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Graphics Card Not Detected? Here’s The Fix [Easy Guide]

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You have a laptop with two graphics cards, one built into your processor, and the other dedicated. Or, you have just installed a new graphics card in your desktop computer, but Windows does not recognize it. You have just made an update and it is no longer detected.

Indeed, it is possible that in certain situations, your graphics card is not recognized, in particular when you go to the device manager, and that the mention “Unknown device” is displayed. We will see together the different possible solutions to solve this problem.

Restart your computer

A device problem can sometimes be an isolated incident, which is only caused by a one-time Windows problem. First, simply restart your computer from the Start menu. You can also go to your device manager, on the unrecognized graphics card, and click on “Uninstall”, so that Windows automatically installs the drivers when restarting. To do this, follow these steps:

  • In the search bar type “devices”, and click on “Device Managers”
  • In the window that opens, right-click on your graphics card, and click on “Uninstall device”
  • Then restart your computer so that Windows automatically installs the drivers necessary for the operation of your graphics card.

Check for important or optional updates

Windows updates regularly. It notifies you of major updates. To verify that some are not hidden, follow these steps:

  • In the settings, go to the “Update and security” section.
  • Then, you will arrive directly at the “Windows Update” part (Windows update). As you will notice in the image below, the message “You are up to date” is displayed. However, this can be misleading.
  • Click on “Show optional updates”. Multiple updates may be available. These are the drivers for several components of your computer that need to be upgraded.

You can also retrieve the reference of your motherboard, and go to the manufacturer’s website to get the latest update for your bios/UEFI. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Open the command prompt from the search bar.

  • Then type “wmic”, and press the Enter key.
  • Type “baseboard get the product, manufacturer, version, serial number” and press the Enter key.

  • You will thus have the exact reference of your motherboard to be able to download the latest version of the BIOS available.

Troubleshooter

To try to fix the File Explorer crash, you can try using the Windows Troubleshooter. For it :

  • In the search bar type “panel”, and click on “Control Panel”
  • Next, click on “View by”, and select “Large icons”.
  • Click on “Troubleshoot”
  • Click on “show all”
  • In the next menu, click on “System maintenance”
  • In the window that opens, click “Next”, “Try to troubleshoot as an administrator”, and then let the utility scan your computer. If it finds no problem, continue to the next step.

Uninstall updates and drivers

If your problem follows an update, especially with GeForce Experience for Nvidia graphics cards, this can cause this kind of problem. Start by uninstalling GeForce Experience. For it :

  • In the start menu, go to “Settings”
  • Then, go to “Applications”
  • Then, click on “Nvidia GeForce Experience”, and click on “Uninstall”.

Next, we will uninstall the graphics drivers installed by Nvidia GeForce Experience that may be causing the problem, using Display Driver Uninstaller. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Download the software via the following link:
  • Unzip the archive
  • Once the software is downloaded, we will create a restore point, and restart in safe mode

Create a restore point

To create a restore point, follow these steps:

  • In the search bar type “restore point”, then click on “Create a restore point”
  • In the window that opens, select the hard disk on which your Windows system is installed, then click on “Create…”
  • Give it the name you want, and validate.
  • Wait until the restore point is created

Restart in safe mode

For Windows repair, it is best to restart in Safe Mode. In this mode, only the main Windows functionalities are kept. This helps to avoid the occurrence of problems during the course of repairs. This mode can also be used to uninstall problematic applications.

To enter Windows Safe Mode, follow these instructions:

  • To do this, go to the start menu
  • Click on “On / Off”, then click on “Restart” while holding down the Shift key
  • You arrive in the troubleshooting menu of your computer
  • Click on “Troubleshoot”
  • Click on “Advanced options”
  • Click on “Settings”
  • Click “Restart”
  • You then arrive on the restart menu. Choose “Enable Safe Mode”
  • Your computer will then restart in safe mode.

