Safe Mode Display


B

Buffalo

I am using Win2KProSp4 and a GeForce AGP 7600GT vid card and when I go into
Safe Mode, the display is tattered, torn up and I cannot really read the
letters on the Icons. When I move the mouse pointer, it cause tearing etc. I
did not have this problem before I installed this card.
I have reinstalled the vid drivers (very difficult because the tearing etc
in Normal mode is the same after I uninstall the vid drivers and reboot)
with the latest from Nvidea and also Omegaman's drivers.
I uninstalled the previous drivers, rebooted and than installed the drivers
again.
My old vid card was an ATI Radeon 8500 AGP and it did not cause the above
tearing etc when the drivers were removed. It seemed to have a basic VGA
driver that took over then.
I guess my question is that I wonder if there should be a default VGA driver
that would let that card work after I uninstall the videp drivers.
Thanks,
Buffalo
 
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B

Buffalo

Frank said:
I used to have the same symptoms a few years ago only I was using a
Nvidia Geforce2 MX AGP. The problem would occur from time to time
when I booted up my pc, and the tearing was present in Safe and
Normal modes. Even trying to reload the AGP drivers didn't fix it.
The only way I
could restore to a normal display was to re-install Windows 2k (sp4).
My pc then worked ok for a while then the problem would eventually
return when the pc was booted. In the end I managed to track down rhe
cause,
and it was down to the chipset drivers supplied by Dell for my Dell
pc. My solution was not to install these but to let Windows 2k generic
drivers take care of the chipset. I'vs had no repeat of the problem
since.
Interesting. I just reinstalled my agp drivers from ECS with no difference.
(EliteGroup mb K7s5a ver 3.1)
What specific mb drivers did Win2K install? Interesting that a reinstall of
Win2kSP4 fixed it for awhile. Was that a fresh (clean) install, or just an
install over the top?
I may just reinstall all my MB drivers.
I can't seem to find the Standard PCI VGA Display Drivers.inf file on my
computer. When I uninstall my vid drivers and reboot, the display is so
corrupted with incomplete objects and tearing, when I moved the mouse
pointer, that I had a hard time installing the vid drivers again. I finally
got it down to a point where I knew what to do and what to click on to
complete the install, even though I couldn't read what was happening. The
biggest problem was that the install would stop because there was a screen
behind the install screen that stated the drivers were not certified and
asked if I wanted to install them anyways. Since I couldn't see it, I
couldn't get the drivers installed. Later, I knew it was there and worked
around it.

Thanks for you input.

Buffalo
 
P

Paul

Buffalo said:
Interesting. I just reinstalled my agp drivers from ECS with no difference.
(EliteGroup mb K7s5a ver 3.1)
What specific mb drivers did Win2K install? Interesting that a reinstall of
Win2kSP4 fixed it for awhile. Was that a fresh (clean) install, or just an
install over the top?
I may just reinstall all my MB drivers.
I can't seem to find the Standard PCI VGA Display Drivers.inf file on my
computer. When I uninstall my vid drivers and reboot, the display is so
corrupted with incomplete objects and tearing, when I moved the mouse
pointer, that I had a hard time installing the vid drivers again. I finally
got it down to a point where I knew what to do and what to click on to
complete the install, even though I couldn't read what was happening. The
biggest problem was that the install would stop because there was a screen
behind the install screen that stated the drivers were not certified and
asked if I wanted to install them anyways. Since I couldn't see it, I
couldn't get the drivers installed. Later, I knew it was there and worked
around it.

Thanks for you input.

Buffalo
As I understand it, each video card is supposed to support some standard
output modes. When no custom video driver is available, the OS uses its own VESA
video driver, to make the video card work as a frame buffer. (If that driver
did not exist, you wouldn't have a video display during the stages of OS
installation.) You'd suspect that driver was being used, when colors are
stuck at 16 colors, and display resolution is 800x600 or 640x480
(i.e. a pretty low res).

