XP interfacing with video card - head to wall

Microsoft Windows xp professional w/serv...
March 28, 2010 at 01:51:22
Specs: Windows XP

sorry for the lengthy post. I've been at this for a long long time now, and I'd appreciate any help.

After fresh installation of xp sp3, I've installed all the onboard drivers.
When windows loads, everything is ok until the windows-xp splash screen with the "progress bar" animation disappears and the desktop should appear.
At this point the screen goes dead. Somehow the signal freezes the monitor and I need to physically unplug it from the power to shut it down (all buttons are dead, screen shows white noise).If, at this point, I replug the monitor to the power (when windows has finished logging in), everything is ok - I can see the desktop.

So something that happens between the splash screen and the showing of the desktop freezes the monitor.

I'm sure the driver is ok, and I've reinstalled it dozens of times now from several sources, including intel & msi, with manual download and with update software.

I think it has something to do with windows trying to switch to a resolution or refresh rate that my monitor cannot handle before switching to the one that I've chosen for it. Also, it could be a clash between the software that comes with the driver (cannot install just the driver) and windows.

When I boot in safe mode everything is ok.
Booting in safe mode with VGA support also makes everything ok. Even more, it loads the driver's software and everything works wonderfully.

Only in normal boot I get this problem.
What happens in normal boot that doesn't happen on safe mode with VGA support boot???

I'm near to going mad, so plz plz help!


Oldish Pentium with hyper threading...
MB: MSI 915G Combo2, with Intel chipset.
generic LCD monitor (Chimei) - no drivers on manufacturer's site.

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March 28, 2010 at 06:52:16
mmmm it works OK in safe-mode? Possibly you are trying to push the monitor settings too far for the monitor itself (for use in normal mode) - via the graphic card options; or the card itself is faulty? Athough as it will display OK when you recycle monitor power... seems a little odd so suggest this?

Try setting display resolution (and refresh rate) a little lower?

A long shot - may be poor edge contacts on card in its slot. So to check this - power down and remove mains from system entirely (remove the power cord). Remove graphics card and clean its contacts. "Someone" here (cannot recall who to give him credit) suggests using a soft pencil eraser to to do this. Re-install card and power up etc...

Other possibilities: RAM onboard the card is dubious; might also be the main-board RAM - but both these possibilites are less likely overall.

Can you borrow another "known to be good" card to test system that way; likewise another monitor?

When in safe-mode there are no additional/third-party specific drivers invoked as I recall; only the default set included in the OS... In normal-mode, as long as you have latest/correct drivers installed for the card and OS... and don't overstretch the monitor settings... "it orta" work fine... So again set the display resolution somewhat lower to start with - perhaps the failry standard 1024 x 768 - and see how it goeth?

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March 28, 2010 at 08:21:53
Boot into safe mode & uninstall the video drivers, then boot into normal mode & see what happens. If you're using the crappy Intel integrated graphics, use Windows Update to download the drivers.

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March 28, 2010 at 10:03:45
And let us know here how you get along...? Useful for future reference...

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Related Solutions

April 2, 2010 at 09:12:40
Sorry for the time it took me, I was away from the comp...
Thanks also for all your answers and the time you took.

I've tried using windows update - it doesn't show any hardware updates for the computer. The video card is indeed a crappy intel onboard one. I'm using MSI live to install the driver but it just repeats the behavior.

The pencil thing didn't work either.

Could it be something in the BIOS? I saw that there are several options to choose from regarding the memory of the video card. Could it be I'm choosing the wrong one?

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April 2, 2010 at 09:28:04
mmm - Is there an option to disable the on-board graphics adapter, and thus allow you install/use a plug-in one?

Which having asked... you say the item is an on-board adapter; if so then how can you have done the pencil eraser routine? The on-board adapter will be "permanetly" affixed to the MoBo; or do you have both that and a plug-in one - both together/at the same time?