Uninstalling graphics drivers

Once your computer has restarted, follow these steps:

  • Disconnect your computer from the internet, and disable Windows Update
  • To disable Windows Update, press the “Windows” and “R” keys simultaneously
  • In the “Run” window, type “services.msc”
  • In Windows services, at “Windows Update”, right click, and click on “Properties”
  • If it is running, click “Stop”, and set the startup type to “Disabled”
  • Launch Display Driver Uninstaller
  • Click on the “Choose device type” box and select “GPU”
  • If it is not selected automatically, then select the brand of your graphics card.
  • Then click on “Clean and restart”, and let the software work. At the end of this operation, your computer will restart

If your computer did not automatically install the drivers for your graphics card when restarting, you will need to install them manually by going to the manufacturer’s website with the reference of your graphics card.

Reset motherboard BIOS

If the previous action did not work, resetting the BIOS may solve your problem. To do this, 3 methods can be applied:

  • When trying to start your computer, try to access the BIOS settings. To do this, press the Esc or Del key. If that doesn’t work, try all the keys from F1 to F12. Then wait for the BIOS to load. When you arrive in the settings, find the section in which is the option to reset your BIOS settings. This operation will vary greatly depending on your motherboard manufacturer.
  • One method is to remove the CMOS battery from your motherboard. It is a flat battery. To do this, you will need to open your computer. This operation, relatively simple on a desktop computer, can be much more complex on a laptop, because access to the motherboard is much more complicated there. Before performing this manipulation, you will need to turn off the computer and unplug it. In the case of a laptop, remember to remove the battery to remove all power supply. Also consider getting rid of any static electricity by touching an unpainted metal surface. This will prevent you from damaging your components by touching them. Then open your computer. On a desktop computer, you will easily spot the stack. A small notch allows it to be lifted to remove it. In a laptop, the battery may not be visible at first glance. It will then be necessary to disassemble other parts one after the other, to finally have access to them. The procedure will vary greatly depending on the model. Refer to the manufacturer’s documentation for as much detail as possible before performing this operation. After removing the battery, press the power button for 10-15 seconds to discharge the remaining electricity from the motherboard capacitors. This operation resets the CMOS memory and the BIOS. You can then put the battery back in place, and close the case. It will then be necessary to disassemble other parts one after the other, to finally have access to them. The procedure will vary greatly depending on the model. Refer to the manufacturer’s documentation for as much detail as possible before performing this operation. After removing the battery, press the power button for 10-15 seconds to discharge the remaining electricity from the motherboard capacitors. This operation resets the CMOS memory and the BIOS. You can then put the battery back in place, and close the case. It will then be necessary to disassemble other parts one after the other, to finally have access to them. The procedure will vary greatly depending on the model. Refer to the manufacturer’s documentation for as much detail as possible before performing this operation. After removing the battery, press the power button for 10-15 seconds to discharge the remaining electricity from the motherboard capacitors. This operation resets the CMOS memory and the BIOS. You can then put the battery back in place, and close the case. Refer to the manufacturer’s documentation for as much detail as possible before performing this operation. After removing the battery, press the power button for 10-15 seconds to discharge the remaining electricity from the motherboard capacitors. This operation resets the CMOS memory and the BIOS. You can then put the battery back in place, and close the case. Refer to the manufacturer’s documentation for as much detail as possible before performing this operation. After removing the battery, press the power button for 10-15 seconds to discharge the remaining electricity from the motherboard capacitors. This operation resets the CMOS memory and the BIOS. You can then put the battery back in place, and close the case.

This is what the CMOS battery looks like:

  • The last method is to reset the jumper. First, unplug your computer from the electrical outlet. If it is a laptop, also consider removing the battery (provided it is removable). As with the previous method, consider discharging static electricity by touching metal before touching the components, so as not to damage them. After that, open your case, and find the CMOS jumper. Typically, it sits near the CMOS battery, and consists of 3 small tabs. If you can’t find it, refer to your motherboard manual, or to the documentation on the manufacturer’s website for more details. The mention CLEAR, CLR, CLEAR CMOS or even PSSWRD could be mentioned there. Move the jumper. You can then press the on/off button for 10-15 seconds to discharge the remaining electricity from the capacitors, and reset the BIOS. Then, put the jumper back in its original position, and reassemble your computer.