There are two parts to drivers. There is the video card driver for the
card. But there is also the motherboard chipset AGP driver, which
declares the protocols it's supposed to support. On one of my Intel
boards, you could change the AGP slot, between PCI protocol, or full
AGP protocol, just by changing the driver used from the chipset drivers.

Some chipset AGP drivers, also include a control panel for AGP in the
OS, where you can set a couple things. Again, this is manufacturer
specific, and needs to be researched first. For Intel, the settings
would be in the BIOS, rather than being a poorly written app for
the OS later.

Some chipsets have problems with their AGP performance. The video card
manufacturers know this, and they have a "quirks" list in the video card
driver, such that they won't use AGP speed settings known to cause problems.
For example, if the AGP interface won't run properly at 4x, the driver
may choose to run at 1x. The ATI driver in particular, has "SMARTGart", which
overrides your BIOS AGP speed setting, and does it's own speed setting. This
may cause the ATI card display to flash briefly during POST. Once the
driver is happy with the speed it has determined (or the quirks have told it
to use), it won't try a higher speed until you use the SMARTGart control panel.
The first release of SMARTGart was a disaster (caused crashes), but after
three or four attempts to get it right, it finally worked respectably.

I'm not aware of NVidia doing the same thing. It's possible the AGP
setting in the BIOS, is in control for NVidia.

And then, you need to trace down the particulars for your motherboard chipset,
to see if it had any issues.

Towards the end of the AGP era, the last chipsets made finally had AGP
electrical interfaces, that properly implemented signaling. In the middle
of the AGP era, some chipset makers struggled to get their AGP slots
to run fast enough. And the marginal operation is what annoyed a lot of
users. If you use a board like the K7S5A, you'd want to Google around,
to see if the chipset ever caused a problem or not. I don't see any
mention of a problem here, but perhaps there's a better guide somewhere
else.

http://k7s5amotherboardforum.yuku.com/forum/viewtopic/id/888

Paul
 
B

Buffalo

Frank said:
There's a whole load of chipset drivers for all machines up to 2003
that Win2k covers If you look at machine.inf file (under WINNT) they
are listed in there. Eg I have an Intel chipset 850 in my machine. The
actual reference to my chipset driver is listed in the registry under
HKLM/SYSTEM/ComtrolSet002/Enum/PCI/VEN&8086_DEV....where one of the
devices listed is described as an Intel(R) 82801BA/BAM SMBus
Controller - 2443, which I know correctly identifies my Intel 850
chipset. So my mb is automatically covered by Win2k, but then my
machine is 10 years old. You shouldn't have to worry about thr 'inf'
file for VGA as its driver is supplied by bootvid.dll which
automatically supplies the VGA You don't have to uninstall Nvidia
drivers as only the dll file is loaded and not the Vvidia drivers.
It's the same file for Win2k in 'Safe' or even 'VGA' mode on the F8
menu when you boot. The fact that even VGA is corrupted suggests a
chipset problem or a problem card, but before cosidering the
latter....

I suggest doing a fresh re-install (partition and format) using ECS
drivers to start with. Make sure the correct chipset driver is the
first one you you install after Win2k sps installs. Hopefully that
will fix the problem. When you've installed all the basic drivers, ie
sound, video, do a backup of your system state (NTBackup. That's
saved me many a time when the odd problem comes along
My present system is a dual boot system, Win98SE-Win2k SP4.

Thanks for that advice Frank, but I'm afraid formating and doing a fresh
clean install of Win2kSP4 is way too much work with all the updates and
reinstalling all of my programs.
It may well fix the problem I'm having, but I will just put up with the
minor inconvenience that I now have (as long as I don't need to install new
vid drivers or go into Safe mode). :(
I also have two of those cards (7600GT) and both have the same problem.
Haven't tried older Nvidea drivers though.
I also reinstalled the ECS AGP drivers and changed the refresh rate of my
LCD monitor from 75Hz to 60Hz with no difference with the problem.
I also just installed the Nvidea 94.24 drivers over the Omega drivers.
Slight change in color, but the same problem.

