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Troubleshooting FAQ

Video Troubleshooting

  1. Video Card Troubleshooting
  2. How do I determine what type of video card I have?
  3. Screen Resolution Won't Stay
  4. Troubleshooting Video problems in Windows XP


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Video Card Troubleshooting

Signs of Video Card trouble could be:
  • Computer intermittently locks up when playing 3D games.
  • Unable to play certain games.
  • Windows has difficulty launching in normal mode.
  • Small colored dots splattered across your screen.
If you are experiencing any of the above, then please try the following steps to fix the problem:
  1. Be sure that the Monitor is hooked directly to the PC and not by any video extension cables.
  2. Check the connectors for any bent or broken pins. Also, check for any other signs of damage. If any damage exists, replace the affected cable.
  3. Reinstall or update your Video driver. You will need to visit the manufactures web site to obtain the correct driver for your video card.
  4. Try downloading the latest version of Direct-X from Microsoft's web site.
  5. Visit the problem games web site for any patches that may be available.
  6. Try re-seating the video card.
  7. If none of the steps has helped your video issue, then it is very possible that you have a bad video card.


How do I determine what type of video card I have?

There are several methods of determining the type of video card in your computer, below are a few of these methods.

Method One:

  1. Open an MS-DOS prompt. In Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0 [Click] Start, then Programs, then [Click] either MS-DOS Prompt or Command Prompt. In Windows 3.x or Windows NT versions before 4.0 [Double Click] Main group and [Double Click] the MS-DOS icon.
  2. In the MS-DOS window that opens, type: Debug press the [Enter] key.
  3. A dash should appear on your screen followed by a flashing cursor. Type: D C000:0010 and press the [Enter] key.
  4. A screen of hexadecimal numbers will appear with the ASCII translation on the far right edge of the screen. The information will include the identifier for your video card.
  5. Type: Q and press the [Enter] key to exit the debug program.
  6. Type: Exit and press the [Enter] key to return to the Operating System.
Method Two: The alternative method to the above recommendation would be to open the computer case and read the manufacture name on the chipset or the circuit board of the video card or motherboard.

Method Three: If the Video card does not have any visual description locate a FCC ID number and use the FCC search located at the Federal ID Search Page.


Screen Resolution Won't Stay


Every time I logon to Windows XP my screen resolution defaults back to a large size and I have to go manually change it. How can I make this setting stay where I want it? Possible Solution: It sounds like you need to update your video card drivers or your current drivers have become corrupt. Try going to your manufactures web site and download the latest drivers or you can have Windows search for driver updates for you (detailed below). You can find out who made the video card by going to: Start>> Administrative Tools>> Computer Management. Under the System Tools category, click Device Manager. Click the plus symbol (+) next to the entry titled Display adapters. From here, you can allow Windows to search for an updated driver for you. Here's how:

  1. While in Device Manager and with your Display adapter showing, right-click the display adapter.
  2. In the resulting right-click menu, select Update Driver...
  3. The Hardware Update Wizard will now provide onscreen instructions for updating your drivers.

Troubleshooting Video problems in Windows XP

Do you often get error messages when trying to play games? Do your videos or animations work incorrectly? Does your screen flicker? If you are experiencing any of these problems, then this tip may help you.

Go to Start>> Help and Support. Under Pick a Help Topic, select "Fixing a problem".

Help and Support
  • In the left pane, select "Games, sound, and video problems".
Games, Sound and Video Probems
  • In the right pane, select " Games and Multimedia Troubleshooter".
Games and Multimedia
  • Click the option that best describes the problem that you are experiencing, and then click Next.
    Repeat this step until your problem is resolved or you have reached the end of the troubleshooting path. Use the "Back" button to repeat the last step. You can always start over by clicking the "Start Over" butt

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