I tried a system restore but that just compounded my problem and now I cant turn on my antivirus, internet explorer wont work and I can no longer do a system restore as thats just keeps saying unable to restore no matter what point I choose.
Track down your issues first. From what you describe, you've got a lot going on besides a graphics card issue, like some nasty malware. If I was getting all of those issues at once, even if I were going to buy a new card, I'd verify my backups are up to date and do a clean install with all up to date drivers.
-try another cable from card to monitor, be sure it's all seated well
-try another card, or video from the mobo if you have that built in
-try another monitor if you see artifacts at all times, like during boot up
-clean the inside of the case, dust is oily and can do odd things.
-download MS Security Essentials, disable your current AV(s), install MSE
-scan with MSE, if
able to install it
-check your update history to see if there is an obvious point that it stopped updating certain updates repeatedly
-download malwarebytes and scan
still no luck?
-clean install...might be a bit of a PITA if you aren't prepared, but it's free to do.
THEN I'd buy the card. Get your system running right short of the hardware upgrade.
That said, I'm very happy with my 6950 2 GB1.
Is this XP or 7? If XP and an old installation, I'd go straight to the clean install and consider an upgrade to W7.