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For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see



This step-by-step article describes how to force Windows to use a standard VGA mode driver that is included with Windows. This procedure is useful in the following scenario.

If you install Windows on a computer that is using an unsupported video adapter, Windows Setup installs a standard VGA mode driver. However, after you install Windows, you obtain and install a Windows-compatible driver for your video adapter from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

In this scenario, the computer may have problems shutting down, or the computer may stop responding (hang). To troubleshoot this problem, you may want remove the new OEM drivers and revert to the standard VGA drivers to determine whether the OEM drivers cause the problem.

This article describes how to remove OEM video drivers and force Windows to use the standard VGA drivers that are included with Windows.

Force Windows to Use the Standard VGA Mode Drivers Without Having to Use Safe Mode

When you install an OEM driver, the Windows installer program copies the OEM installation file (Oemsetup.inf) to the %Systemroot%\Inf folder. Setup then renames the Oemsetup.inf file to Oemn.inf, where n is an incremental number for each OEM driver that is installed.

To identify the OEM video-specific Oemn.inf file, you can open each Oemn.inf file in Microsoft Notepad, and then compare it with the original Oemsetup.inf file. After you find a match, move that specific Oemn.inf and Oemn.pnf files to a different location, or rename the files with a different file name extension.

  1. After you locate the matching .inf files, move the Oemn.inf and Oemn.pnf to a different folder.

  2. In Device Manager, right-click your video adapter, and then click Uninstall to remove the video adapter.

  3. Restart your computer.

    After you log on, you receive a message stating that new hardware has been found and that it is a VGA compatible video controller. The Found New Hardware Wizard starts.

  4. Click Next.

  5. Click Search for suitable driver, and then click Next.

  6. Click to clear all of the search option check boxes, and then click Next.

  7. Click Disable the device, and then click Finish.

After you finish steps 1 through 7, Windows uses the Vga.sys generic video driver. This is the same VGA driver that Windows uses in Safe mode.

If the computer becomes stable or shuts down in a typical manner while you are using the standard VGA driver, you may have to contact the OEM driver vendor to report the problems that you have when you use the OEM driver. You may also have to obtain and install a newer driver (if one is available) that resolves these problems.

To restore the OEM drivers, follow these steps:

  1. Move the Oemn.inf and Oemn.pnf files back to the %Systemroot%\Inf folder.

  2. Use Device Manager to remove the VGA video adapter, and then restart the computer.

    Windows Plug and Play locates the OEM video adapter and reinstalls the OEM drivers automatically.

NOTE: If you press F8, and then click Enable VGA Mode on the Windows Startup menu, Windows starts with a screen area of 640 by 480 pixels with low 8-bit color and may use an OEM video driver, not the standard VGA driver.

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