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  1.    #1  
    Ok, my dad gave me a PC about a month ago that a friend gave him. It has an 800mhz processor, and has 20 gigabyte hard drive. So it is a pretty nice computer.

    The problem is that when it was given to me it came with absoloutely nothing, just the beige box. So I plugged in all the stuff from my old computer, and it all worked, but when I booted it up into windows it was stuck at 8 colors and 640 x 480 screen area. Which looks really funny on my 19 inch moniter.

    Knowing very little about this kind of stuff I figure that reinstalling windows onto the hard drive would fix it. So I bugged my dad for a long time and finally he brought one home from his work for me to install on my computer, after it was installed it looks exactly the same, which stumpd me.

    So my question for you guys is, do you have any sugestions for what I should do? I'll be happy to answer any questions and all help is appreciatd. Thank you very much.
    God bless the USA! The country I love, and will support at all costs.
  2. #2  
    The problem is that your computer has a video card in it that Windows doesn't recognize so Windows is installing the standard VGA drivers for it. You need to find out what the card is (open the box and look), Then go to the companys web site and download the latest display drivers. Follow the directions that come with the drivers and you should then be fine.
  3.    #3  
    Thanks i'll try that, i'll update here if it works or not.
    God bless the USA! The country I love, and will support at all costs.
  4.    #4  
    Wow im really letting my ignorance shine through right now, but what will my video card look like? Is it what the moniter plugs into?
    God bless the USA! The country I love, and will support at all costs.
  5. #5  
    Right click the "My Computer icon." Click the device manager tab. Check for any yellow exclamation points. I slightly disagree with Brad, I think you should click the plus sign next to "Monitor," which I suspect is set to "standard" (because the standard vga monitor is limited to the settings you mentioned). Highlight it, click on properties. Click the driver tab. Click update driver. Select "Display a list of drivers in a given location" or some such. Find the manufacturer and model/number of your monitor. Click next and finish until it asks you to reboot, then go ahead.

    Yes, the video card is what you plug the monitor into. Depending on your system, it may be integrated with the motherboard. If the above doesn't help, let me know, because then it's (most likely) a video card problem. Getting drivers for it is going to be a pain in the ***, and your going to have to open the computer up to do it (unless you know or have documentation as to what video card it has).
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  6. #6  
    Originally posted by ****-richardson
    Right click the "My Computer icon." Click the device manager tab. Check for any yellow exclamation points. I slightly disagree with Brad, I think you should click the plus sign next to "Monitor," which I suspect is set to "standard" (because the standard vga monitor is limited to the settings you mentioned). Highlight it, click on properties. Click the driver tab. Click update driver. Select "Display a list of drivers in a given location" or some such. Find the manufacturer and model/number of your monitor. Click next and finish until it asks you to reboot, then go ahead.
    Well, your close, but not correct. The problem isn't the monitor, it's the video card. So he needs to select "Display adapters". Then update the drivers from there. The problem is, Windows doesn't always display the correct video card brand/model. Every time I reformat my machine and set it up, Windows mistakenly identifies my onboard video as Pine technologies VGA. But all I have to do is load my ATI drivers and poof!...all is well.
  7. #7  
    I doubt it's the video card. Re-read his post. Everything stayed the same from his dad's setup to his. He didn't reformat the hard drive, he didn't reload windows, he did nothing to change the drivers that the computer was using. Which means that it has the right drivers for the video card, but the wrong ones for his monitor (as he is using a different monitor than the one the computer had drivers for). When that happens, windows uses 'standard vga' drivers which are limited to 640X480 16colors. Don't argue with me, damnit, I just did the same thing at a friends house yesterday.

    Of course, if you'd like we can make a friendly wager of, say, $5?
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  8. #8  
    monitor is almost never the problem. you can plug in just about any monitor and it will display fine as long as you have the right drivers for the video card.

    btw, maybe it's no problem at all. have you tried changing the display settings? from 640x480 to 1024x768 and colors from 8 color to 16 bit (or some higher setting)?

    yeah, i wrote that ...
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by namja
    monitor is almost never the problem. you can plug in just about any monitor and it will display fine as long as you have the right drivers for the video card.
    Et tu, Brute?

    Usually. I think it is in this case, though. Plugging a different monitor in works if the computer isn't set for a specific monitor (e.g. super vga 1280X1024), but if the computer was set to a specific monitor at his dad's, windows will load vga 640X480 when it boots up to hedge its bets.

    It's not entirely impossible that I'm wrong. Since foo isn't interested, would you like to take me up on the $5 bet?

    btw, maybe it's no problem at all. have you tried changing the display settings? from 640x480 to 1024x768 and colors from 8 color to 16 bit (or some higher setting)?
    Um...yeah. Try that first.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  10. #10  
    I've had bizarre problems before and corrected them by forcing Windows to reinstall all hardware drivers.
    This is a drastic measure and could result in having to re-install Windows 98.

