Vista won't recognize graphics card

Rye Bread

Dec 23, 2012
Hello, I have searched all over the forums using various keywords and there isn't anything quite like my situation. I recently purchased (used on Ebay) an Asus Geforce 210 Silent and have been having issues getting it to work in my system. My system specs are: Dell Inspiron 518, Windows Vista 64-bit SP2, 3 GB RAM, Thermaltake 430W PSU, 640GB and 1TB internal HDDs, 250GB external HDD, and a DVD burner. The motherboard is stock for the Dell and the PSU provides 29A on two 12V rails.

When I first plugged in the 210 my computer recognized the card and it would show up in Device Manager though it was just listed as a generic card. However, when I checked the properties it showed that there weren't sufficient computer resources to operate correctly. I attempted to load the drivers from the included CD but they wouldn't load because the installation program said I didn't have Nvidia hardware in the computer. So I downloaded the latest drivers from Asus and attempted to install them into the computer but I got the same result.

At this point I reseated the card just to be sure it was in fully and when I rebooted the card no longer showed up in Device Manager. I have since updated my BIOS, installed quite a few Windows updates (including Vista Service Pack 2), rebooted with and without the card, run DriverSweeper to eliminate any installed Nvidia or ATI (from previous card) drivers, and set my video priority in BIOS to PCIe. Nothing changes as Vista still doesn't recognize the card and I can't install the drivers because Nvidia says there is no hardware installed.

The weird thing is that the card works because when I plug my monitor into the card the screen shows my Dell BIOS start screen but as soon as the computer attempts to boot Windows the computer restarts. It will do this in an endless cycle until I force a shutdown. As soon as I switch back to my onboard video everything runs just fine. However, when I boot with the onboard video I get a message at startup stating that I have a graphics card installed and I need to shut down the computer and connect the monitor to the card. It does allow me the option of bypassing this if I hit F1 which is what I do every time I boot now since I left the 210 card in the computer.

Any thoughts? It appears that my PCIe slot is working (worked with my ATI card before) and that the card works since I get the Dell BIOS boot screen when attached to it. Why won't Vista recognize this card and what can I do?

Thank for any help!