monitor flashes off and on and freezes up

March 9, 2011 at 13:40:09
Specs: Windows 7
when i boot up my computer the monitor blinks with lines like going through it and then it will turn off and then back on and it keeps freezing and then it will turn off and back on, and then i get a error screen that reads, error in file nv4-disp and device driver got stuck in infinite loop. Is this my video card or something more serious, i changed monitors so i know it's not that. thanks, lori

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March 9, 2011 at 14:37:27
Sounds like a NVIDIA graphics/video issue, try this (from, this cached link , as regular link didn't work).

So I post content below in case you can't see the cached link. Subsitute Windows 7 where is says XP, if you're on Windows 7.

Fix the Windows XP NVIDIA nv4_disp problem

Monday, January 23rd, 2006 by Chris Jason262 Comments
Here’s an annoyance that found me today—the sinister “nv4_disp” problem. Hopefully my fix will allow other people to bypass any aggravation, unnecessary purchases, technician costs, or therapy.

The nv4_disp problem
I’ve had my Dell Dimension 8300 for about 18 months. It runs smooth as gravy. I haven’t installed any software in several weeks. I run virus checks and spyware removals regularly.

So wasn’t it great when my computer greeted me with the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) this morning? For those of you unfamiliar with BSOD, it’s the screen you get when your computer is really screwed. Anyhow, my computer would boot up, show the Dell Bios screen, and then hit the BSOD. Every time I rebooted, same problem.

After booting into Safe Mode first and then rebooting the computer, I was able to get an error on boot that gave me some idea of the problem. The error message said that the “nv4_disp” driver was apparently caught in an infinite loop. My nerdiness came in handy as I figured “nv4_disp” reads a lot like “NVIDIA display,” my video card. Specifically, my NVIDIA Geforce FX 5200 video card. Perhaps I had found the culprit.

The nv4_disp fix
I was able to successfully restore my computer to tip-top shape in 5 easy steps. Here’s my 10 minute solution.

Boot your computer into Safe Mode w/ Networking. For Windows XP users, this is accomplished by pressing F8 repeatedly when your computer is booting up. You will be presented with several options. Choose “Safe Mode w/ Networking.” This will boot Windows XP into Safe Mode, but you will be able to browse the Web.

Go to NVIDIA’s Web site and download the latest display drivers for Windows XP. I saved the 20MB file to my desktop for easy locating later on.

Remove the NVIDIA display drivers currently installed on your machine. To do this, right click on “My Computer,” then select Properties. Click the “Hardware” tab, then click “Device Manager.” You now see a list of hardware devices installed on your computer. Double click “Display Adapters.” You should now see your NVIDIA card listed. Click it once to highlight it, then click the “Uninstall” icon in the upper right of Device Manager menu. Say “peace!” as the NVIDIA drivers are removed from your machine.

Install the updated NVIDIA display drivers. Double-click the NVIDIA setup file you saved to the desktop earlier. The installation will run its course.

Reboot your computer.
After following these steps, Windows XP should start up as usual (prior to our little nv4_disp bug). Your “nv4_disp” problem is officially solved.

What caused the nv4_disp problem?
In short, I have no idea. I’m actually still trying to figure this out, so I welcome any comments about what could have been the cause. In doing some quick searches across the Web, however, I see that this is actually a common problem.

Further reading
The Infinite Loop -

Just another stupid saying...

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