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Video Distorted after Screensaver Kicks in

Posted on 1999-01-22
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I have a Dell laptop with 48 mb of ram (can't increase further).  And when my screensaver or system standby kicks in, the colors on my monitor go screwy.  I have two separate hard drives that I use (one has over a gig, the other over 6 gigs) whichever one I use to boot up, I have this problem.  Can anyone help?
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Question by:eabarwick
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by:uilleann
ID: 1601462
You will probably have to update your videocard drivers, check which brand and version you have and get back with that info please.
If you don't have any docs of it, you can see what vgacard you have when the machine first boots, it's the first displayed message.
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 1601463
Do you know if power management is enabled in your BIOS?  My friend had similar problems, and she had two causes, a BIOS setting relative to this, and old drivers, as said.  Oh yes, he also had a conflict in device manager, have you checked yours?
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 1601464
To make matters worse, he had a screensaver he tried to run, which was a high-resolution theme type of thing, which his graphics card and monitor setup didn't support, further complicating his problem.

Thought worth mentioning, just in case.
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 1601465
It would help us to know what operating system and version you are running (right click MY COMPUTER ICON), select properties and the first screen should identify your operating system and version.

Then click the Device Manager tab and let us know if there are any problems, items listed with yellow excalamation marks, Xs, or anything that appears to be a problem.

We may need more, but this sure would help to know.
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by:krang
ID: 1601466
What OS are you running? What model is it? some early model latitudes came with an active matrix screen. you can tell by the machine type having the letters CX in it.  
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by:lweinmunson
ID: 1601467
Also check what color depth you are using.  Assuming Win95/98/NT right click on the desktop and choose properties.  Then go to settings and look for color pallette.  If the setting is 256 try adjusting it higher.  On some older Dells the video memory is locked at 512k so you might not be able to get anything else.  If this is the case then it might be a lost cause if your screen saver is Hi-color or Tru-Color.  A driver and BIOS update might help some but will probably not completely correct the problem.
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by:eabarwick
ID: 1601468
OK.  I have Windows 98 (4.10.1998) on a Dell Latitude XPI-CD (96).  The video driver is a NeoMagic MagicGraph 128V.  No device driver conflicts as far as I can tell.  Colors are set at High Color (16 bit).  How do I check my BIOS settings?  Doesn't seem to matter what screensaver I use.  

It happened again a minute ago.  The screen went black after a couple of minutes of inactivity.  No screensaver came on.  And when I moved the mouse, the desktop came back up with everything distorted.  It seems like I have the power saver on but I turned it off in Display Settings/Settings/Advanced.

Could someone tell me how to turn it off in my BIOS (if that's what it is) or other ideas?

Thanks everyone!

Elizabeth
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by:eabarwick
ID: 1601469
OK.  I have Windows 98 (4.10.1998) on a Del Latitude XPICD (96).  The video driver is a NeoMagic MagicGraph 128V.  No device driver conflicts as far as I can tell.  Colors are set at High Color (16 bit).  How do I check my BIOS settings?  Doesn't seem to matter what screensaver I use.  

It happened again a minute ago.  The screen went black after a couple of minutes of inactivity.  No screensaver came on.  And when I moved the mouse, the desktop came back up with everything distorted.  It seems like I have the power saver on but I turned it off in Display Settings/Settings/Advanced.

Could someone tell me how to turn it off in my BIOS (if that's what it is) or other ideas?

Thanks everyone!

Elizabeth
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Author Comment

by:eabarwick
ID: 1601470
OK.  I have a Dell Latitude XPI-CD.  Running Windows 98 (4.10.98) with a NeoMagic MagicGraph 128V video driver.  Color Setting is High Color (16 Bit) and Power Saver is turned off at Power Management Properties.  

But it just happened again.  My computer was inactive for a couple of minutes so the screen went black.  When I moved my mouse the desktop came back but the colors are a mess.  I turned power saver off so why is it coming on?  If this is a Bios setting, could someone tell me how to check and change my Bios?  Or do you have other ides?

