Windows display driver glitch?
I am trying to fix a friends Dell laptop (Inspiron 3800/Windows? 98) for him. The screen resolution is set to the lowest settings (can't change it) and 16 bit color is the only option given. It's using the systems default display driver. When I use the Dell driver disk to change to the ATI Rage driver that it calls for, it installs the driver then tells you to reboot for changes to take. When I reboot, I get the bios screen, the Windows 98 welcome screen follows then a blank screen with the hour glass and that's where it hangs. It won't finish loading windows. When you reboot it tells you to boot using safe mode.
I have gotten it to finally boot normal but when you go to display settings it offers 256 color and will let you change the resolution settings BUT when you reboot to take effect it goes right back to the lowest settings and 16 bit color.
Any ideas on what the problem can be? I have formatted the thing using the Dell restore disk several times as well. I can even get online and update windows BUT the screen resolution won't change. HELP!!!
This is a complex problem, as is obvious from how long your question ended up being. Nonetheless, the answer is relatively straightforward and is true not just for this specific situation but for any situation where hardware is being "weird" or otherwise glitching as you describe:
Download and reinstall the driver
In this case, I'd go to support.dell.com and search for your specific laptop model (the Inspiron 3800). Download the latest BIOS update and latest ATI Rage driver. If you do not know how to flash a BIOS, Dell provides instructions at the download site.
Be very careful when flashing a BIOS. If anything goes wrong you are probably up a creek and your lovely Inspiron will be transformed into an expensive paperweight!
As far as I can tell, the specific driver you'll need is this one:
It's the video driver that Dell recommends for Inspiron 3800 using Windows 98 as its main operating system. Install that, reboot, and you should be in good shape again.
If you're going to try upgrading your BIOS by "flashing" it, then you'll want to download and install the Dell Inspiron BIOS update from here:
Again, though, be careful so you don't crash and burn on the BIOS update. Maybe you could have a PC guru around to help?
In any case, that should get you back on track!
Thanks to Ed Ellis for his help with this answer.
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Reader Comments To Date: 31
I've had similar problems with ATI drivers and 98se at the school I support. I've found that deleting the driver from the device manager plus deleting all of the user profiles (seriously!)and then reinstalling the driver on reboot works 100% of the time. Since our PCs are in a student lab, deleting the profiles is not a problem for us.
Little Flower HS, Philly PA
PS. please don't post my email address.
I have a similar problem. I normally run at 1280X1024, with display dpi at 158% normal. I reset my res to 600X800 for a specific program, but I forgot to reset the dpi first! When the resolution changed, the fonts were gigantic, and filled so much of the screen that the button to apply changes did not appear. I changed the dpi to normal, and rebooted, even though I could not click the button to apply the font change. On reboot, I was back to 1280X1024, 158%. But the next time I started up, I was at 800X600, 158%. Now it does that every time. A reboot, without changing any settings, always brings it back to 1280X1024, 158%. But any time I shut down and start back up, I get 600X800, 158%.
Any advice would be appreciated. A google search led me to this thread. My question is if I uninstall the display driver from device manager, will I have a display at all when I restart? I am beginning to realize that losing the display can shut me down in a hurry.
I am not so sure that I want to try that part about updating the BIOS. Also, it is not that easy for a klutz like me to visit one of these web sites and try to figure out which driver I should download. But I should be able to uninstall and reinstall the driver, unless I lose the display altogether.
I have a hp pavilion xt 853 w/ a mx70 moniter.
It was running on WIN SE, but to many gliches so i went to WIN 98.
Since then my display only goes to 16 colors,
which is basicaly text only and no graphics.
I need to know where to find the chipset drivers,
HP was of no help.
Sorry to hear of your experiences, Kelly. I think the key question is: who made your display card? Go to their site, search for device driver updates. Good luck!
lost power during RITA and am now unable to change color settings(16 only)ME system everything else normal
Sounds like you might need to reinstall your display driver. Check the web site from the company that made your PC (e.g., Dell, Gateway, etc), and see what you can find out. Good luck!
I have a DELL OptiPlex GX240 DHP. It runs at at 4 bit quality and the lowest resolution. Niether can be adjusted. It has no video card and just the mother board. Now would a new Video card fix this? Is there a driver I can use with my motherboard? This is a realy strange occurance.
My laptop has lost all color/resolution adjustments except the default setting of 16 colors,Somebody please help me,ive tried everything I can think of.
hello its nice to see this as i have the exact same problem i have a genuintel 11 computer with windows 98 se installed and i can not get the color to change from 16 back to 256 i am aware of dells sight but i cant get it to load i was wondering if you could get the download link of the driver for me as you did this one please thank you my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
hi I have a problem with ATI drivers. if I install drivers on my computer I can't play certain videos off of the internet but when I uninstall the drivers without having any drivers I can watch the movie. Also musicmatch wont play. I have uninstalled drivers and reinstalled the newest ones
Can anyone help me
I recently reformatted a Dell Latitude CP, and reinstalled Windows 98SE onto it. I have the same problem as everyone else, though (smallest possible resolution and 16 colors) however, I understand that I need to update my driver. The problem is that I have no idea which display driver I need to install from the Dell site. There is a list of seventeen drivers there, and I've not a clue as to which one I need. The laptop was given to me as a (very old) gift, thus I haven't all the original information regarding it. Is there a way to find out which driver I need?
DITTO. I recently reformatted a Dell Latitude c610, and reinstalled Windows 98SE onto it. I have the same problem as everyone else, though (smallest possible resolution and 16 colors) however, I understand that I need to update my driver. The problem is that I have no idea which display driver I need to install from the Dell site. There is a list of seventeen drivers there, and I've not a clue as to which one I need. The laptop was given to me as a (very old) gift, thus I haven't all the original information regarding it. Is there a way to find out which driver I need?
