Windows 98 Display.txt File

If this article does not describe your hardware-related issue, please see the following Microsoft Web site to view more articles about hardware:


This article contains a copy of the information in the Display.txt file included with Windows 98. This file is located in the Windows folder on your computer.


  • The inclusion of the S3 Aurora as a supported adapter in the text file below is incorrect. This adapter is not supported.
  • The "Required Hardware for Multiple-Monitors" section contains the following text:
    Any combination of the following supported PCI-based cards can be used with multiple-monitors. Only cards based on the following chipsets work as secondary cards.
    This text should actually read:
    Any combination of the following supported PCI-based cards can be used with multiple-monitors. Only cards based on the following chip sets work as the primary and secondary cards. Although a card may not be listed here, it may work even though it is not supported.

More Information


Microsoft Windows 98 README
for Displays
April 1998

(c) Copyright Microsoft Corporation, 1998

This document provides complementary or late-breaking information to supplement the Microsoft Windows 98 documentation.


To view Display.txt on-screen in Notepad, maximize the Notepad window.

To print Display.txt, open it in Notepad or another word processor, and then on the File menu, click Print.















Windows 98 includes drivers for most display adapters. Microsoft regularly makes additional and updated drivers available on the Internet through Windows Update. Windows 98 also includes additional drivers in the Windows Driver Library on the Windows 98 CD. To obtain additional or updated drivers:

>>> If you have an Internet connection:
  1. Click Start, and then click Windows Update.
  2. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.
>>> If you do not have an Internet connection:
  1. Click Start, and then click Help.
  2. In Windows Help, click the Index tab.
  3. Type Download Library, and then click Display.
  4. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.
Microsoft updates the Windows Driver Library on the Internet regularly with the newest drivers from third-party manufacturers. These drivers are tested for compatibility by Microsoft and then made available for download. Windows Update makes these drivers available automatically by detecting the hardware on your system and offering you only those drivers that are compatible with your system.


Windows 98 upgrades all Microsoft-provided drivers from Windows 95 and DirectX releases. Windows 98 also upgrades certain third-party Windows 95 drivers that might experience problems running in Windows 98. If your display card or system included display-specific utilities (for example, extra display control panel items, refresh rate utilities, or color matching utilities), an upgrade to the provided Windows 98 driver may cause the utilities to work incorrectly. If Windows 98 upgrades your display driver and your display-specific utilities are not working correctly, this is because the existing third-party Windows 95 driver is incompatible with Windows 98.

Third-party display drivers and utilities are often very interdependent, so that if you remove one piece, you will break the other. The display drivers included with Windows 98 are intended to be generic drivers that provide stable support for standard Windows APIs and features. Because each driver must support a number of different configurations, it is impossible to support every utility with one driver. Some features that were formerly included in third-party utilities have been integrated into Windows. If you still want the extra features offered by your display adapter vendor, contact your vendor to obtain an updated driver and software.


Windows 98 is compatible with Windows 95 display drivers. However, because the internal structure and behavior of the operating system have changed since Windows 95, some problems in existing Windows 95 drivers might become apparent only in Windows 98. If the Windows 98 CD contains a driver for your device, Windows 98 automatically upgrades known bad drivers (see Windows 95 Upgrades section earlier in this document). If the Windows 98 CD does not contain a driver for your device, Windows 98 converts the driver to VGA to allow the system to start. In this case, you need to obtain an updated driver, either by following the procedure in the Windows Update or Windows Driver Library section earlier in this document or by contacting your display hardware manufacturer.


Windows 98 Setup configures your adapter type based on the controller it uses, for example, S3, Cirrus Logic, or ATI. However, you may find a more exact match for your adapter make and model by using the Update Device Driver wizard.

In most cases, selecting a more precise adapter type does not change the driver or its behavior in any way. It only changes the name displayed in the Display Properties dialog. If your system is working with the display driver Windows 98 automatically installed, there's no need to make a change.

