Best Practices for Changing GPUs

Discussion in 'nVidia Flavor' started by poee, May 2, 2018.

  1. poee

    poee Limp Gawd

    Nov 15, 2005
    This is probably going to sound paranoid, but the last time I changed out one Nvidia card for another in the same system (X58 mobo, GTX 670 --> GTX 770), I inadvertently fried my motherboard (though the GPU cards were none the worse for wear, oddly, and worked in other systems fine.) Prior to that I've never had a single issue changing GPUs, but all it takes is once...

    First the easy: Should I wipe the GPU drivers first from Windows 10 Pro (even though both GPUs are Nvidia?) Is there a recommendation on a specific tool to wipe the drivers, or is it the same as a clean install of the latest Nvidia driver package?

    Should I disconnect the PSU and remove the motherboard entirely first? (I heard a very small electrical "click" last time I first seated the new card when I burnt out my old X58 mobo, though the PSU was turned off and its power cord had been removed. No power cords were attached to either card when this happened).

    What are the "best practices" (most reliable for positive outcome) in removing one video card from the PCIe x16 slot and replacing it with another (of the same make, if that even matters)?

    Apologies for asking such basic stuff. I've been putting together PCs since 1999 and I thought I knew WTF I was doing by now. :(

    Thanks for any advice! :)
  2. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

    Jun 13, 2003
    Honestly, the first fault sounds like a fluke. Very likely something was already on its way out and something you did pushed it over the edge- could have even been static or a capacitor that didn't discharge.

    Try and ground yourself better, and after pulling all power, work the power button- this should help clear anything that's left.

    As for the software, you most certainly can take the time to wipe the old drivers off but generally speaking you just need to run the installer again.
    GoldenTiger and poee like this.
  3. ReaperX22

    ReaperX22 Gawd

    Oct 29, 2013
    Ya first one just sounds like badluck.

    I've swapped from Nvidia to Nvidia without changing drivers, but a fresh install won't hurt. I also just pulled my GPU out of my machine recently ish to test another, put it back in, all good (1070 > 670 > 1070). Then again over the weekend to clean my computer/build. No issues.

    Just ensure power is off, maybe ground yourself as above stated. Otherwise shouldn't be an issue!
    poee likes this.
  4. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Oct 7, 2000
    I agree, bad luck. I like to leave the system plugged in but the psu switched off. that way it stays grounded and you can ground yourself to it before sticking your hands into the guts.
    as far as the drivers, just swap the cards and reboot once.
  5. poee

    poee Limp Gawd

    Nov 15, 2005
    Thanks, guys. Thats a load off my mind.
  6. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

    Apr 5, 2016
    If I can get away with this:


    ... you're in the clear.

    To echo others, it sounds like you had a nasty run of bad luck. You did everything right - system off, PSU off. Nothing should have fried.
    Armenius likes this.
  7. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

    Jan 28, 2014
    Always remember to at least discharge yourself first. Can be done simply by touching any piece of metal. Can be easy to get complacent after assembling computers for so long.

    As far as changing out cards, I always
    1. Uninstall driver and remove remnants of past drivers using Display Driver Uninstaller in safe mode.
    2. Turn off computer and remove old video card by simplay removing side panel, unscrewing bracket, and lifting out of PCI-E slot.
    3. Insert new video card by reverse process, leaving the side panel off.
    4. Booting into Windows normally and installing new driver.
    5. Reboot and change control panel settings to my liking.
    6. Run 3DMark Firestrike loop for an hour, observing for any anomalies.
    7. Reinstall side panel.
    I've had issues in the past without cleaning out the drivers, so its a habit of mine. It's always good to start out fresh with new hardware either way, in my opinion.
    IdiotInCharge and Algrim like this.
  8. gsilver

    gsilver Gawd

    Oct 12, 2010
    What I generally do is pump the power button a few times after disconnecting it from power. That should get rid of any residual power in the system.