Error messages when you start a Microsoft game: "Signal out of range" or "Out of scan range"

Symptoms

When you start a Microsoft game, you may receive an error message on the display's On Screen Display that resembles one of the following:
Signal out of Range.
Out Of Scan Range
Horizontal frequency is out of range.
Cannot Display This Video Mode Out of Sync

Cause

This issue may occur if the signal from the video adapter exceeds the scan range of the monitor. The video adapter setting for updating the screen (the refresh rate) is incompatible with the monitor.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, follow these steps in the order that they appear in.

Reduce display settings

Windows Vista

To resolve this issue, follow the steps in the appropriate section.

The computer is connected to the Internet

View the "Change screen resolution" topic on the following Windows Online Help and Support Web site:

The computer is not connected to the Internet

View the "Change screen resolution" topic in Windows Help and Support on the computer's hard disk by following these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
  2. In the Search Help box or in the Search online Help box, type Change screen resolution, and then click Search Help.
  3. In the list of topics, click Change screen resolution.
  4. Click the link that best describes the problem that you are experiencing.
  5. Follow the suggestions to troubleshoot the problem that you are experiencing.
To adjust the color setting, follow these steps:
  1. Click Startthe Start button , type desk.cpl in the Start Search box, and then click desk.cpl in the Programs list.
  2. On the Monitor tab, under Colors, click Medium (16 bit), and then click OK.

Microsoft Windows XP

  1. Click Start, point to
    Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Display.
  3. Click the Settings tab, and then note the settings for Colors and Screen area.
  4. In the Colors or Color Palette box, click High Color (16 bit).
  5. Move the Screen area or Desktop area slider to 800 by 600 pixels, and then click
    OK.
  6. If you are prompted to restart the computer, click
    Yes.
Test the game again. If the issue is not resolved, continue with the next section.

Change the refresh rate for the video adapter

Windows Vista

To resolve this issue, follow the steps in the appropriate section.

The computer is connected to the Internet

View the "Correct monitor flicker" topic on the following Windows Online Help and Support Web site:

The computer is not connected to the Internet

View the "Correct monitor flicker" topic in Windows Help and Support on the computer's hard disk by following these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
  2. In the Search Help box or in the Search online Help box, type Correct monitor flicker, and then click Search Help.
  3. In the list of topics, click Correct monitor flicker.
  4. Click the link that best describes the problem that you are experiencing.
  5. Follow the suggestions to troubleshoot the problem that you are experiencing.

Windows XP

  1. Click Start, point to
    Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Display.
  3. On the Settings tab, click
    Advanced.
  4. On the Adapter tab, click Adapter default under Refresh rate, and then click
    OK.

    Note If there is no Adapter tab, you cannot change the refresh rate for your video adapter.
  5. If you are prompted to test the setting, click
    OK.

Change the refresh rate setting in DirectX on Windows XP

  1. Click Start, click
    Run, type
    dxdiag.exe in the Open box, and then click
    OK.
  2. On the More Help tab, click
    Override.
  3. Click Override Value, type a refresh rate setting in the Override Value box that is supported by both your video adapter and the monitor, and then click OK. Try one value at a time.

    Note Typical values are 60, 62, 72, and 75.
  4. Click Exit.

    Note If you change the video refresh rate to a setting that is not supported by the monitor, you can damage the monitor. See the documentation for the monitor or contact the manufacturer of the monitor to determine compatible refresh rates before you change the default refresh rate setting for your video adapter.

    To determine a refresh rate setting that is supported by both your video adapter and the monitor, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, point to
      Settings, and then click Control Panel.
    2. Double-click Display.
    3. On the Settings tab, click
      Advanced or Advanced Properties.
    4. On the Monitor tab, make sure that the monitor is selected. If an incorrect monitor is selected, or if a standard or unknown monitor is selected, click Change, click the manufacturer and model of the monitor, and then click
      OK.
    5. On the Adapter tab, click the
      Refresh Rate box.

Obtain the latest video card drivers

Contact your video hardware manufacturer to obtain and install the latest version of the driver for your video adapter. For information about how to contact the manufacturer of your video adapter, see the "More Information" section. To see whether applicable driver updates are available, visit the following Microsoft Windows Update Web site: To determine the name and manufacturer of your video adapter, follow the steps that are appropriate for the operating system that you are using.

Windows Vista

  1. Open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. Click Startthe Start button , type dxdiagin the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.

    User Account Control permission If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
  2. Click the Display tab.
  3. Under Device, look for
    Name and Manufacturer.
  4. Click
    Exit.

Windows XP

  1. Click Start, click
    Run, type
    dxdiag in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Click the Display tab.
  3. Under Device, look for
    Name and Manufacturer.
  4. Click Exit.

More Information

To see whether applicable driver updates are available, visit the following Microsoft Windows Update Web site: For information about how to contact your video hardware manufacturer, click the appropriate article number in the following list to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
65416 Hardware and software vendor contact information, A-K

60781 Hardware and software vendor contact information, L-P

60782 Hardware and software vendor contact information, Q-Z
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.
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Article ID: 315614 - Last Review: Jun 19, 2014 - Revision: 1

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