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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Youngstown, Ohio, USA
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Fix video display (Pro SR1)

    We had an interesting, but very difficult, problem with one of our work computers. The user had somehow accidentally set the video display settings to a value that wasn't supported... not through the system interface but with Webshots. This resulted in the display being completely scrambled with no way to even attempt resetting the video by normal means. (Normally on a messed up display I can still make out enough to open up Properties and work my way through, but this was impossible this time.)

    We could reboot to safe mode, and the display would come up in 640x480 mode, but we could not find a way to reset the non-safe mode display settings. Even logging in as a different user wasn't possible, since without one of the display-control utilities available, all users get the same display setting. <img src=/S/hairout.gif border=0 alt=hairout width=31 height=23>

    In the end we had to do a reinstall, but not just Windows but every other application as well. The only thing that didn't get blasted were 'My Documents' and some other data files, though everything for Outlook was toasted. <img src=/S/scream.gif border=0 alt=scream width=15 height=15> (Why, oh why, does Microsoft save such critical user files in Application Data or other system-type folders instead of My Documents?)

    Is there some way we could have gone into an .ini file or some other system file to manually edit the settings? I couldn't find anything myself.

    Unfortunately, I can't really provide too many other details, since this happened over a week ago now... That night I thought about posting this question, but in a way I was afraid of getting an easy answer. The damage was done, the reinstalls begun, and a simple easy answer at that time would have been like pouring salt into an open wound. But now, just in case something like this ever happens again, it would be good to know how to handle this problem a little more easily.

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    New York, New York, USA
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Fix video display (Pro SR1)

    If you have any old PCI video card (or any video card different from installed one), you can try following. Boot your computer to Safe Mode, go to Device Manager and uninstall video driver and video card. Then shut down the computer, remove your installed video card, install temporary video card and reboot to safe mode. Then go to Device Manager and remove all instances of problem video card. Reboot once again and check Device Manager to be sure there is no trace of problem video card left. Then shut down the computer, change video card back. Boot computer normally and install the video adapter when prompted (I would recommend to check for the newest driver and to have it ready at this point). Usually it works.

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