Here is an example of a jumper:

Once either of these operations have been performed, verify that your graphics card is correctly detected.

Reinstall Windows 10

If none of the previous methods worked, the only option you have left is to reinstall an official version of Windows on your computer. Of course, be sure to back up all your data before performing this operation.

It is recommended to use Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool in order to obtain the most refined version of Windows 10, without superfluous software which could slow down your computer, or cause it to malfunction.

Here’s the procedure to follow :

Creation of the USB key

First, go to the Microsoft website to download the utility to simply create a Windows 10 installation USB key. To download the Media Creation Tool, go to the link below, and click on “Download Tool Now”:

Then open the file you just downloaded, accept Microsoft’s terms and conditions. You then arrive on a page. Select “Create installation media”.

Follow the steps, select your USB key to create the installation media, and click “Next”. The utility will now download Windows 10. Wait until the download is complete. The utility will then prepare your USB key and the message “Your USB flash drive is ready” will be displayed. You can close the window, and proceed to the installation of Windows 10.

Installing Windows 10

First we will change the boot order of your computer so that it starts on the installation key. You will therefore have to go to the BIOS of your computer.

The BIOS is the primary motherboard software that launches before Windows itself. To access it, when the computer starts, press one of the following keys:

  • Esc
  • Delete
  • F1, F2, F3…F12

The key is different depending on the brand of your computer , or your meter card. You will have to try the keys one by one, until you find the right one.

Once in the BIOS, go to the boot or startup menu . On older computers, this may be under “Advanced BIOS Features”. In “Boot priority order”, put your Windows 10 installation USB drive first. Save and exit the BIOS (press the key corresponding to “Save and Exit”).

Thus, when your computer will restart, it will launch the Windows 10 installer, which will ask you the language in which you want to install Windows 10, the time format, as well as the language of the keyboard layout. Here, the chosen language is French.

Next, the installer asks you to activate your Windows 10 license . Do not panic because in our case, Windows 10 was already installed before, so there will be no need for a license. You can click on “I don’t have a product key”.

Then the software will ask you which version you want to install . If you are not sure, choose the Windows 10 Home version, because you can upgrade to the professional version later, in case of error. Then accept the terms of the license agreement.

Since Windows was already registered on your computer, you can try to install it keeping your files, so as not to lose any of your data. If you want to completely redownload Windows to make sure you’re starting from scratch, choose the second option, “Install Windows only”.

Next, you will be asked to choose which storage space you want to install Windows 10 on. Select your primary storage space (the SSD if you have one), click next, and let the installation proceed.

Once the installation is complete, you will arrive on this page:

You can remove your Windows 10 installation key, and follow the steps to set up your internet connection, user account or your choices for sharing data with Microsoft.

Once all the settings have been made and finalized, your computer will have an updated version of Windows 10, and without problems.

However, it is advisable to regularly monitor the availability of system updates, security updates, software updates or even drivers, to prevent a blue screen from appearing.

Check the graphics card connection

If you have just added the graphics card to your computer, in addition to a GPU integrated into the processor, or to replace an old one, remember to check that the graphics card is correctly installed on your motherboard. If you see your graphics card moving slightly, it may not be seated correctly. Also remember to check that the power cable is properly connected.

If you have an old graphics card that is still in working order, try plugging it in to verify that it is working, and that it is detected by Windows. If the old card is detected correctly, and the new one is not, the problem may be with your motherboard. Your connector may be damaged, or your motherboard may be incompatible with your new graphics card. If you have multiple PCIe ports on your motherboard, you can also try switching ports.

To check compatibility, check the characteristics of your motherboard with its manual, or on the manufacturer’s website.

It could also be a graphics card manufacturing issue. If this is guaranteed, contact the dealer.

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Justin Silva

Fan of video games and new technologies, I have been an editor in this field for several years now. I like to share my passion through news, tests, and other files. I also love wrestling and Harry Potter (and cats of course!)

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