none
Suddenly, only 4-bit resolution and enlarged display; XP Pro SP3 and NVidia NForce 4 Ultra

    Question

  • Howdy y'all,

    The PC is an Asus A8N-E mobo with the NVidia NForce4 Ultra chipset; 4GB is installed. Configuration is essentially default and no overclocking. It's been running XP Pro SP3 x86 reliably for several years. The system was behaving normally until the user observed that the screen resolution suddenly decreased. Icons are huge and it's difficult to find the buttons on which to click in each dialog.

    Rebooting to Safe Mode is not an improvement. This isn't what we expected given that Safe Mode loads the default VGA driver. A sudden change like this suggests unstable hardware but there have not been BSODs.

    The only recent hardware change that I'm aware of is a new monitor, but that was several weeks ago, and wouldn't have an effect anyway.

    The NVidia drivers for XP and this mobo are still available. What's the best way to troublshoot this problem?

    Thanks much.

    Thursday, August 20, 2015 2:51 AM

Answers

  • Thanks to all for your helpful posts. We replaced the video adapter and the system is stable.
    • Marked as answer by OCTurbine Friday, August 21, 2015 5:13 PM
    Friday, August 21, 2015 5:13 PM

All replies

  • I assume the Nvidia card is not onboard?

    Have you tried pulling out the card and booting with the onboard video?

    Thursday, August 20, 2015 3:23 PM
  • Thanks for your reply. The NForce 4 Ultra chipset is aboard the mobo, of course. The A8N-E mobo has no onboard video, so I'll try swapping the NVidia adapter. I think that it's a GeForce 8400GS clone with 512MB. The NVidia adapter also has a DVI socket and the monitor does too, so I'll try a DVI cable. If that doesn't work, I'll swap out the video card.

    But I still don't understand why Windows would switch to such a low-resolution display mode. Is this a failover feature in the driver or in Windows itself? Haven't looked at eventvwr.msc, but I'm not at the same site as the PC. I'm working through an on-site tech.

    I appreciate your thoughts.

    Thursday, August 20, 2015 6:41 PM
  • Typically the low resolution in Windows is defaulted when there is no driver for the video card, just like when you first put a new card in. You'll be dealing with 1024x768 at best until drivers are installed. So my assumption is it would be Windows that is switching to the low resolution due to a bad/missing driver or bad hardware, but I am not certain of this.

    I think the path your heading down is good, keep me updated on any info you get and I'll try to be as much help as I can.

    Thursday, August 20, 2015 7:01 PM
  • 1. Are there any changes in Device Manager (video branch). (Check other devices too.)

    2. Try to remove driver and restart. If this bring computer to VGA mode, reinstall driver. Use driver from motherboard vendor.

    3. Electronics looks like it will work forever. The reality is different. (Sometimes active cooling does not work correctly or heat transfer from hot video chip is far from optima.) I have met severa graphics cards that stop working in digital mode and continue in analog one.

    Maybe it is time for ne aquisition ;-) (Hope that this is not the case.)

    Regards

    Milos

    Thursday, August 20, 2015 7:14 PM
  • Thanks to all for your helpful posts. We replaced the video adapter and the system is stable.
    • Marked as answer by OCTurbine Friday, August 21, 2015 5:13 PM
    Friday, August 21, 2015 5:13 PM