We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

XP Pro Repair Install caused missing display devices

Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I did a Repair Install of Windows XP Pro, SP2 after consulting with Microsoft tech support about my inability to install IE7 or WMP11.  Fortunately, the Repair Install worked in that respect as I was able to install the missing updates after completing the repair.

Unfortunately, the repair created another problem: I am unable to install the device drivers for either my nVIDIA GeForce MX4000 (AGP) or the on-board graphics card that is built into my motherboard.  The motherboard is an ASUS A8V-MX.

I am currently "using" my AGP card, but in the Device Manager there are no display adapters listed.  If I right-click on the desktop and go to the properties, advanced settings, adapter there is nothing listed.  If I click on the properties to view the driver information it says I am using the VgaSave driver.

Steps I have taken so far:
1. Tried to install all the drivers for my motherboard.  I was able to install the drivers for the chipset, the RAID utility, the LAN, and the audio, but when I try to install the VGA drivers for the motherboard I get an error message saying that there are no compatible devices.

2. Tried to reinstall the nVIDIA drivers.  I tried several different versions - one from the nVIDIA website, one from the actual manufacturer (xfxforce.com) that is definitely an older version, and another slightly-older version from nVIDIA that I was previously using before the repair install.  In all cases the driver installation fails due to no compatible devices being found.

3. I downloaded EVEREST Home Edition after reading about it in other solutions on here.  It is able to see my nVIDIA GeForce4 MX 4000 as it lists it as the Video Adapter and 3D Accelerator under the Display, PCI/AGP Video tab on the menu.  This is my first time using EVEREST so if you need me to post any of the report information please let me know.

4. I tried unseating my AGP card and restarting the PC.  When Windows booted up I shut it down and reseated the card.  Windows did not detect new hardware.

When I was doing the repair install there was a time when the install stopped and asked me for a driver CD.  I hit cancel and move on figuring that I would be able to install a more recent driver at a later time.  Am I going to have to do another Repair Install, or is there a way to force WIndows XP to recognize my video card?  I had no problems with my display drivers prior to doing the repair install.

Thank you in advance for any help you are able to provide.
Watch Question

Top Expert 2007

Hi - one thing to try would be to remove all hidden drivers using this method:

(case is irrelevant and only shown for emphasis)
Start->Run->CMD <Enter>

Now at the command prompt, type:

Start DEVMGMT.MSC <Enter>

Now in device manager, click View/Show Hidden Devices
Under display adapters, you may see several 'ghost' icons.  These are considered 'non present' at this point in time, and the driver remains due to the PnP capability.  Remove them completely so they don't cause conflict - try a reboot afterwards and see if the drivers are auto-detected, otherwise be prepared to supply them.

If there are no ghost drivers, then that's probably not your problem...post back and we'll see what else we can do...

In addition -- remove any video driver related software in Control Panel --> Add/Remove Programs


SirBounty- I did what you advised.  This caused the "ghost" GeForce MX4000 to show up under the display devices list in Device Management.  I uninstalled this device completely and restarted.  It didn't autodetect any new hardware and I am still loaded up with the SafeVga driver.

I also removed three "unknown" devices that said were no longer connected to the system.  When I uninstalled the GeForce device it launched an nVIDIA uninstaller that removed the nVIDIA software from the system.  There are no references to nVIDIA in the Add/Remove Programs list anymore, and the specific nVIDIA entries on the Control Panel (which did nothing since the Repair Install) are now gone.

However, EVEREST still is able to find the GeForce4 MX4000 card.

I searched for NVIDIA in the registry and found the following entries:
My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Macromedia\Shockwave 10\uicontrol\sw3dbaddriverlist1

My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Macromedia\Shockwave 10\uicontrol\sw3dbaddriverlist2

There is also an NVIDIA Drivers folder in the registry here:
My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WIndows\CurrentVersion\App Management\ARPCache\NVIDIA Drivers

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Reinstall\0034 has some entires about NVIDIA

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup has some mention of NVIDIA and ASUS drivers

HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1606980848-287218729-1801674531-1003\Software\JavaSoft\Java2D\1.5.0_06\Drivers\.DISPLAY1 NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 4000
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1606980848-287218729-1801674531-1003\Software\JavaSoft\Java2D\1.5.0_09\Drivers\.DISPLAY1 NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 4000
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1606980848-287218729-1801674531-1003\Software\JavaSoft\Java2D\1.5.0_11\Drivers\.DISPLAY1 NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 4000
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1606980848-287218729-1801674531-1003\Software\JavaSoft\Java2D\1.6.0_01\Drivers\.DISPLAY1 NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 4000
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1606980848-287218729-1801674531-1003\Software\JavaSoft\Java2D\1.6.0_02\Drivers\.DISPLAY1 NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 4000
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1606980848-287218729-1801674531-1003\Software\Macromedia\Shockwave 10\uicontrol\sw3dbaddriverlist1
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1606980848-287218729-1801674531-1003\Software\Macromedia\Shockwave 10\uicontrol\sw3dbaddriverlist2
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1606980848-287218729-1801674531-1003\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1606980848-287218729-1801674531-1003\Software\NVIDIA Corporation
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1606980848-287218729-1801674531-1003\Software\NVIDIA nvCpl Container
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1606980848-287218729-1801674531-1003\Software\NVIDIA nvCpl Container\NVIDIA Control Panel

The Add New Hardware wizard does not find anything.