Probably a corrupt or missing file somewhere in my Win2k OS. Win 2k is very
stable but I believe I will be building a new PC with Win7 before next
winter. :)

Any suggestions? I do like playing Q3 online and some of the older games
like Half-Life, Doom3, Unreal Tournament, Halo, etc.

Thanks,
Buffalo
 
M

Mohan

Buffalo said:
My present system is a dual boot system, Win98SE-Win2k SP4.

Thanks for that advice Frank, but I'm afraid formating and doing a
fresh clean install of Win2kSP4 is way too much work with all the
updates and reinstalling all of my programs.
It may well fix the problem I'm having, but I will just put up with
the minor inconvenience that I now have (as long as I don't need to
install new vid drivers or go into Safe mode). :(
I also have two of those cards (7600GT) and both have the same
problem. Haven't tried older Nvidea drivers though.
I also reinstalled the ECS AGP drivers and changed the refresh rate
of my LCD monitor from 75Hz to 60Hz with no difference with the
problem. I also just installed the Nvidea 94.24 drivers over the
Omega drivers. Slight change in color, but the same problem.

Probably a corrupt or missing file somewhere in my Win2k OS. Win 2k
is very stable but I believe I will be building a new PC with Win7
before next winter. :)

Any suggestions? I do like playing Q3 online and some of the older
games like Half-Life, Doom3, Unreal Tournament, Halo, etc.

Thanks,
Buffalo
Not sure if this would work:

In the normal mode, under Display properties change the resolution to
800?600 temporarily (safe mode default)

Click Advanced/Adapter/ Click List all modes.. and select a [resolution
+ refresh rate + color mode setting] for that particular resolution
(note down the original setting before changing to revert back later).

Click OK and Restart to safe mode for any improvement. You can always
add this to the list of not workable if it fails!

I think it is possible to apply higher resolution and color mode for
safe mode though never tried.
 
P

Paul

Buffalo said:
My present system is a dual boot system, Win98SE-Win2k SP4.

Thanks for that advice Frank, but I'm afraid formating and doing a fresh
clean install of Win2kSP4 is way too much work with all the updates and
reinstalling all of my programs.
It may well fix the problem I'm having, but I will just put up with the
minor inconvenience that I now have (as long as I don't need to install new
vid drivers or go into Safe mode). :(
I also have two of those cards (7600GT) and both have the same problem.
Haven't tried older Nvidea drivers though.
I also reinstalled the ECS AGP drivers and changed the refresh rate of my
LCD monitor from 75Hz to 60Hz with no difference with the problem.
I also just installed the Nvidea 94.24 drivers over the Omega drivers.
Slight change in color, but the same problem.

Probably a corrupt or missing file somewhere in my Win2k OS. Win 2k is very
stable but I believe I will be building a new PC with Win7 before next
winter. :)

Any suggestions? I do like playing Q3 online and some of the older games
like Half-Life, Doom3, Unreal Tournament, Halo, etc.

Thanks,
Buffalo
For Win2K, there really aren't all that many updates. You have your
initial Win2K install, then install SP4 service pack. I have a
slipstreamed CD I made, so when reinstalling, I'm already at
Win2K SP4. (I made mine with Autostreamer.)

Then there's the Update Rollup, which is like a miniature
service pack. And that's about it. Since they no longer
support Windows Update for Win2K, I don't think you
can do anything from that point of view.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=B54730CF-8850-4531-B52B-BF28B324C662&displaylang=en&displaylang=en

You'd still need some DirectX installs for the games, but the
games sometimes do that for you, during installation.

If you have backup software, you could always back up your
current setup, and try a clean install and see how it goes.
If it isn't looking any better, then you can restore
what you've currently got installed.

Paul
 
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B

Buffalo

Paul said:
For Win2K, there really aren't all that many updates. You have your
initial Win2K install, then install SP4 service pack. I have a
slipstreamed CD I made, so when reinstalling, I'm already at
Win2K SP4. (I made mine with Autostreamer.)

