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Graphics Cards

Journeyman III

graphics card replacement-Is this mission impossible ? tech-support truly needed here...thank you in advance


Truly need some tech support here as the topic stated.

My laptop computer has this problem, see youtube below:

vertical line screen problem - YouTube

Also, the laptop abruptly shuts down itself often and device manager cannot detect the Nvidia graphics card's driver, showing a genetic driver instead.

The sony VAIO hardware diagnostic software pointed video card error. Both memory and CPU tests result showing--passed. And I bought 2 samsung SSD to replace 2 old HDDs. Laptop has intel RAID and set as  RAID-0 for performance. Original OS was Vista Ultimate 32 bits, now is Windows7 Pro 64 bits using ISO clean installation-laptop is 64 bits capable. Ran malwarebytes and other aniti virus ensured it is not affected.

The graphics video card is Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT-512MB-DDR2, problem is, it is soldered on the motherboard. I tried using hair dyer method, did not work. I have not tried the oven-baking method as I am not comfortable enough to take the whole laptop apart, and professional reballing cannot solve the problem IF the card itself is dying.

Under this circumstance, i bet most people will say it's no-go, and 3 Nvidia guys I asked said the same thing, especially the GeForce 8600M GT is something Nvidia had pain(s) before.

But then, I saw this:

Laptop External Graphics Independent Card Dock ExpressCard&MINI PCI-E&NGFF EXP | eBay

If I truly want to replace the existing graphics card, which graphics card would you Pros recommend me? Reason I ask here is that I heard the other Nvidia card will also needs the video-Bios which i don't have. I heard that ATI cards that does not have this issue. Second reason is Sony sold VAIO some time ago and they no longer offer any  Bios /drivers update.

If the above external graphics card dock method will not work, can the graphics card be straightly replaced when I send the laptop out for professional reballing? ...(using a you guys's card as replacement as they physically take out the nvidia card before reballing)

Thank you in advance.

My laptop spec:

Sony VAIO VGN-AR770U CTO-customized-to-order

Intel 2.6 Ghz/ 4GB RAM/ 250 GB x 2 Samsung SSD/ Intel RAID

Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics card-512 MB-DDR2

6 Replies

Not being a Nvidia expert, I can guess that the switchable graphics drivers have the same requirements as AMD...and the most important is;

** Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 must be fully updated before attempting to install any AMD driver. All 'critical', 'recommended', and 'optional' (no language packs,etc) updates as well as any Service Packs (SP) must be installed before any attempt to install graphics drivers. If you do not get this message .... keep installing until you do:

Don't depend on your ISO. Set Windows Update to check for "Important" updates as well as critical.


@kingfish: Thanks for yr reply. Yes the windows is up-to-date. And for the driver's update, i also tried a few things, the usual basic steps such as uninstall & reinstall drivers, driver delete then hardware changes scan, etc. Sony's forum had a guy who was very good, taught me about modification of an ini.file of Nvidia's driver which i downloaded from Nvidia's website, i had a moment of joy for 30 seconds as i thought the driver was finally successfully installed, then the BSOD came upon restarts. Nvidia guy told me that's for sure a hardware problem, as sony diagnostic software indicated. Both guys at Sony and Nvidia were good guys they truly were trying to help, just that their hands are somewhat tied.

@pokester:  Thanks for yr reply. I am now trying to find and buy a AMD graphics card to replace the Nvidia card, this is the reason why i am here. I saw from internet, some guy suggested I should get a AMD graphics instead because #1-AMD cards are good and  have video-Bios that I don't need to worry , #2 Nvidia card especially GeForce 8600M GT has fault and they have settled lawsuit a few years back, besides, if I get a used motherboard with the  same model Nvidia card attached, it is no way to tell of that card is good or not, worse is that replacement motherboard is no good either. My other hardwares are good still.

My thinking is either to get a AMD graphics card + get a external dock and set it outside of the my laptop ( as I treat this as a desktop replacement anyway since it is a 17" inches screen laptop and i do have another Sony flip as portable + cell phone) / or: set the AMD card inside to replace the Nvidia card when reballing.

Given with my situation, which AMD graphics card will you gentlemen recommends?  Thank you.



I would think it more cost efficient, and certainly more reliable, to sell your laptop and buy a newer model that has what features you want.

External graphics cards usually require a Thunderbolt connection, which older processors are not going to have.

Some sites that will have discussions:

Laptop General Discussion Forum


Gaming Laptops Forum


@kingfish:  Yeah, I have other pieces. Just that ....I fought battles with this laptop, I have some "feeling" for this one, would love to keep it alive for longer time, if I can, that's why I bought 2 SSDs to replace the 2 HDDs...of course, I can always take the SSDs out and use it some where else, so far, all other components of the VGN-AR770-CTO are still good, except the graphics card....thx


I know what you mean...You could do some searching and find out if your laptop model was offered with AMD graphics. Then search e-bay for the complete motherboard and graphics. One of the sites I mentioned above would be helpful as there is quite the interest from laptop owners to upgrade.


Have you checked with Sony, Intel or Nvidia already and they could not help? Doesn't sound like you have an AMD part in there.