Video problem.. need help

Emachines / W3400
July 20, 2009 at 06:49:36
Specs: Windows XP, Athlon 3000+/2 GB RAM
I need desperate help....

In short, my problem is that after reformatting/reinstalling windows, my video works through most of the boot-up.

In detail... after a virus issue with my son’s computer I replaced the hard drive and used the Compaq Restore disks to format and install Windows XP, etc.
The video works fine for the installation, and when the computer says to restart, I do.
Then the boot-up seems normal up to the point with the Windows logo and the progress bar under the logo is moving.
Then when that screen disappears and the desktop should start to appear..... I just get a black screen.

I thought possibly my new 160GB hard drive (Western Digital) may be too large for his motherboard so I put the old 40GB drive back in and did the same reformat/reinstall.

Same thing happens... even on the hard drive that came with the PC.

There is a PCI video card installed, along with the on-board video connection. The Video card is what was being used when he was given the computer from a neighbor. Through the video card is also the only way we see the screen during formatting.
I did however try switching the monitor to the on-board video but that gives me the blinking monitor light (as if it’s not plugged in at all).
When in the video card connector, I at least get a steady on light from the monitor, and after the boot-up seems normal and the screen goes blank I can still see light fringing around the edge of the monitor (showing that is in deed working).

I don’t know the models/specs of everything, I am currently out of town but I can get that info if it is necessary.
I could understand there being a coincidence that after the virus hitting, the video stopped working too.... but as I said the video works fine during install, and boot-up... up until the point of the desktop appearing.

Also, would unplugging the PCI video card force the computer to send video through the on-board? I didn’t think of trying that until now.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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July 20, 2009 at 07:15:37
A bit confusing. You have the PC listed as an eMachines then say you used Compaq discs to reinstall Windows? Apparently you're asking about a different system?

Replacing the HDD is a bit of a drastic measure to remove a

"Through the video card is also the only way we see the screen during formatting"...."would unplugging the PCI video card force the computer to send video through the on-board?"

Yes, try temporarily removing the PCI card & connect the monitor to the onboard video port.

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July 20, 2009 at 07:31:39
Eh, I tried changing that to "Compaq", didn't seem to work.
I guess my default info says "eMachines".

It is a Compaq PC with the original Compaq restore disks.

As far as the Hard Drive... It was only 40 GB and very full, and since the virus caused it to boot up to a screen with nonusable mouse/keyboard, and eventually nothing at all, I couldn't fix anything, so I thought I would get him a larger HD and also try and save some of his data. Couldn't save it. But yes, extreme if for just the virus lol.

I will have him try removing the video card.
I appreciate the advice.

If by chance this still doesn't work.. any other thoughts ?

Thank you.

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July 20, 2009 at 09:38:12
In addition to the above information PCI based video cards do NOT generally disable integrated video. In your case Windows may not be able to configure the add in card without the drivers being installed. Or you may need to configure for a second display.

As jam suggested, remove the add in card and get things working before adding the PCI card back in.

You MAY need to install many hardware drivers because the restore disk you used was made for a different computer.

Go to the eMachines site and download ALL the drivers for your model and burn them to disk for future use. Of course, install them now too.

Below is a link to the manual and drivers for your model.

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Related Solutions

July 20, 2009 at 09:54:36
Thank you very much for the additional info.
I will focus on just getting the onboard video working.

As far as wrong drivers... the computer and the restore disks are all from Compaq.

They are the restore disks that came WITH the computer.

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July 20, 2009 at 10:14:47
When you pull the card write down what type it will need it when you look for the correct driver.

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