How do I remove a computer video card?

Updated: 06/27/2017 by Computer Hope

PCIe Video CardSome video adapters are built directly into the motherboard of your computer, making them irremovable. A video card integrated into the motherboard is often referred to as onboard video. If you do have one of the removable variety, that is, a card which connects to a PCI slot, taking it out is a relatively straight forward process. Below, are the steps required extracting most removable computer video cards.

Tip: You can deactivate your integrated video card in the BIOS menu, which allows the installation of a PCI card.

Preparation

Before you begin, it is necessary to ensure that you reduce, or eliminate, the risk of electrical charge damaging any of the hardware in the computer. The best way to do this is by wearing an anti-static wrist strap. While inside the computer, make sure it is disconnected from power and that you're familiar with ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD) and its potential dangers. It is also necessary to detach any video cables -DVI, VGA, HDMI or DisplayPort- from the back of your machine.

Open your machine

After you have disconnected the audio cables and power cord, you need to remove the side panel from the computer case. The side panel is usually held in place by several screws, or it may be held in place with a bracket or clamp of some kind. Remove the fasteners securing the side panel, and carefully pull if off. Once the panel has been removed, you should be able to see the inside of the computer, which look something like the image below. The video card should be located near the bottom of the computer case on the left side, the area circled in red.

PC inside3

Remove the video card

The next step is to disconnect the video card from the computer case. The video card and other hardware cards, are likely secured to the computer case with a screw (as shown in the area circled in red) or a clamp of some kind.

Mounting screw

Once the fastener is loosened, you can remove the video card. To reduce the chance of damaging the motherboard, which the video card is connected to, use two hands to remove it, one of each side. Gently remove the video card, applying even pull on each side. If necessary, you can pull a little from one side, then the other in a seesaw motion.

Tip: It is best to fill the gap in the back of the computer case, where the video card was previously, with a bracket designed for such a purpose as it helps keep dust out of your machine.

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