I have an acer travelate 2300. I cannot get the screen to transfer to a LCD projector, the f5 button does not function, a I missing a driver? if so where do I find one to run with XP Help please
I'm having similar problems. I recently bought an old computer from my friend. It was working fine when he had it, but he formatted it before he gave it to me. I reinstalled win98, which is what he was running on it, but I'm getting the "16 colours small resolution" thing.
I've gone to the dos prompt and typed "debug", then "dc000:50", which told me that my display adapter is a "NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 MODEL 64". I went to the nvidea website and downloaded the appropriate driver, and followed all intructions in installing it, but whenever I set it to anything more complicated than 16 colours and/or anything other than the lowest resolution, the next time I try to start windows it will not load.
It goes through all the normal starting up stuff, gets up to "starting windows 98", then instead of going to the windows logo splash screen thingie the screen turns black and stays that way. With a cursor flashing in the top left corner, but I can't type anything. Next time I boot the computer it loads windows (it tries to do safe mode but selecting normal mode works too) with the low display. Then it tells me that the current settings do not work with my hardware.
I've tried everything I can think of. I've got the right drivers for my monitor, and debug, AIDA32 and the screen displayed when I first boot up the computer all tell me I've got that nvidea display adaptor, but it's not working. I'm at my wits' end. Can you help at all?
I'm having problems with my display. I have an acer aspire 5000 and the display will glitch with a turqoise color sometimes. Any advice?
I have an Dell latitude d610 that I reformated and put windows ME on it and I can not display more then 16 colors and I would like to display more how can I fix this problem. I have tried to down load files drivers but they all seem to want windows XP and I would like to run ME... thank you for your help...
my system is an amd athlon one...i recently installed windows from the scratch...now i seem to have a glitch in installing the video drivers...i am not able to play games and do other stuff...plz provide me a sutable solution for the problem...
1 uninstal u'r displey driver . 2 remuve u'r VGA from mathearboard . 3 then put back . 4 and then INSTAL correct VGA driver IT mey HELP) !!!!!
hai friends i am in seek of my vga driver and sound card driver and i dont know what type of vga and sound card i am having could i get the solution for knowing what type of cards and how to download those drivers
my dell c610 says theres no bootable drive what does that mean and how do I correct the problem?
i have a dell Latitude d610, i had already installed more and more avg driver so it'solution only 1024x768, i can not change other solution, i think when we install vga driver we can change some other value. please help me?
im having problems with xp it makes everything in the wrong order and comes up with an error saying theres something wrong with my display driver thanks for any help
i need to know what video cotroller(vga compatible) driver would be best fr my pc which has window xp sevrvice pack2...my device id is
pcien_1106&dev_7205&subsys70611462_rev_014&1feb 96e 4&oooo8...having via bord...pls help me....i need to knw urgently..
Not sure what happened but computer is stuck on lowest screen resolution and 4-bit color when i change them and click OK the screen flashes black and comes back up with the lowest settings not sure if it is a virus or a BIOS problem. Ran scans using several detection programs and they came up empty. thx for any help
hi i have a hp pavilion entertainmet pc dv7-1279wm.Every thing was working good with OS vista but when i upgraded to windows 7 my dispaly works for a while then the screen will freez and i get a forced reeboot. a general vga driver will work but dont work with directx
i have a Windows ME laptop that kept randomly shutting down so i did a virus check with Norton.
It kept doing the same thing and now it only boots in 600x800 or safe mode with no working mouse.
Email me with a solution,PLEASE!!??
ps, i posted this with my dsi and i got the laptop from Gateway
I have a similiar problem. I have a windows 98 desktop with an ATI rage pro 128mb graphics card and a SAMSUNG Syncmaster 550s monitor.I have 2 colour options 2 colours and 16 colours. Also i only have one resolution option 640 by 480. The drivers are on my computer but for some reason not working:(. I have tryed reinstalling the ati graphics card drivers many times but i get an error message that says "the display driver is not compatible with the display adapter(s) installed in your system. If anyone knows how to fix problem please tell me.
i have a compaq 7000series windows 98 im having a problem with the resulution on my monitor everything got real big and distorted i tried to fix it by going to the display and properties box but the curser wont move its stuck at 640 by 480 and the color at 16 ther is a message that says unknown monitor on unknown device i tried updating drivers and all other things that the instructions said but nothing is working! the latest answer was to install the vga driver but it didnt do nothing now its telling me to install the display adaptor configuration can you please help me fix this problem step by step because im lerning all this computer stuff on my own like i know how to fix most problems i have had on my own i just play with everything untill it works but i dont know allot so if ther is somebody that can tell me what to do i wouid appriciate it very mutch you can e mail me at email@example.com or even call me derect at 323 206 7455 urgent asap thank u very mutch
i need help with my computer, it's a windows 98' and when i turn it on, the screen just glitches. plus all the lights in the back are green exept the letter a. email me you answer.
Hi,i have a similar problem to some of those above.
I have yesterday instaled a atalyst control center(the newest one). And today when i turned on the computer the resolution was minimal and and the color quality was 4 bit(lowest). When i go to the display options to change it ,it cant be changed, and theres a mesage telling me that my driver was writen for an older version of Windows.
I have no idea what to do ,so please i really need help with this.
my HP laptop tends to stop responding when I've opened a power point program, then after a few seconds it displays a massage that windows drivers had stopped working but has recovered it disturbs me a lot when am reading.
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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