Then there's the Update Rollup, which is like a miniature
service pack. And that's about it. Since they no longer
support Windows Update for Win2K, I don't think you
can do anything from that point of view.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=B54730CF-8850-4531-B52B-BF28B324C662&displaylang=en&displaylang=en

You'd still need some DirectX installs for the games, but the
games sometimes do that for you, during installation.

If you have backup software, you could always back up your
current setup, and try a clean install and see how it goes.
If it isn't looking any better, then you can restore
what you've currently got installed.

Paul
Yep, I have a backup to an external HDD.
But, I only have one HDD in my PC and it is a dual boot 98se-win2k system
and I would really hate to screw it up.
I am not familar enough with doing a complete deletion and format of just
one partition to justify possibly screwing up my whole system.
There has to be a solid reason why I am having these problems. I think it
either has to be an OS problem or a video driver problem.

Thanks again,
Buffalo
 
S

Sid Elbow

Yep, I have a backup to an external HDD.
But, I only have one HDD in my PC and it is a dual boot 98se-win2k system
and I would really hate to screw it up.
I am not familar enough with doing a complete deletion and format of just
one partition to justify possibly screwing up my whole system.
Respectfully, Buffalo ... just an observation, if you have that little
confidence in your backup/restore process then you really don't have a
reliable backup system. It would be worth addressing that as soon as you
can, quite apart from your other problems.

I have many OS partitions on many machines, all backed up (though
perhaps not as up-to-date as they should be in some cases). I wouldn't
think twice about wiping a partition for a re-install with a view to a
possible later restore.
 
B

Buffalo

Sid said:
Respectfully, Buffalo ... just an observation, if you have that little
confidence in your backup/restore process then you really don't have a
reliable backup system. It would be worth addressing that as soon as
you can, quite apart from your other problems.

I have many OS partitions on many machines, all backed up (though
perhaps not as up-to-date as they should be in some cases). I wouldn't
think twice about wiping a partition for a re-install with a view to a
possible later restore.
You're probably right. I have never restored anything off an external USB
HDD, but I once used my Ghost image to restore my C: partition and it worked
like a charm. Course, it was on a partition on the same HDD.
At least now I have it backed up on an external USB HDD.
I'm glad you reminded my to look up on how to use that backup. Damn, I may
need it sooner than I think.

Thanks again,
Buffalo

PS: I don't think I am the only person in the world that has that problem
with the AGP GeForce 7600GT 256MB vid card and Win2000ProSP4.
 
P

Paul

Buffalo said:
You're probably right. I have never restored anything off an external USB
HDD, but I once used my Ghost image to restore my C: partition and it worked
like a charm. Course, it was on a partition on the same HDD.
At least now I have it backed up on an external USB HDD.
I'm glad you reminded my to look up on how to use that backup. Damn, I may
need it sooner than I think.

Thanks again,
Buffalo

PS: I don't think I am the only person in the world that has that problem
with the AGP GeForce 7600GT 256MB vid card and Win2000ProSP4.
I've had problems on Win2K before, but it was because I didn't remove
the old drivers, before installing new ones. The machine had a Matrox
card at one time, an ATI, and finally an NVidia, and the drivers were
a mess. In particular, an inspection showed after Add/Remove of ATI
driver, there were still ATI files in the system. What eventually happened,
is I could no longer get accelerated video to work (no gaming), no matter
what I did with drivers. I had to reload the OS and start from scratch.
Worked fine after that. Moral of the story was - need "much hygiene"
with regard to video card drivers. I even tried all the available
"driver cleaners" at the time (like ones stored on guru3d). I couldn't
figure out, what exactly was broken.