    Step 1. Restart your computer and hold down the Ctrl key during the power-on self test.
    Step 2. In the Windows 98 Startup menu, choose the third menu item, Safe mode.
    Step 3. Click Start, Run, type regedit, and press Enter.
    Step 4. Navigate in your Registry to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, right-click the Enum folder and click Delete. Close the Registry editor.

    Step 5. Click Start, Shut Down, Restart, OK.

    Step 6. Windows 98 should automatically detect your hardware and rebuild the Enumeration tables. If it does not, click Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add New Hardware, Next, Next. Let Windows 98 search for all the hardware and install the correct drivers.
  11. #11  
    I'd take you up on that bet ****. My money lies on the video card. My roommates computer is/was having the same troubles. It's the driver for the video card I would bet.
  12. #12  
    It could be the monitor, but only if it is more than five years old (give or take). This is because Windows (all since 95 including NT) uses VESA DDC (Display Data Channel) to detect the monitor capabilities. Virtually every monitor made in the last five years includes DDC and I would be very surprised if any 19-inch monitors have been made since then that don't support the spec.

    However, the way that Windows implements DDC means that if it found a non-compliant monitor, it would set the initial resolution to 640x480 for compatibility, but would then allow the user to set the resolution up to anything that the video card supported with the usual return to previous rev after ten or fifteen seconds if you don't accept the new res.

    The fact that he said that it was stuck at 640x480 implied that he could not force a higher resolution. It would be worth checking to make sure that the monitor is not set to 'generic 640x480', but I haven't had this problem in the past.

    The other silly possibility is that he has a graphics card that can only run up to 640x480x256 colors. This would mean 512 KB of video RAM and probably be ISA insxtead of PCI or AGP. This is so unlikely on an 800 Mhz system that wasnt's even worth mentioning.

    So **** could be right, but I am betting on a video card that Windows identified as a similar but different revision. This will cause a minimal amount of functionality like what was described. I have actually had it happen excatly as described and this is probably why I went with this solution.
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by creole
    I'd take you up on that bet ****. My money lies on the video card. My roommates computer is/was having the same troubles. It's the driver for the video card I would bet.
    Deal.

    What's the verdict, D ev R ay 4Real?
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  14. #14  
    Originally posted by bradhaak
    but I am betting on a video card that Windows identified as a similar but different revision.
    But why would it change from his dad's house to his (or between different rooms if Dev still lives at home)? The only thing that's changed WRT the display is the monitor.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  15. #15  
    Originally posted by ****-richardson

    But why would it change from his dad's house to his (or between different rooms if Dev still lives at home)? The only thing that's changed WRT the display is the monitor.
    I just re-read the original post and there is no mention of how it worked prior to him plugging it in and seeing it in 640x480x8 color mode. Yeah, I just noticed that on the re-read. The post says 8 color mode. This could be 8 bits-per-pixel (likely), or 8 colors (confused with 16 colors - maybe). The plot thickens.

    Tech support by commitee. What an appalling concept. I feel sorry for the kid. With us to help him the computer may never work. Between us we have a lot of specific knowledge, but almost by definition anybody that responds here to try and help him is probably fairly opinionated (except me - I'm very, very opinionated).

    Meanwhile, we are really having a great time arguing fine points about what he should look at first, when checking both would take less than fifteen minutes total. Like I said before - poor kid.

    Oh well, even if we never gets it working (I'm sure that he will), at least we are having fun.
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by bradhaak
    Tech support by commitee. What an appalling concept. I feel sorry for the kid. With us to help him the computer may never work.
    ROTFLMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!

    It's time to throw in the towel and get a Mac, Dev. The computer is doomed.

    So who won the bet?
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  17.    #17  
    Wow thanks for all the help but there is some more problems. I went online to search for drivers for my video card with my regular computer. When I found them I wrote down the address and hooked up my new computer, but when i tried to connect to the internet my ISP wouldnt even reconginze the modem was there, so I just assmuned it was the same problem. I then went to see what else was messed up so to try the cd drive I popped in my MotoX Madness CD, which worked fine, but it wouldnt install because windows said there was no soundcard (which there is).

    Also this computer was custom built and my dad had NEVER used it. So the putz that put it together really messed it up. Being the person I am who knows nothing about hardware
    God bless the USA! The country I love, and will support at all costs.
  18. #18  
    sounds like you need the drivers for the sound card too, Dev.
    hopefully you don't have to get hands-on help -- could get expensive. Is the person who put it together still around? maybe you could get him/her to look at it?
    The light at the end of your tunnel has been disconnected due to non-payment. Please remit funds immediately for restoration of hope.
  19.    #19  
    Well yeah I figured i needed these drivers, but my point of that last post was saying that my modem doesnt work, so how can I get the drivers?

    Oh and no he isnt around still, my dad got it through the newspaper.
    God bless the USA! The country I love, and will support at all costs.
  20. #20  
    okay, duuh, my bad.
    This is a possible work around:
    from your regular computer, download the drivers to a floppy disk, then copy them onto the other one from that.

    BudPritchard's solution would be looking very attractive to me if I were in your situation. blecch.
    The light at the end of your tunnel has been disconnected due to non-payment. Please remit funds immediately for restoration of hope.
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