Code 43: not sure if Graphic Card is broken or other issue. Plz Help

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Jul 17, 2012
Hello Tom community. This is my first post Hello Tom community. This is my first post but I am a frequent visitor, thank you guys for helping me solve numerous PC problems throughout the years. I truly appreciate the professionalism and enthusiasm.
I have a quite urgent problem on my hand, I need to know whether my graphic card malfunction is caused by software problems or the graphic card itself.

This morning while I was playing DOTA2, my PC suddenly restarted, and the resolution became 800x600; I thought this were just some minor incidents, the Nvidia Control Panel denied my access and gave me the warning of "you are not currently using a display attached to an Nvidia GPU." After further inspection, it was the notorious code 43 error.

My PC Spec (built):
OS: WIndows 7 32Bit
CPU: Intel i5 750 (1.5 yr old)
MB : EVGA P55 SLI FTW edition (1.5yr old)
RAM: 4G DDR3 1600mhz (2 yr old)
Graphic Card: EVGA Nvidia GTX 470 1279DDR5 (1.5yr old)
Hard Drive Samsung 250GB 7200

Long story short, below will be the solutions I have tried (thanx for the wonderful TOM community for helping other users with similar problem), and my main question of whether or not my graphic card is truly broken since code 43 can be somewhat deceiving.

Solution 1: pull the graphic card out and air blow the PCIE slot and clean off the dust. (not working)

Solution 2: uninstall the graphic drive, and reinstall the newest one.
It doesn't work as well, I have done both updated and backtracked, nothing seemed to solve the issue. I have tried installing older nvidia drivers. I even cleaned the nvidia registry in safemode. Whenever I installed the driver and proceeded to restart, the monitor would lose signal after it got to the windows welcome screen and kept restarting.

Solution 3: I formatted my hard drive and reinstalled Windows.
This is however interesting, the graphic card would work for roughly five minutes and my PC would restart until VGA mode came up. I could watch Videos and surf webs in this mode, in fact I am posting this with the troubling PC at this moment though everything felt sluggish, things moved frame to frame.

Solution 4) Flash the Bios. After I updated my Bios, I used GPU-Z to detect my Graphic Card, and I found out that there were a lot of specifications were listed as "unknown". Only the GPU and Fan Speed were displayed correctly. I used multiple graphic card software, they all had problem identifying the memory size and memory type.

These are the four things I have tried before posting.
Further clarification:
1) This card has been OK before today. It is only one and half years old and comes from a renown brand, I expect a longer life. The card fails every 4 days or so by tearing the screen, but would be fixed by a simple restart.
2) I use to leave my PC on a lot, sometimes it goes as many as 5 days straight, but I don't overcloack.
3) The 650Watt PSU sometimes may be underpower for this card~~
4) I know for sure my mother board is working properly, since the EVGA healthy heartbeat red light is blinking. (maybe the PCIE slot)
5) I haven't tried using another Graphic card ( I don't have one) and I haven't tried to use another slot. (No room)
6) Interesting enough, I had not seen one screen tear or artifact which is main reason for me thinking it is may not be my card's problem.

Community, I really need to figure this one out; as the new college quarter is coming, I have to manage my budget wisely, and if my motherboard is indeed broken, I have to replace it asap along with a new PSU which can make me financially tight. I

Thank you guys, I am sincerely grateful and appreciate the assistance.
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