s seated in the slot.


E)Are you sure you have the model right? Is this the one with all the cooling fins on it, because I’m reading that it doesn’t have a fan and you said you heard the fan spin up.

The card has a fan, not only am I hearing the fan I can see it spin. The model number is what’s listed on the box. It also says on the box that it’s a special Best Buy only deal. I believe it comes with 2GB vs 1GB for the non “special” card.

Thanks for the replies. I’ll try the suggestions tomorrow morning add it’s getting very late here.

So, I looked up the model and it did not designate what version of PCIe it had, there is 1, 2, and 3. Your card takes 3 so you need that. Usually, if the the PCIe slots are 2.0 or 3.0 they state it.

However, I have never plugged in a 3.0 card into a 2.0 or a 2.0 into a 1.0, etc. So, I have no idea if the graphics card will simply fail to start or what. I have, however, had insane issues in getting external graphics cards to work in machine from likes of Gateway.

So, I just looked at the manual. Although odd that you could not add a video card, it says the expansion slots are for modems, etc. This could be boilerplate from an old manual or it could be for real. They may have specifically handi-capped the BIOS to prevent another video card from being used. Searching the web indicates that others have had the issue. No other video card works. Just the way it is.

here’s a thread with the gateway bios solution

  1. disable secure boot
  2. enable legacy , which may be the setting “launch CSM”, and “always” means it will always enable legacy. the setting might also be “UEFI only” which would be new only.
    PCIe v3 cards will work as v2 cards in v2 slots. They work at the minimum standard of (card, slot).

Thanks, I’ll read the thread this morning and hopefully it’ll help. FWIW I enabled “legacy” mode via the command prompt by entering the following:

bcedit /set {default}bootmenupolicy standard

After doing so I got a confirmation that the command was accepted. Does anyone know if this spears to be a valid way of enabling legacy mode? Quite honestly it’s a bit over my head and I just followed what I read.

On another point, what the hell happened to the move towards “plug and play”? I realize this was meant more for things like printers and scanners and such, but why can’t an OS be designed to automatically detect a new graphics card and automatically guide you through driver installation? I have installed many graphics cards in computers under Windows 98, XP and Vista. They, while having certain issues of their own, were a walk in the park compared to this. So far I have enjoyed Windows 8 (after spending 15 minutes trying to figure out how to do anything without a start button), but perhaps what I’m experiencing now is one of the reasons I’ve heard so much complaining about the new OS.

I apologize for the delay in sending my thanks. The thread you posted was spot on and the video card is now up and running. Thanks for the help.