Sorry about the extremely narrow focus of this post, but I wanted to make sure that anyone out there suffering from the same problems as mine knows that they're not alone.
I recently built a computer from parts (more on that another time – I'm not sure how many people would be interested in the details) to use as my primary development machine. The last time I built a machine was in 1999 or 2000. A lot has changed in the past ten years. Fortunately, the assembly/setup process went relatively smoothly, except for problems with one part. I bought the ASUS-branded version of the NVIDIA GT220 (ENGT220) graphics card from NewEgg. I'd happily link to their product listing, but that would be rather silly, given that I can't currently recommend it as a purchase. The card slid nicely into the PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot and my DVI cable attached happily to the appropriate port (this version of the card comes with D-SUB/VGA, DVI, and HDMI ports). However, when it came time to install Windows 7 64-bit, the problems began.
At first, it was recognized as merely a generic video card – no big surprise, still a bit of a disappointment for a mainstream card that is by no means on the bleeding edge. My next idea was to download drivers from ASUS's website. I installed the newest version and rebooted. Up came the the login screen at full resolution and I thought I was done. Unfortunately, after I logged in, my screen went totally blank/black. After much experimenting and many installs/uninstalls, I managed to get the card to work with a slightly older version of the drivers provided by ASUS. The story would end there, but sadly the problem returned shortly after. This time, I first did a search on Google for gt220 screen blank, which revealed that others were having similar problems, and not just with the ASUS version. After reading a blog post and some forum questions and trying several other driver versions, I finally found something promising. A user on the NVIDIA forums complained that his DVI port had stopped working. Inspired by that, I tried connecting my monitor via the D-SUB/VGA port instead of DVI. That worked! Since then, I've been running for two weeks without a problem. I can't say I find the solution very satisfying, but at least it worked.
- Steve Holden's Windows 7 Tip - NVIDIA GT 220 driver
- HP Forums: e9280t w/ GT 220 v.c. monitor goes blank with kernel driver error
- SevenForums: Geforce GT 220 question
- NVIDIA Forums: GT220 - No Signal on DVI after reboot
- EVGA Forums: Computer won't restart after installing GeoForce GT 220
- SevenForums: GT220 and W7 driver problem
By the way, I'd love to get feedback from other GT220 owners as to whether the solution I described (or something different) works for you. Please let me know in the comments.
Update (Dec. 10, 2010): I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I finally gave up and bought a new graphics card with an ATI Radeon HD 5570. I'd link to the actual card, but I got a great deal on it because it was just about to be discontinued. So far, it's been great. It's slightly faster than my GT220 card, consumes less power, has a quieter fan, and (best of all) works on both the D-SUB and DVI ports. Good luck to everyone who sticks with their GT220!