HP Customer Support
HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Monitor or Video Card Troubleshooting, Tips, and Information
This document applies to HP and Compaq desktop PCs with Windows 95, 98, Me, and XP.
This document addresses the most common problems and questions that pertain to video cards and monitors. This is an informational document only that will help you get to the right topic. The steps to resolve issues are accessed by links located throughout this document.
Before you begin
Before you begin troubleshooting monitor or video card issues, do the following:
Remove any video extension cables, and connect the monitor directly to the computer.
Check the monitor and the connectors on the computer and ensure there are no broken or bent connector pins.
Replace the monitor cable if it shows signs of wear or damage.
Adjusting the monitor picture (brightness, picture size and shape, on-screen display)
The monitor needs adjustment if there are excessive black areas around the picture, parts of the picture are missing around the edges, the picture scrolls up and down, colors are wrong, or the image is too dark or bright.
Adjustment depends on the model of monitor being used. To find adjustment information, go to the HP website and enter the monitor model number and the search word adjusting into the search field. HP provides "Using and Adjusting" support articles for almost all HP and Compaq consumer monitors.
If you are using a monitor that did not come from HP or Compaq, refer to the guide that came with the product.
Fixing flat panel LCD display problems
LCD flat panel monitors are very different from CRT displays. Before troubleshooting blank screens, out of signal range messages, or pictures that are not sharp, refer to the HP support document Troubleshooting Flat Panel Displays.
Fixing video card problems
Problems with video cards show up as intermittent system lockups when playing 3D games, small dots of color spattered across the Window desktop, the inability to run certain 3D games, and the inability to open Windows normally. All of these issues can occur because of video hardware or driver problems. Find an item below that matches your video need:
Updating the video driver can fix a wide variety of video problems and software compatibility issues. Go to the HP software search page and type in your model of the HP or Compaq computer; for example, Pavilion m1170c. If a video driver update is available from HP, it will show on the page that appears for the HP Pavilion model that was typed in. Follow the instructions on the download page to download and install the update. You can also find video drivers from the video hardware manufacturer's Website (see related support).
If you have just installed a new card and are having problems or need to know how to disable the on-board video in the BIOS, please refer to Installing or replacing a video card.
Many game problems can be resolved by downloading and installing the latest video drivers from the video card manufacturer and installing any software updates for the game from the game manufacturer's Web site. For more information, refer to System Locks When Playing a Video Game.
To restore the original video driver, use the selective recovery process to reinstall original drivers. For more information refer to Using Application Recovery (Windows 9x, Me, and XP).
If your system is low on system resources, not enough memory errors can occur if you are using a higher display resolution or color depth. If this happens, change the amount of system memory used for on-board video. For more information, refer to Not Enough Video Memory Message Occurs on HP Pavilions with On-Board Video.
Fixing monitor problems
Use on of the following HP support documents, depending on what the problem is:
If you have an HP monitor and Windows recognizes it as a generic monitor, refer to the following document Upgrading an HP Monitor Driver.
Display is Rotated. This document explains how to reset the display if it has rotated (90, 180, or 270 degrees) after using the Windows Accessibility Wizard or while playing a game.
Setting up a monitor, monitor connections
To find specific setup information for your monitor, go to the HP website and enter the monitor model number and the search words setting up into the search field. For example, entering f1703 and setting up, produces a link to the HP support document HP Pavilion f1503 and f1703 Flat Panel Monitors - Setting Up Your Monitor.
TV (and Monitor) connection types Use this document when you want to know more about a connection on your TV or monitor.
HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Setting Up Dual Displays on One PC Your PC may be capable of supporting more than one monitor or TV from the same computer with two installed video cards.
Updating the BIOS of the HP or Compaq PC may correct video issues. For more information about how to update the BIOS of your HP or Compaq PC refer to the HP support document, Updating the BIOS.
nVidia Home Page (in English).
ATI Home Page (in English).
S3 Graphics Home Page (in English).
Intel Downloads (in English).
note:If the steps in this document failed to resolve your issue, the video card or monitor may have failed. If your computer was purchased after 2001, it probably contains a software program called PC Doctor. Use PC Doctor to help verify video failures before calling support or repairing the computer. Use the HP support document "HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Using PC Doctor" to learn more about testing for video failures. If you receive an error code after running a test, you need to Contact HP (in English) for further assistance. Write the error code number down so that you can provide it to a support agent.
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