>>> To choose a more specific adapter:
  1. Start the Update Device Driver wizard (see Changing device drivers in Windows Help).
  2. Click Next.
  3. Click Display a list of all of the drivers in a specific location.
  4. In the Models list, select your adapter.
  5. Click Next, and then follow the instructions that appear on your screen.


If Windows 98 does not contain a driver for your monitor type, select one of the standard monitor types instead. This selection will not adversely affect the performance or quality of the Windows 98 display output.


To adjust the refresh rate in Windows 98, click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel. Double-click Display. Click Settings, and then click Advanced. Click Adapter, and then select a refresh rate from the list.

You must select a monitor in order to set refresh rates. If Monitor is set to [unknown monitor], no custom refresh rates are available.

Refresh rates are affected by the capabilities of both the display adapter and the monitor. Windows 98 makes available all the refresh rates within the combined capabilities of the display adapter and the monitor.


>>> If your display is visible but imaging incorrectly:

  1. Right-click the desktop.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. In the Display Properties dialog box, click the Settings tab.
  4. Click Advanced, and then click Performance.
  5. Move the Hardware acceleration slider one notch to the left.
If the problem isn't corrected, repeat the above procedure and move the slider farther to the left.

NOTE: Moving the Hardware acceleration slider to the left disables some of the graphics acceleration functions of your display adapter. If your display-related problems are due to incompatibilities in the display driver, this fixes them by using less of the acceleration features in the driver.

>>> If your display is blank or unreadable when Windows starts:
  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Press and hold CTRL until the Microsoft Windows 98 Startup menu appears.
  3. Select Safe mode. Windows starts in VGA mode.
  4. Right-click the desktop.
  5. Click Properties.
  6. In the Display Properties dialog box, click Settings.
  7. Click OK. Windows notifies you that it will restart in VGA mode.
  8. Click Yes, and restart your computer.
When your computer restarts, it will be running in VGA (640x480, 16-color) mode. You can now reset your display settings by right-clicking the desktop, clicking Properties, and then clicking Settings. If the resolution you want to select is not available, choose another resolution (anything but 640x480, 16-color), and let Windows restart. The full set of resolutions and color depths will be available after you restart your computer.

NOTE: Your display can be blank for a number of reasons, including incorrectly set refresh rates, an incompatible display driver, an invalid mode, etc. Because the display is not visible in these cases, it is impossible to correct these problems without restarting in Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, Windows does not load your original display driver, so none of the display settings are available for you to change. Instead, Windows automatically resets your display settings to the defaults (640x480, 16-color, single monitor, default refresh rate). Then, you can restart in normal Windows mode and make corrections to your display settings.

After restarting your computer in Safe Mode, change the resolution to VGA. Not all display modes may appear in the Display Properties Settings dialog box. This is because when Windows 98 is running in VGA mode, the accelerated display driver is not loaded, so Windows cannot query it for available modes. Once you switch to another mode, Windows prompts you to restart so it can load the accelerated display driver. After the second restart, Windows 98 adds the full mode list supported by your dipslay hardware to the Display Properties Settings dialog box.


Although most programs allow you to dynamically change color depth, some programs may not display colors or other elements correctly after a color change. To avoid this problem, change color depth before you start the program. If you change color depth while a program is running, you might need to restart the program to ensure that the changed setting works correctly.


If Windows 98 is not using 32-bit disk access, cursors are not animated. To determine if you are using 32-bit disk access, click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click System. In the System Properties dialog box, click Performance.


If your PCI display adapter is configured by your BIOS to use IRQ 15 and a functioning secondary PCI IDE disk controller is also configured to use IRQ 15 (by default), Windows 98 assigns IRQ 15 to the IDE disk controller. This assignment forces your display adapter to use VGA mode.

To load the accelerated Windows 98 driver for your display adapter, eliminate the resource conflict. Choose one of the following methods:
  • If your BIOS allows, disable the secondary PCI IDE controller in the BIOS and disable Device Manager in System properties.
  • If your BIOS allows, disable the IRQ of the display adapter.
  • If your BIOS allows, manually reconfigure the display adapter to use a different IRQ setting.
  • Obtain a BIOS upgrade from your hardware vendor.

