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Disabled Graphics Driver - Now XP Boots to a Black Screen

This is a discussion on Disabled Graphics Driver - Now XP Boots to a Black Screen within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. [prologue] A while back I posted a thread on here about how Age of Empires II wasn't working in Vista


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Old 02-06-2009, 04:47 PM   #1
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Red Faced

[prologue] A while back I posted a thread on here about how Age of Empires II wasn't working in Vista on my laptop. I never got it to work, but just today I tried playing it on my XP box, where it used to work - and I got the same error as in Vista. Well, someone on a different forum suggested disabling the graphics driver to play the game (as did the last commenter on my thread), so I figured I'd try that. I did, but I still got the same error, so I decided to turn the driver back on.[/prologue]



And there was where the real problems started. I couldn't figure out how to re-enable my graphics driver. When I went to do so (right-click on background, Properties, Settings, Advanced, Adaptor, if I remember correctly), it showed my VGA un-accelerated driver instead. I thought perhaps if I disabled this, it would revert to my Radeon 9600 card.

I thought wrong.

When I restarted my computer, after the Windows loading screen, I saw . . . nothing. Nothing at all. A black screen. Now I knew Windows was functioning, because when I did the keystrokes to log in, I got the sound effect, but the display was obviously disabled. Duh.

But how to get it back again?

I asked around on IRC, and I was recommended to try starting in safe mode, and deleting my drivers so that they'd be reinstalled. Whether that would have been a good idea or not, I'll never know, because safe mode wouldn't work either. Instead, the names of various system files scrolled by, and then stopped, leaving a screenful of text, ending with Mup.sys. I waited twenty minutes, and after nothing happened, I asked for help on IRC again. People told me to use my Windows installation CD to repair XP, so I did.

But when the computer restarted afterward, I again got the Windows loading screen and then blackness. Undoubtedly it was finishing the installation while I was staring at my screen, but of course I couldn't tell.

So now I'm asking here: what should I do?


Thanks for your help!
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:33 PM   #2
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Odd that Safe Mode didn't work. From the same boot menu try selecting VGA Mode and see if you get a display then. If so then remove the graphics drivers, reboot and allow Windows to re-install them.
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:43 PM   #3
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Hi mkeller,

Try kev1952's idea and if that don't work, reset the BIOS. You can do that by either moving the reset jumper (if your motherboard has one) or unplugging the bios battery for several second, then putting it back.

This happened to me recently and this is how I recovered from the problem.

Hope this helps,
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:57 AM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions so far. Unfortunately, I can't test to see whether VGA mode will work, now, because I tried repairing my system. The first time it booted to a black screen, as I mentioned before, but now it shows the Setup is restarting . . . . . . . . . . . . screen after the Windows loading bar is finished. But then nothing happens; I left it on overnight in that state to see if something would change, and it didn't.

Also, I should probably point out that this is a dual boot system, and Linux works fine. In fact, 3D acceleration works fine in Linux, too. So would resetting the BIOS actually fix anything? And could it fix it in the middle of a system repair?
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:57 AM   #5
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Has anyone got any further ideas or advice? Should I try repairing it again? Or is there some way to end setup, so I can attempt booting in VGA mode or something?
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:47 PM   #6
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Hi mkeller,

Sorry to be posting back so late. Been out of pocket.

I see your most pressing problem as the "no video" problem. Yes, resetting my BIOS recovered my system from a similar graphics problem. It got me a default graphics driver that would let my graphics card work. I later re-installed the right driver.

On the "middle of XP repair" problem, I'm not sure it will help that. A repair install is usually not tied to the installed XP, but comes off the XP install CD, loaded into memory from there. It should work if the hardware is sound. Make sure all extraneous items are unplugged (printer, networking, external drives, etc.). Give the computer a chance. If it starts, let it do its thing. Don't hit enter when it says that it will reboot at the time-out. Let it time-out. Only touch the keyboard when you have to...enter key code, computer name, etc. If you can get it to the end of the repair install, it should be OK.

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Old 02-19-2009, 07:52 PM   #7
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And sorry for my late reply.

Linux works fine, so I know it's not a BIOS problem, but I tried unplugging my graphics card, booting Windows, sticking it back in, and then trying to repair Windows again. But the symptoms were still the same - blank screen the first time (because of disabled driver), and then the vga "Setup restarting" screen each reboot after that.

I think that Windows repair does not overwrite the graphics driver or its settings, which is why it doesn't fix the problem. I can access my Windows partition from Linux, so if anyone knows what files need to be taken care of, I might be able to do it. But does anyone know?
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:49 AM   #8
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Hi mkeller,

Try the repair install again with the CD in the tray and hitting the required key to boot from CD. That should get you back to the windows setup/repair screen. Hitting setup, will, of course, get you to the next repair screen. Let it try the repair again.

Best regards,
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