Solved Black screen, monitor not plug and play?

March 20, 2012 at 20:39:07
Specs: Windows XP Home
Reinstalled XP Home .

Accidentally disabled VGA and restarted thinking the monitor would be recognized. It's a Dell E173FP and I've downloaded the driver for it on a USB drive but how do I install it when I can't see how with the black screen? Is there a way to enable the VGA without seeing what I'm doing so I can install the driver?


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✔ Best Answer
March 22, 2012 at 07:59:04
"So trying to get into Save Mode did not work, suppose because all the drivers were not installed"

Your assumption is WRONG.
See respopnse 6.

March 21, 2012 at 06:47:29
Did you try F8? That should bring you to a boot menu. Otherwise, connect the old monitor if you have it & install the driver.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.

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March 21, 2012 at 16:23:07
guapo, I tried F8 but it won't help because the screen is black and there is no way that I can see what I would click on to be able install the driver once Windows loads up. I tried to go to SAFE MODE but it won't load up fully probably because the VGA is disabled. I did all that with the original monitor and it is working good ordinarily. Too bad that I didn't install the driver so that the monitor would be recognized - I goofed big time! If I don't figure this out, guess we'll take it to a computer doctor in another town, which is 100 miles away! Such a simple thing can cause a big problem by disabling VGA before installing the driver for the monitor!

So your answer is something I've already tried. Thanks..

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March 21, 2012 at 17:36:32
If it's completely black even during boot up, then it's not a Windows driver issue. Windows drivers only work once Windows loads. You should be able to see the POST screen. You hit F8 right after the computer POSTS.You either have a loose connection, bad monitor or bad video card/chip.

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March 21, 2012 at 18:44:12
No it's not completely black during boot up. I can see the POST screen and I hit F8 right after the computer POSTS, then hit ENABLE VGA MODE and it loads up Windows - with a black screen! I suppose it can't enable the VGA mode because I disabled it when I was in Windows.

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March 21, 2012 at 19:57:30
Do you have a built in video card/chip on your motherboard as well as an actual video card?

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March 21, 2012 at 20:26:15
You CAN have normal video while booting BEFORE Windows loads but NO video in Windows,
...the video related settings you have changed in Windows when you load it normally have NO EFFECT on Enable VGA mode's or Safe mode's default VGA video ( unless, possibly, the data in Windows is severely corrupted. Did you have any wierd symptoms before this happened ?).

You FIX the problem by loading Enable VGA mode.

See response 9 here:

starting at....
Boot into Enable VGA mode.

If Enable VGA mode or Safe mode doesn't produce video, either there's probably something wrong with your video adapter or it's connection, or something wrong with your monitor.

Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD !

If this is a desktop computer, and you have the monitor connected to a video card installed in a slot on the mboard, REMOVE the AC power to the case, open up the case, and make sure the video card is all the way down in it's slot, and that it's metal bracket is attached to the case.
If the video card has a fan on it's heat sink, use something slender to see if the fan blade turns easily - if it doesn't, the video chipset may be damaged.

We HAVE rarely seen the situation where a video chipset has been damaged such that it DOES NOT produce video while booting BEFORE Windows loads, or in Enable VGA mode, or in Safe mode, but it DOES produce video in Windows when the specific video adapters have already been installed in Windows.

Troubleshooting: Dellâ„¢ E173FP Flat Panel Color Monitor User's Guide

Try your monitor with another computer.

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March 21, 2012 at 23:23:54
Thanks for all the good information. I'm not sure how much applies to my situation. I hadn't installed any drivers to the computer except to the sound card. I had not even gotten the internet connection working yet when this happened (my disabling the VGA mode!). So trying to get into Save Mode did not work, suppose because all the drivers were not installed. And I'm thinking that because hardly any drivers were installed at that point, maybe this is part of my problem with loading up Windows now?

I found out there is someone in this small town that is very good with fixing computers as a side line, not his main job; so I'm going to call him tomorrow and see if he has time to look at my problem.

You gave me lots of things to think about and maybe we'll have to get a new computer if this one is not good?? I'll post back when we find out more about what is happening here.