Multiple Display Support

With multiple-monitors you can use one computer to control two to nine monitors through a common desktop. Multiple-monitors increases the size of your screen, so you can see multiple applications or windows simultaneously.

Required Hardware for Multiple-Monitors

Any combination of the following supported PCI-based cards can be used with multiple-monitors. Only cards based on the following chipsets work as secondary cards.

NOTE: You also need to use the specified driver.

The following drivers are supported by Microsoft and are included on the Windows 98 CD:

Card Driver
ATI Mach 64 GX (GX, GXD, VT) ATIM64.drv
ATI Graphics Pro Turbo PCI
ATI Graphics Xpression
ATI WinTurbo

ATI Rage I, II, & II+ ATI_M64.drv
ATI All-In-Wonder
ATI 3D Xpression+ PC2TV
ATI 3D Xpression
ATI 3D Xpression+

ATI Rage Pro (AGP & PCI) ATIR3.drv
ATI Xpert@Work, 4 & 8 MB
ATI Xpert@Play, 4 & 8 MB
ATI All-In-Wonder Pro

S3 765 (Trio64V+) S3MM.drv

Only certain updates work. These are 40, 42, 43, 44, 52, 53, & 54.

NOTE: If the card is at one of these updates, then Windows 98 will recognize the card as a Trio 64V+, provided the Microsoft driver is used. If the card is not at one of these updates, then it is recognized as a Trio 32/64. Some OEM drivers don't care which update is present; be sure to note carefully which Microsoft driver Windows 98 selects when you use this card.

S3 Trio64V2(DX/GX) S3MM.drv
Diamond Stealth 64 Video 2001
STB PowerGraph 64V+
Miro TwinHead 22SD
Hercules Terminator 64/Video
Number Nine 9FX Reality 332

(S3 Virge)

Number Nine 9FX Reality 334

(S3 Virge GX/2)

Number Nine 9FX Reality 772

(S3 Virge VX)

California Graphics V2/DX
Videologic GraphicsStar 410

Cirrus 5436 CIRRUSMM.drv
Cirrus Alpine

Cirrus 5446 CIRRUSMM.drv
STB Nitro 64V

S3 ViRGE S3V.drv
(ViRGE (325)
ViRGE VX (988)
ViRGE DX (385)
ViRGE GX (385))
Diamond Stealth 3D 2000
Diamond Stealth 3D 3000
Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 Pro
Number Nine 9FX Reality 332
STB Nitro 3D
STB Powergraph 3D
STB Velocity 3D
STB WorkStation (2 & 4 output)
Miro Crystal VR4000

ET6000 ET6000.drv
Hercules Dynamite 128/Video
STB Lightspeed 128

S3 Aurora S3MM.drv
Compaq Armada

Trident 9685/9680/9682 TRID_PCI.DRV
Jaton Video - 57P

- The following driver is located in the
C:\Windows\System32\drivers directory:

InterGraphics Systems (IGS) IGA2K.DRV
CyberPro 2000A, 2MB

- The following drivers are available directly from
the vendor and work in multiple-monitor systems.
These drivers are not supported by Microsoft.

Permedia 2 GLINT.DRV
TI TVP4020, 8 meg PCI
(Reference board)
TI TVP4020 8 meg AGP
(Reference board)
Diamond Fire GL Pro 1000 PCI
Diamond Fire GL Pro 1000 AGP
STB (Symmetric) Glyder MAX-2 PCI

To download this driver used with these cards, visit the Web site at

In addition, newer cards and drivers that were not available when Windows 98 was developed may also support multiple-monitors. Consult the vendor documentation or contact the vendor to determine whether your card and drivers support multiple-monitors.