Regarding bios settings... You could take a hard copy/note all settings as now; then reset bios to defaults and see what happens?

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April 2, 2010 at 11:14:07
One main difference between Safe Mode and Normal is drivers. It might be some sort of clash or timing issue.

It should be possible to prove/disprove this idea by unticking items in msconfig. It could be any driver, such as mouse or sound. In normal mode there are less drivers loading so this could change the timing.

Where we go "if" this proves something I don't know but it might help if we know what it is. I had something similar once with Logitech Mouseware, having to unplug and replug the monitor power to get it working.

What's the time?

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April 2, 2010 at 12:07:32
mmm - thinking about your logitech rodent tale...

I wunder if there is an irq/address conflict between the vga side of things and sumat else installed (rodent, sound card, who knows wot...) here?

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April 2, 2010 at 12:21:22
I guess about anything is possible so maybe msconfig will prove something.
It's about a million to one likelyhood of it being a mouse driver issue again in this particular instance.

The problem seems to be repeatable, so we have a fighting chance of pinning it down - mine was intermittent. Yes, an IRQ clash is on the list of possibilities.

I just felt we might be getting too drawn into the video driver possibility and it could be worth broadening the horizons a little.

What's the time?

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April 6, 2010 at 11:17:28
Thanks guys.
I'm pretty sure it's the driver, since when I use the /basevideo switch on msconfig I get everything working normally. How do I check IRQs?

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April 6, 2010 at 12:42:39
These shortcuts will help:

msinfo32 in the Run box. Then, Hardware Resources > IRQ's.
This gives a full list.

devmgmt.msc in the Run box (Device Manager).
This can be used to access individual IRQ settings - drill down to particular device.

It's something of a black art because IRQ's can be shared. If you are dealing with an add-on card it is often best to pull the card and put it in a different slot (pop it in and out a few times to clear the oxide off the socket connections).

What's the time?

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April 6, 2010 at 14:53:05
Just a thought... post Derek's observations re' irq...

If by chance you are using an agp graphic card - and have installed another card in the pci slot immediately adjacent to it... It may be the problem...

The agp and the nearest pci slot share the same irq...

Typically this can be an issue when installing a NIC in that pci slot with the agp also in use.. One is obliged to put the NIC elsewhere - at least one slot away from agp/pi posn...

Is this per chance your situation; you are using agp and have something else installed in the adjacent pci slot?

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April 9, 2010 at 08:09:34
Thanks guys.
I've given it another thought, and I think I can rule out the IRQ option since the graphics card is onboard, came with the MoBo. This help you in any way?

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April 9, 2010 at 08:48:16
Might still be an irq/address conflict... Occasionally add-in cards default to a specific irq/address combination; and "can" as a result cause conflicts...

A couple of very long shots... and they are just that... and I did mention RAM already...; but again...

Check RAM is OK... Often flakey RAM can cause all manner of issues that don't make sense... Reduce to s single stick (min of 128Meg) and see if things chanage; trying each stick in turn?

Likewise run a full HD drive diagnostics test - using utils from manufacturer's website.

As I say, very long shots - but who knows (only The Shadow...)?

There are other electronics on the MoBo related to display o/p; and it possible they are going down - often a leaky capacitor will produce random effects that are resolved by a power-down/up. Repowering the monitor and all apears well again may point to an issue within it - leaky capacitors, intermitent resistors - changing values etc; and/or assorted solid state devices...

Incidentally if you use another monitor - does it still happen; and does the "normal/resident" monitor perform OK on another system?

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May 15, 2010 at 02:53:47
Bought a new v card and everything was good. Apparently the onboard card must have been faulty. Thank you all for all your help, really appreciate it!

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May 15, 2010 at 04:17:16
Thanks for posting back; most on-board systems are often regarded as fail-safe/fault-proof 'n purfekt... But of course nuthin is purfekt... and things can go down any time...

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