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March 22, 2012 at 07:59:04
✔ Best Answer
"So trying to get into Save Mode did not work, suppose because all the drivers were not installed"

Your assumption is WRONG.
See respopnse 6.

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March 23, 2012 at 08:33:53
Tubesandwires - I am very happy this morning! With your help about what could cause my problem I got to checking and so thinking it could be viruses or something, I ran the Kaspersky Rescue Disk. It opened my eyes when I saw the files it was scanning... ones that I thought I'd deleted on the old installation of XP! By the way, no viruses, etc. I checked out how I installed the XP and saw that it was NOT a clean install... I'd done it right over the old one and didn't format the drive by doing it that way. Wow, it's been a long time since I've reinstalled XP and had forgotten one step that created my corrupted installation!!! So booted the XP install CD by pressing F12 and booted up using the CD drive to start installing!

Now I have a nice fresh XP Home installed and all the drivers loaded up with the help of my other computer to download them to a USB drive which I transferred to the NICE XP Home to install.

Everything is working fine now and this 74 year old Type 1 diabetic woman is feeling good this morning! The Internet Security program is updating.

And I didn't have to ask the local computer GURU to help or get a computer doctor from out of town either. Saved $$.

So my problem is SOLVED thanks to you starting my mind to thinking! Whew...

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March 23, 2012 at 11:44:56
We're glad to hear you fixed your problem ! !

Most malware these days is not a virus - it's something else - a trojan, root kit, fake symptoms created by the maker of "rogue" anti-malware programs to attempt to fool you into buying their program, etc., etc., or more than one of them at the same time.

No one anti-malware program finds all malware these days, however your no video symptom was probably not caused by malware.

XP can be installed "overtop" of an existing XP installation by booting the computer from an XP CD and following a Repair installation of Windows procedure, if you don't want to lose your personal data that you have added to the partition Windows was originally installed on - that's probably what you did.

It only deletes and replaces certain essential Windows data, often Windows works fine after running it, but doing that can't fix all problems, and sometimes you must then install Windows from scratch.
However if you still had problems after doing a Repair installation of Windows procedure, you would have had them all along, ever since then.

If you weren't having problems right after running that, there are various ways your data could have gotten corrupted since then. Running the Repair installation of Windows procedure again would probably have fixed your problem, without you losing your personal data that you have added to the partition Windows was originally installed on . You always have video when you boot the computer from the XP CD, unless your video adapter is damaged.

Your problem could probably have been fixed without having to install Windows from scratch.
Most people don't bother to copy personal data they don't want to lose (that was on the same partition Windows was installed on) to elsewhere BEFORE they install Windows from scratch, despite the fact that's not hard to do. E.g. one way is you just boot the computer from something such as a Linux disk that can read all the data on the drive and copy the personal data to CDs or DVDs or a flash drive or whatever.

What were you trying to accomplish by disabling the VGA video adapter in Windows ?

Were you having problems before that ?

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March 23, 2012 at 20:02:34
My problem was that I hadn't installed drivers for anything yet and I didn't realize, at that moment, that I needed one for the graphics card and the monitor, I was just assuming that the monitor was plug and play and it wasn't being recognized only the default monitor. Dumb excuse for disabling VGA in the Display settings as when I did that it immediately shut down and saved my choice before I could blink.

I didn't install XP the first time as a repair because it had XP SP3 and the CD with XP only had XP SP2 so couldn't do a repair. Besides it was about time to do a fresh install as my husband's OE was not able to attach pictures to an email in different sizes, only the original size, and that was too huge to put as many as he wanted in one email. His computer is seven years old and has a newer hard drive and video card since then but it's still working just fine. It is a Dell 8400, Intel Pentium 4 Processor (3.2GHz) w/HT Technology - good machine!

I did have to go looking for SP3 to download though as SP2 is not supported to upgrade by Microsoft. Found it and it'll be updated now like before until they stop supporting that. THEN a Windows 8 would be nice, wouldn't it! My computer is a Windows 7 Pro and hard to get used to after XP but I like it now.

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