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Troubleshooting Display Problems in Windows NT 4.0
Article ID: 155681 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q155681
This article describes how to troubleshoot video display in Windows NT version 4.0. The following items are included with Windows NT to help you troubleshoot video problems:
Hardware Compatibility ListThe Windows NT 4.0 Hardware Compatibility List is available in the Support folder on the Windows NT 4.0 CD-ROM as a file named Hcl.hlp. The Hardware Compatibility List is a listing of computers and peripherals that have passed compatibility testing with Windows NT 4.0. Before you install Windows NT or if you are experiencing problems with your video adapter, make sure your video adapter appears on this list.
Although your video adapter may not appear on the Hardware Compatibility List, it may work with Windows NT. If a device does not appear on the Hardware Compatibility List, Microsoft does not guarantee the device will work properly with Windows NT.
For additional information, please see the following article(s) in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
TITLE : Microsoft Support Policy on Hardware Not On Windows NT HCL
Setup.txt and Readme.wri FilesIf your video adapter appears on the Hardware Compatibility List and you continue to experience problems, check for information concerning your video adapter in the Setup.txt and Readme.wri files.
The Setup.txt file is available in the I386 folder on the Windows NT 4.0 CD-ROM and the Readme.wri file is available in the Winnt\System32 folder.
Video Drivers from Other ManufacturersIf your video adapter appears on the Hardware Compatibility List, additional information is not available in the Setup.txt or Readme.wri file, and you continue to experience problems, check the Drvlib\Video folder on the Windows NT 4.0 CD-ROM for an updated video driver.
This folder contains video drivers written by third-party manufacturers for their video adapters that are provided for your convenience. If you have a question concerning any of these drivers, please contact the manufacturer of that driver. If these adapters are not detected during Setup, the standard VGA driver is installed.
Perform the following steps to manually add one of these drivers:
Folder Adapter --------------------------------------------------------------------- X86\Avga Compaq AVGA X86\Chips Chips Video Accelerator(64300 64310 65545 65548 65550) X86\Imagine Number Nine Visual technologies Imagine 128 X86\Imagine2 Number Nine Visual technologies Imagine 128 II X86\Neomagic Neomagic MagicGraph 128/Z/ZV X86\S3virge S3 inc. ViRGE X86\Trident Trident Video Accelerator PPC\GXT150 IBM gxt150p
VGA ModeIf Windows NT does not start or if distorted or unreadable text appears on the screen, start your computer using VGA mode. By default, the Windows NT boot loader menu offers options to start normally or in VGA mode. To force Windows NT to use the standard VGA driver, choose the VGA Mode option.
If VGA mode works correctly, please see the "The Ability to Easily Change Display Settings" section in this article. If VGA mode is unsuccessful, please see the "Last Known Good Configuration" section in this article.
The Ability to Easily Change Display SettingsIf VGA mode lets you run Windows NT, changing the display settings may let you run Windows NT normally. The following three display settings, if set incorrectly for your video adapter or monitor, may prevent Windows NT from loading:
Perform the following steps to change display settings:
Last Known Good ConfigurationIf Windows NT does not start in VGA mode, start Windows NT using the last known good configuration. To do so, restart your computer and press the SPACEBAR when you see the "Press spacebar NOW to invoke Hardware Profile/Last Known Good menu" message. The last known good configuration works only if you have not successfully logged on since the problem began.
If the last known good configuration works, see the "Driver" section in this article. If the last known good configuration does not work, try to recover your system with the Emergency Repair Disk. Please see your Windows NT documentation for more information about the Emergency Repair Disk.
DriverIf the last known good configuration works, there may be a problem with the installed video driver. Please consult the video adapter manufacturer for a possible video driver update.
NOTE: Because of changes to the Windows NT 4.0 video subsystem, most Windows NT 3.x video drivers do not work in Windows NT 4.0.