Why won't my Nvidia Geforce 8400 GS work?

Dell / DIMENSION 2400
January 29, 2011 at 18:05:19
Specs: Windows XP, 2.392 GHz / 1015 MB
Please bear with me, as I don't know much about computers, especially hardware business. Anything I seem to know is thanks to Google
I bought a new video card a week ago from tigerdirect.com, a Sparkle Nvidia Geforce 8400 GS, PCI. I received and began installing it on Wednesday, and have been running into many issues ever since.
Sparkle GeForce 8400 GS Video Card - 512MB DDR2, PCI, DVI, VGA, S-Video at TigerDirect.com
The packaging and stickers make it seem as if I have a PCI express card, along with the thorough manual from the Sparkle website, so I'm finding it rather difficult to find the issue as to why this card will not work. I can't do much with Sparkle's tech support, because it's asking me to my "Motherboard Model No.," which I honestly can't find for the life of me. So, I'm resorting to forums where you computer-savvy geniuses will hopefully help me figure out the problem
I have no video. So I keep having to revert back to the motherboard's internal graphics, where I'll fiddle with the device manager, maybe delete or install a few things here and there, look up stuff on the Internet, and see if the video on my new card will work. I will not have video, and so the cycle will begin again.
However! There was ONE miraculous time in which I DID get video! It was bizarre, I had turned off the computer, switched to the new card, turned it back on to find that the monitor would not wake up with the computer, and put my head down in exasperation. Next thing I know, there was color--I could see my background! For some reason it seemed to turn on after a while, after the computer finished booting up. I have no idea if that all along I simply had to be patient and wait for the computer to load, but at the moment I did not think too much about it. I played the Sims 3 with great, smooth graphics for a couple hours, the shut down the computer and went to bed. I found it a bit odd that my only option was to shut it down, no restart or stand by modes, but it was whatever.
The next day I came home to my grandma complaining that she couldn't play feecell, and found that after waiting for the computer to load, only the background appeared: no start menu or icons. I could still right-click and create shortcuts, but if I tried going into properties or something, no window would appear. Back to motherboard graphics
I spent all day running scans with Malwarebytes, Avira, and Spybot S&D. Fixed trhe issues, uninstalled the driver and reinstalled it, and prayed for some luck. But ? Now I get NO video!?! How could this be!?! Unfortunately, loading does not do the trick anymore, because I get absolutely no video whatsoever on that video card.
I'm completely stumped. Any suggestions?

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January 29, 2011 at 18:24:25
Obviously the PC you are trying to use this graphics card in is not the Dell Dimension 2400 shown in your title. Such a machine has only PCI slots whereasthe graphics card you are talking about is PCIe with the "e" standing for EXPRESS. A completely different interface type.
We have the same difficulty trying to help you as the Sparkle tech. Without correct information on the system you are using we cannot determine if you have compatibility issues or powersupply issues. It appears your operating system is suffering some kind of corruption by your efforts to date so as a first step take the new card out. Revert to the onboard graphics. Uninstall any drivers related to the new card.
Next download the Stand-alone version of SIW and run it to determine what hardware you are running. Then post back with this info and hopefully someone here can sort you out. While you are looking at your system please also look at the spec label on your powersupply and give us a list of the Amp ratings on each voltage rail.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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January 30, 2011 at 01:23:57
Sparkle do make a PCI (not express) 8400GS so it could well be the Dimension.

Dells (in my experience) have a BIOS setting to disable the onboard graphics when using an external card - have you changed this? Press F2 as soon as the Dell Logo appears to enter the setup screen and have a look under the "Integrated Devices" option.

One more suggestion - try booting with the internal graphics, go into Device Manager and disable the onboard graphics adapter (I saw that suggested on another forum for this particular computer).

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August 18, 2011 at 06:04:39
The issue here is that the NVIDIA card is acting as the SECOND monitor with your desktop extended across 2 screens. The Start button and icons will be on screen 1. Right click anywhere, select Properties and then the Settings TAB. Make sure the NVIDIA card is screen 1.

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