Lost VgaSave driver, can't see monitor at all



Did something stupid, disabled the VgaSave device adaptor
for my monitor in Win XP. There was a reason, but
anyway.... now of course when Win XP boots up, once
Windows starts loading, the monitor screen goes blank.

I'm at a loss, any ideas?


Sharon F

Did something stupid, disabled the VgaSave device adaptor
for my monitor in Win XP. There was a reason, but
anyway.... now of course when Win XP boots up, once
Windows starts loading, the monitor screen goes blank.

I'm at a loss, any ideas?


Can you boot to the advanced startup menu (F8)? There are several options
there. Regular Safe Mode will use the current display driver. Selecting
Safe Mode/VGA Safe (or words similar) from this menu might work depending
on how you "disabled" VGA Safe. "Last Known Good Configuration" further
down on the advanced startup menu will load up the configuration the system
used the last time it booted successfully. May want to try this option

"Safe Mode with command prompt" should give you screen output and if you
end up there, this article will help:

HOW TO: Start the System Restore Tool from a Command Prompt in Windows XP

Sharon F


Thanks for the input, here's some feedback:

Yes, I can boot using F8... Regular safe mode just goes
into the black monitor screen (but, as in other safe
modes, or even just normal booting, it "sounds" like winxp
has booted up, i even hear the windows "jingle" thru my
speakers, then a little "plop" sound in the speakers which
is probably a Microsoft Alert popping up on the task bar,
or maybe even Windows looking for drivers for "new"

Safe mode with VGA does the same thing... and most likely
the reason is the way I "disabled" VGA Safe... stupidly,
tiredly, went into System and Device Manager and "disabled
in all profiles" the only video adaptor device on the
system at that moment. I had just installed WINXP on a
new clean hard drive and it had just loaded the default
VgaSafe adaptor I guess, and I was wanting to load my
nVidia video card drivers, and I goofed up.

Safe mode with command prompt: just gives 20 or so lines
of white text on black screen then stops, no command
prompt, the lines all begin with:


and then the lines end with various .sys files for the
most part. Key thing here, it just hangs with these text
lines on the screen, nothing after.

I'm sunk.

I actually still have my old HDD slaved to this new one.
The old one has Win98SE on it. I removed the old drive
while formatting/partitioning/installing XP on the new
drive, then just slaved the old one to the new one so I
could xfer data at my leisure. So... I went into BIOS and
changed the boot sequence to D,A,Ext, D being the letter
of the old Win98SE drive. Lo and behold, it acts like
Win98SE is going to boot up, but then it gives a "Window
Protection Error, you need to restart the computer"
message and that's that. I used the Ctrl key to then try
again and boot up the D drive with it's Win98SE on it in
safe mode, that worked. I opened explorer to take a peek,
just the one HDD showing, showing as C, the old one with
Win98SE on it, so no chance there of plinking around on
the new drive trying to undo my "disabling" disaster.

Open for suggestions here, thanks for your thoughts.

You're welcome, Bruce. If unable to see the XP hard drive while in Win98,
the file system on that drive is probably NTFS. Hmmm ...

Might try booting again with the XP partiton and with the XP CD in the
drive. When Windows is doing it's little "pop" that you suspect is for new
hardware, it *should* try to grab a driver off of the XP CD. Without being
able to see anything, *might work* is about the best you can hope for with
this approach.

Alternative approach: run a repair install of XP. Two good reference sites
for that process:
Harry O¢s site:

Michael Steven¢s site:

FWIW, VGA Safe is your "neutral" driver and, in some cases, device. Often
when changing display drivers, directions will be to uninstall the old
drivers unless this is what you're already using. Let VGASafe slip into
place or select it manually if necessary. Then install the new drivers. I
follow the same path when updating drivers for ATI or Matrox adapters. Have
never worked with nVidia on a system but imagine the process is very

Sharon F


Yep, you got it, NTFS, the Maxtor BlastCD kinda sorta
wanted to format it that way so, fine by me.

I'll try booting to the WinXP CD again, I did that
earlier, as I recall I selected exactly that, a repair
install or something like that, but somewhere along the
way it got unhappy. I'll try again, after just trying the
boot-and-hope-WinXP-grabs-a-driver, and reviewing the
website resources you gave me.

Guess I've gotta get something else done for a bit so,
thanks very much and I'll let ya know!!

Best regards,


Good luck to you, Bruce. Hope all turns out for the best.

David Candy

Enables a Windows XP, Windows 2000 or Windows NT 4.0 system service or a device driver. The enable command is only available when you are using the Recovery Console.

enable {service_name | device_driver_name} [startup_type]



The name of the system service you want to enable.


The name of the device driver you want to enable.


The startup type that you want to designate for the service or device driver. Valid startup types are:


The following example sets the startup type for the Eventlog service to Automatic or SERVICE_AUTO_START:

enable eventlog service_auto_start


a.. If you do not designate a startup type, the enable command lists the current startup type for the service or device driver you specified in service_name.
b.. When you use the enable command to change a startup type, the previous startup type's name will display on the screen. You should write this name down in case you need to restore the startup type to the previous setting.
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Oct 30, 2013
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'enable' command in recovery console not always helps.
It is looks like in 10 years nobody have found solution :)

If Windows XP boots, reacts on keypresses, but screen is blank both in normal and safe modes, try
devcon enable @*VGASAVE*
To run it,
1) download using another computer support.microsoft.com/kb/311272 , (don't forget to unpack and select appropriate version),
2) write devcon.exe (warning! SFX archive and actual program have the same names) on removable media (USB drive)
3) create there en.cmd with contents of "devcon enable @*VGASAVE* >result.txt"
4) insert removable media in failed computer
5) Wait ten seconds
6) <WIN-R>, type "cmd", <ENTER>
7) Enter the drive letter under which removable media usually appears and ":" (e.g. , "F:"), <ENTER>. Perhaps, after correctly selecting the disc, it's flash lamp will blink
8) Type "en", <ENTER>
9) Wait for twenty seconds
10) correctly restart (press power button or type "shutdown /r" )

If does not works, look in result.txt .
If it was not created, try different letters at step 7
If result.txt does not appears, try to run it using LiveCD or LiveUSB with Linux or WinPE distros or try to insert hard drive in another computer:
I) Run mentioned distro or insert hdd in another machine
II) Create enable.cmd in {letter}:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup with "c:\devcon enable @*VGASAVE* >c:\result.txt"
III) put devcon.exe in c: (more exactly in the root directory of disk, that will have letter 'c' assigned when broken windows will boot. Assignment of letters under different machines could be different!)
IV) boot and reboot windows

If doesn't works, use "devcon status *>result.txt" for diagnostics

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