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Troubleshoot display issues with Microsoft games

Summary
This article describes how to troubleshoot display-related problems that you may experience when you use one of the Microsoft games that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

General display symptoms

The following list contains general display symptoms that you may experience:
  • Textures are missing.
  • Textures are distorted.
  • Texture colors are distorted.
  • Textures are blurred.
  • Textures flash.
  • Mouse pointer flashes.
  • Screen text is blurred or cannot be seen.
  • Graphics are black or white.
  • The screen turns black.
  • Horizontal lines flicker across the screen.
Resolution

Display troubleshooting methods

Check for any known issues

There may be specific issues that are documented or troubleshooting steps for your game that may help you resolve display problems. To view any known issues for a Microsoft game, visit the following Microsoft Web site, and then select or search for your game:

Install the latest video driver for your video adapter

Contact the manufacturer of your video hardware for information about how to obtain and install the latest version of the video driver for your video hardware. To see whether applicable driver updates are available, visit the following Microsoft Windows Update Web site:For information about how to contact the video adapter manufacturer, visit the following Microsoft Web site: 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.
To identify the name and the manufacturer of your video hardware, follow these steps:
  1. Click Startthe Start button, type dxdiag in the Start Search box, and then click dxdiag.exe in the Programs list.
  2. Click the Display tab.
  3. Under Device, look for Name and Manufacturer.
  4. Click Exit.

Install the latest version of DirectX

To download and install the latest version of DirectX, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Adjust display settings

Many newer Microsoft games require a video card and monitor that can run a resolution of at least 800 x 600 at High Color (16 bit). Set the Windows display resolution to 800 x 600 at High Color (16 bit), and then test the game. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Startthe Start button, type personalization in the Start Search box, and then click Personalization in the Programs list.
  2. Click Display Settings.
  3. Click the Settings tab.
  4. Move the Desktop Area slider or the Screen Area slider to the 800 x 600 pixels setting.
  5. In the Color Palette box or in the Colors box, click High Color (16 bit).
  6. Click OK, and then click OK again.
  7. Click Yes to accept the settings changes.
Adjust display settings
Note After you change your video resolution, you may have to adjust the monitor settings so that the screen is displayed correctly. See the monitor documentation for more information.

If you know what resolution your game is set to run at, set the Windows display settings to the same resolution as the game. You may also try setting your display resolution to 640 x 480 High Color (16 bit).

Adjust graphics hardware acceleration

To adjust graphics hardware acceleration, follow these steps:
  1. Click Startthe Start button, type personalization in the Start Search box, and then click Personalization in the Programs list.
  2. Click Display Settings.
  3. Click Advanced Settings.
  4. Click the Troubleshoot tab, and then click Change settings.
    User Access Control permission If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
  5. Move the Hardware Acceleration slider two notches to the left of Full (the Disable cursor and bitmap accelerations setting).
  6. Click OK, and then click Restart Now.
  7. After the computer has restarted, test the game.
Note If your game runs with video acceleration turned down, it may indicate that you have to update your video driver or it may indicate that your display adapter cannot run your game at full acceleration.

Switch from full-screen mode to Windowed mode

You can switch the game to run in Windowed mode. To switch to Windowed mode, start the game, and then press ALT+ENTER.

Note
Some games do not support this function.
  • If the game did not switch to Windowed mode, continue to the next step.
  • If the game switched to Windowed mode and the issue no longer occurs, your video card and DirectX are installed incorrectly, or your video card cannot run the game in full-screen mode.

Adjust the Refresh Rate

  1. Open Display Settings. To do this, click Startthe Start button, type personalization in the Start Search box, and then click Personalization in the Programs list.
  2. Click Advanced Settings.
  3. Click the Monitor tab, and then select a new refresh rate. The monitor will take a moment to adjust. If you want to keep the changes, click Apply. If you do not apply the changes within 15 seconds, the refresh rate will revert to your original setting.
For more information about hardware and software vendor contact information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
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Article ID: 263039 - Last Review: 06/19/2014 07:51:00 - Revision: 33.0

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