Setting Up Multiple-Monitors

  1. Determine which card you want to use as your primary card. First make sure that the card works with multiple-monitors.
  2. Insert the card into your motherboard, and then add your second card. The system BIOS will decide which card is the primary card. One way to verify which card is your primary card is to check which card displays the Windows 98 Startup logo when you turn on the computer. The card that displays the Startup logo is the primary card, and the card that appears to be inactive is the secondary card. If this is not what you want, reverse the order of the cards in the PCI slots.
  3. Repeat this procedure for each additional card. Unfortunately, with current system BIOSs, there is no way to determine which adapter will be the second, third, or fourth card until the card is actually used.
  4. Start Windows 98. Windows automatically detects the new cards. When you are prompted, restart your computer.
  5. During Startup, Windows initializes the new secondary adapter and displays a message indicating the card is correctly initialized.
  6. If the primary card displays in 640x480 and 16 colors, right-click the desktop, click Settings, click the Colors down arrow, and then select the 256 Colors setting or a higher setting. Click OK, and then restart your computer.
  7. After you log on, right-click desktop, click Properties, and then click Settings. In the Display area, Windows lists each video adapter in your system. Find the adapter you want to use, and click on it.
  8. Click the Extend my window desktop onto this monitor check box, and then click Apply.

Troubleshooting Multiple-Monitor Setup

Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor option is unavailable:
  1. Make sure that the monitor is set to display in 256 colors or higher.
  2. Verify that your secondary card is compatible with multiple-monitors.
  3. Make sure you are not using a Windows 3.1 driver for the primary card.
  4. Check to see if you are using an ISA, VLB, or MCA card. Multiple-monitors require PCI or AGP cards for all display adapters.
  5. Check to see whether any third-party display control panels are installed. Right-click the desktop, and then click Properties. Look for any tabs that are related to the video cards in your system. Next, click Settings, and then click Advanced. You should see only the General, Adapter, Monitor, Performance, Color Management, and possibly the ATI Display tabs. You can usually remove any Display Control Panel extensions that you find by using the Add/Remove Programs feature in the Control Panel.
Common Problems:

If your system will not start when you have two video cards installed or if the second comes up with a "code 12" in Device Manager, move all the video cards needed to the slots that are closest to the motherboard when on a riser card. Some systems only support display adapter cards in the first one or two slots closest to the motherboard.

If you experience one of the following problems, disable your on-board Rage II. This device cannot be used as one of your multiple-monitor display adapters.
  • Your on-board ATI Rage II displays vertical green bands when you install the secondary card.
  • Your system locks up during Startup, and the Automatic Skip Driver (ASD) reports that My system died while initializing a video ROM.
  • Your IBM Aptiva locks up during Startup after detecting the secondary, loading the drivers, and rebooting.
  • Nothing happens when you click the Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor check box.

If a yellow exclamation point appears beside one of your video cards in Device Manager and if it indicates the region of memory that the video card uses is in use, try one of the following:
  • On some laptops, you can specify where the region of memory used by the video card is located in the system BIOS. Set this to C000-CFFF or to the largest range possible that begins with C000.
  • Remove EMM386.EXE
  • Type the following under the [386enh] section of system.ini:
          Emmexclude C000-CFFF

If your system locks up after installing the secondary card when you add a STB Workstation two-adapter card, then the video cards in this system are configured incorrectly by the system BIOS. As a result, it destabilizes the entire system. Your particular system probably cannot use video cards that are behind PCI-PCI bridges.

If your card is listed in the supported card section, but Device Manager indicates that your card does not work with Multiple Display Support, then make sure that you are using the right driver, as listed at the beginning of this document.

If Device Manager indicates that My primary video card cannot be disabled, your card is not supported in this configuration for multiple-monitor.

If you experience one of the following problems, then your display driver is not compatible with multi-monitor. Contact your vendor for an updated driver.
  • If your screen goes black during Startup or your system hangs and the Windows bootlog option indicates that the problem occurred in GDI.
  • A message appears on your screen indicating that a fatal exception has occurred in GDI.