Paul
 
B

Buffalo

Paul said:
I've had problems on Win2K before, but it was because I didn't remove
the old drivers, before installing new ones. The machine had a Matrox
card at one time, an ATI, and finally an NVidia, and the drivers were
a mess. In particular, an inspection showed after Add/Remove of ATI
driver, there were still ATI files in the system. What eventually
happened, is I could no longer get accelerated video to work (no
gaming), no matter what I did with drivers. I had to reload the OS
and start from scratch. Worked fine after that. Moral of the story
was - need "much hygiene"
with regard to video card drivers. I even tried all the available
"driver cleaners" at the time (like ones stored on guru3d). I couldn't
figure out, what exactly was broken.

Paul
I did have ATI drivers before this card (8500LE) and I did uninstall and
also used an ATI driver cleaner and a search for anything ATI, in files and
in the Registry.
I think you're probably correct that something is amiss in my Win2K system.
I don't believe that I will do a clean install of my OS since my backup was
made after the problem started and I have a lot of programs I would have to
reinstall if I did it,
Thanks again for your thoughtful input.
Buffalo
PS: If you can think of something else, let me know.
PPS:It is extremely difficult to install new (different) drivers as the
display gets so corrupted when I remove the previous drivers and reboot.The
display tears so bad when I move the mouse pointer that it is almost like
doing it blindly and from memory.
It didn't do that when I uninstalled the ATI drivers and rebooted to install
the GeForce drivers the first time.
 
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S

Sid Elbow

You're probably right. I have never restored anything off an external USB
HDD, but I once used my Ghost image to restore my C: partition and it worked
like a charm. Course, it was on a partition on the same HDD.
Risky ... if that HD dies everything's gone. If you are backing up on
the same machine, at least use a second HD.

At least now I have it backed up on an external USB HDD.
Yes, that's what I do and I do it with a Ghost DOS boot disc (mini-cd).
On some machines, the BIOS USB driver won't work with my version of
Ghost so I have to force Ghost to use its own but that works well
enough. I also use Ghost's "check image file" on each backup after I
make it - wouldn't want to need to restore it and find that it's junk!
 
S

Sid Elbow

I don't believe that I will do a clean install of my OS since my backup was
made after the problem started and I have a lot of programs I would have to
reinstall if I did it,
That's a common viewpoint and obviously it's your call but it can be
very rewarding to bite the bullet and most people who do so are glad
they did. I don't think it's an option that should be dismissed lightly.

It does need a bit of forethought and planning-ahead such as:

- gather all required drivers (latest versions)

- review your apps and determine which ones you want to keep (I'd be
surprised if you didn't find that half of them were unnecessary)

- prioritise the remaining apps into stuff that has to be installed
immediately; those that can be installed over a few days; those that can
be installed "as required".

- if you can, put all of the drivers and apps onto a single cd/dvd (that
really helps).

You'll probably lose the system for a day or so but when you finish
you'll have a "new" system - much cleaner and "perkier" than before.

Another possibility if you have the room is to create another partition
and do the fresh install in that while keeping the working original in a
multi-boot system.

Does my bias show? :)

(Sorry - probably teaching my grandmother to suck eggs).
 
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B

Buffalo

Sid said:
That's a common viewpoint and obviously it's your call but it can be
very rewarding to bite the bullet and most people who do so are glad
they did. I don't think it's an option that should be dismissed
lightly.

It does need a bit of forethought and planning-ahead such as:

- gather all required drivers (latest versions)

- review your apps and determine which ones you want to keep (I'd be
surprised if you didn't find that half of them were unnecessary)

- prioritise the remaining apps into stuff that has to be installed
immediately; those that can be installed over a few days; those that
can be installed "as required".

- if you can, put all of the drivers and apps onto a single cd/dvd
(that really helps).

You'll probably lose the system for a day or so but when you finish
you'll have a "new" system - much cleaner and "perkier" than before.

Another possibility if you have the room is to create another
partition and do the fresh install in that while keeping the working
original in a multi-boot system.

Does my bias show? :)

(Sorry - probably teaching my grandmother to suck eggs).
If I do go through the trouble of formatting and a clean install, I believe
I will just install XP Home
instead of Win2KProSP4. Then, if that is successful, I may well just get rid
of my 98SE and change partition sizes.
Thanks again,
Buffalo
 

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