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Thread: Vanishing Act

  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    Vanishing Act

    Hi All,

    We are loading a new PC with Windows ME. Things have been going pretty smoothly. But at times, certain things "vanish":
    - the Start button on the Task Bar - the word "Start" will disappear and the button itself will have strange coloring or just be a random series of dots; the same thing can happen to the "windows stripe" on the Start menu
    - the minimize/maximize-restore/close buttons in the upper right of a window will no longer show the icons and have strange coloring
    - the vertical up/down arrows on the scrollbar (haven't noticed this yet for the horizontal scrollbar) will no longer show and have some random patterns also.

    Sometimes, I get more than just 1 of the above effects.

    In all cases, the "area" still does what it is supposed to. In the 2nd case, the proper tooltip is still shown if you move your mouse into the vicinity of the button. Restarting Win Me results in the affected areas being fixed. But this is a pain. Any suggestions?

    TIA

    Fred

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Vanishing Act

    Have you made sure that the latest video driver is installed? Sounds like a screen refresh issue. What is the video adapter in this system?
    -Mark

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    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Vanishing Act

    Mark,

    Thks for the super quick reply.

    I also should have mentioned that I haven't noticed any pattern in this - yet.

    But as far as the video adaptor goes, that will have to wait until I get home tonight. I can say the video card has 64MB RAM on it and is the latest and greatest - came with the PC. (My wife, who is a graphics artist, knew of the card and picked it out. I never heard of it). The monitor itself is an old monitor (not super old but at least a few years - perhaps 5-6 yrs). I would have thought that the driver would also be quite current as we only bought the system 2-3 wks ago. But you never know how long the SW was lying around the store.

    I know that my wife has boosted the resolution and colors to their highest (or almost highest) values. Can't say if this is when things go bad. Would tend to think not since she doesn't make the changes that often but the odd effects do happen somewhat frequently.

    Can you tell me a little more about how the refresh rate would cause the effects I described? So far, the effects have been only in the places mentioned in my first post. Wouldn't screen refresh problems show up more randomly around the screen? For example, if I move a window that has one of the problems I mentioned (eg, the vertical scroll arrows messed up), the problem persists in the new location of the window.

    Thks.

    Fred

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Vanishing Act

    The monitor may have some responsibility for the screen artifacts that you're seeing. You can check around and see if there is a driver for the monitor, as well - I check that when setting up a new PC, becuase it helps things considerably. The drivers that came with the video adapter are almost certainly out of date, since they have to be included on a CD and they don't press a new CD every time they update the software. Definitely check the manufacturer's website for a newer version - and that applies to ALL devices.

    Higher screen resolution and color depths can also contribute. You could reduce the color depth temporarily to see if it's part of the problem.

    The refresh rate on the card is controlled by the driver. If the driver doesn't play nice with the OS, it can cause weird problems. The problem wouldn't necessarily show up elsewhere on the screen; a great deal of how the screen is painted is due to the interaction of said driver with Windows. It doesn't repaint the whole screen every time you perform an action, and individual applications also affect this. The window location is controlled by the OS, and without getting too technical about it, its properties also follow it around. That's a core design feature of Windows. Does the problem persist if you close the window and re-open it?
    -Mark

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    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Vanishing Act

    Mark,

    Thks for the information. Will check out drivers for the card - monitor may be too old but will check.

    Hadn't really thought to close and re-open a window to see if the problem persists. Will give that a shot next time. Didn't notice if the Windows stripe on the Start menu persisted across closing/re-opening the menu. Will check that also. Of course, not much to check on the Start button itself. It's always there.

    Thks for the suggestions.

    Fred

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