Thanks for all your help everyone!

Elizabeth
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 1601471
When your computer first boots, check the screen for comments like his ESC or something similar to access your BIOS, and there check to see if you have power management disabled.

The black screen you're seeing could also be invoked from your display settings.  Right click on a blank portion of your desktop and select properties, then select the screen saver tab.  Check settings under Energy Savings of the Monitor and see what this is set to.  You can also change the timeout settings here, from maybe 15 minutes to 30 .... also worth  a check.


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by:krang
ID: 1601472
To get on in to the BIOS hit FN+F1.What happens if you hook up an external monitor.

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by:madface
ID: 1601473
i think it's a bug in windows 9X mine does the same thing every once in while.
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by:jordy
ID: 1601474
Check the refresh rate of your VGA Adpter !!
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 1601475
Lots of recommendations and things to check so far, anything new?
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by:mike_mian
ID: 1601476
I am not sure what you mean by distorted?  I you mean that the original colurs are changed, then this is caused by the screen saver trashing the colour mapping table.  That is each pixel is
represented by 24 bits mappped into a 16 bit table (used to save memory to map the display). Try setting the colour depth of the display to 24 Bit.
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by:NetWit
ID: 1601477
Does your video adapter utilize graphics accelerator software?  Most of the newer adapters do and sometimes the software can interfere with the video display (missing dots, strange colors, etc.).  

The most common place to turn off those accelerator routines is when you right mouse-click the background and select properties.  

Depending on what you have loaded, there should be a vendor specific tab that will allow you to turn off accelerator features.

Try that as another suggestion...

Good Luck!

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by:mhjordan
ID: 1601478
Here's a good piece of advice.  Go out to the Dell website and see if someone has had the same problem.  If nothing else, they should have documentation on how to turn off the powersaver mode on the laptop if it is indeed written into the BIOS or if it a custom piece of tools software that came loaded on your laptop.
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Author Comment

by:eabarwick
ID: 1601479
Thanks everyone.  By "distorted" I mean that all the colors change to florescent greens, blues and yellows which makes some text impossiible to read if it is a light color on a light background or visa versa.  The powersaver is turned off and has been all along.  The Dell site was no help.  I'll try your other suggestions and get back to you.  How do I check the "refresh rate"?

THANKS GANG!
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 1601480
In my setup, I can check refresh rates by going to Display, Settings, Advanced, and then checking the adapter tab, where the refresh rate is shown.

I was curious about some other settings which may add to your dilema if all else has been checked and you're still in the same situation.  For instance, on the display settings, under Effects, what visual effects are shown?  Read that if smooth edges and/or show windows contents while dragging are checked, distortions and refresh issues sometimes result.

Do you have the option to try 32-bit color depth to see if this makes a difference?
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by:Jd
ID: 1601481
Does this happen in Safe Mode?
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amear earned 50 total points
ID: 1601482
HERE IS THE ANSWER!!!!  You have tyo set the video card to refreash after leaving suspended mode.  As follows-- Start--Settings--Control Panal--Display--settings tab--advanced botton at bottom--click on monitor tab-- you will se on screen a place to check "reset display on suspend\resume.  THIS WILL WORK FOR ALL OF YOU!!
Good Luck
AMear
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by:techdoug
ID: 1601483
something elce to look at: I have one screen saver I can't use because it uses DirectX to adjust the video settings for animation. If I use it, when it pops out of screen saver mode I get the same problems you are discribing. What the solution is is beyond me, but maybe it will give a hint to someone who does.
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 1601484
Have you downloaded/installed all pertinent items from the WindowsUpdate site?  Have you tried running the DirextX diagnostic tool from Accessories, System Tools, System Information?
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by:Skye030399
ID: 1601485
I've seen this once, changing the color settings of the display adaptor from 256 coulours to 16-bit colours solved the problem. It's worth a try I'd say :-)

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