What are your thoughts as to what I can try next?  I appreciate the suggestions you have made so far.
Top Expert 2007

Per the web site, http://www.nvidia.in/page/new_driver_xp.html, should work under XP.
However, the direct link for your driver should be: http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp_2k_93.71_2.html

Given that may be two seperate routes, I would advise turning on System Restore at this point, if it's not already (Check via Start->Run->sysdm.cpl <Enter>).  And then make yourself a manual restore point before trying one...if it fails to work, then restore back to that point, and try option #2 (doesn't really matter which you choose first).

Post back with the results.  I'm anxious to hear the outcome...
Good luck!

Try using the add new hardware option from the control panel and select that you select your device from the list i.e. do not use autodetect then choose Display adapter and install your VGA card driver...this might work


When I try to install the nVIDIA drivers, the install shield starts up and then it gets a message "The NVIDIA setup program could not locate any drivers that are compatible with your current hardware.  Setup will now exit."  It is still failing to detect the hardware.

I am unable to add the new devices from the list because they don't show up.  If I select "have disk" and point it directly to the drivers it brings up the screen where you would normally select your hardware but the list is completely blank.  This happens with the nVIDIA drivers and the drivers for my ASUS onboard video.

Ok remove your nivida card from your computer, restart your computer. then shut it down and insert the card again in the AGP slot, do not forget to ground yourself and clean the copper connectors of the card, start the computer again and wait it might detect it as anewly installed hardware


I powered down, took out the card, rebooted into Windows XP using the onboard graphics card.  XP Pro still loaded up using the SafeVga non-PnP driver.  I tried to install the VGA driver for the ASUS card again with no luck.  While booted up I ran EVEREST again and it was able to detect that I was now running the onboard graphics card and that the AGP card had been removed.

I powered down and reseated the AGP card.  I am now back in XP Pro with no change to the situation.  Thank you for the time, folks.  I appreciate the ideas.  Can anyone else think of anything that might work here?

did the onboard card work correctly when you removed the AGP card, if yes then the shrotest way is to re-install windows again but do a fresh install.
And for your last sentence:
"Thank you for the time, folks.  I appreciate the ideas.  Can anyone else think of anything that might work here?"
Kindly be informed that we are dealing with problems that we only try to solve through author description and I am sure that anyone of those who posted answers here need no more than 30 minutes to solve your computer problem if they are sitting infront of it. So you should have patientce and try the suggested answer and when a suggestion does not work this has only one meaning it is not working in your specific case but might work in other cases and some problems need weeks to be solved so just be patient.  


Dr-4N: I sincerely meant thank you.  Not a dig.  I appreciate that every time I post new information someone has always taken the time to respond quickly.  I did not mean that these weren't good ideas and weren't helpful solutions.  I am willing to try anything.  I was half-asleep when I wrote that and really meant only to solicit new ideas, no to knock those who had been helping me.  

The onboard card did not work correctly.  I was also unable to install the drivers for it.  It worked the same as the AGP card has been working - using the SafeVga driver.

Thank you for clearing the situation that was kind of you.

So now to my opinion a fresh windows install might solve the problem.
Top Expert 2007

I don't know that that's necessary.
I wonder if you don't have access to a video card you can try out - just to see if it gets recognized and the drivers loaded properly.
Also, does your system board auto-disable the onboard when the AGP is installed?  If not, you might try doing that (via the BIOS) and see if that changes the symptoms...

I wonder if you have a resource conflict. Try entering BIOS Setup and look for any option that will reset ESCD on reboot. PCI settings is the first place to look.


Dr-4N: If all else fails I will do a fresh reinstall.  I will probably try another repair install first.

SirBounty: I unfortunately do not have access to another video card.  My motherboard does auto-disable the onboard graphics card when it detects the AGP card.

WillComp: I will try this in a few hours when I am home and I will post back as to whether or not I have any success.


Unfortunately, I couldn't find an ESCD option in my BIOS.

Sorry I wasn't too clear -- Detect Devices or similar is used to reset ESCD -- redetects what devices are installed, stores info, and passes to Windows.


My motherboard uses AMIBIOS8.  This is the online manual: http://www.ami.com/support/doc/MAN-EZP-80.pdf

I think I may have found what I need starting on Page 37:

Plug and Play O/S
Set this value to allow the system to modify the settings for Plug and Play operating
system support. The Optimal and Fail-Safe default setting is No.
Option Description
No - The No setting is for operating systems that do not meet the Plug and Play specifications. It
allows the BIOS to configure all the devices in the system. This is the default setting.
Yes - The Yes setting allows the operating system to change the interrupt, I/O, and DMA settings. Set
this option if the system is running Plug and Play aware operating systems.

Reset Configuration Data
Set this value to allow the BIOS to rest the Configuration Data in the BIOS. The Optimal
and Fail-Safe default setting is No.
Option Description
No - This setting preserves the PnP data. It does not force the PnP data to be cleared on boot. This is the
default setting.
Yes - Set this value to allow the PnP data to be rebuilt by the BIOS at every boot.

I think my BIOS is currently set to NO and NO.  Should one or both of these be YES?

Plug and Play O/S --- Yes
Reset Configuration Data -- Yes (this is a one time change, will go back to No after one bootup)


I changed Plug and Play OS to YES
Unfortunately, it looks like ASUS disabled the Reset Configuration Data option in the version of the BIOS that they used for my motherboard.  It doesn't show up on the list.

I'm trying to look on the ASUS website to see if there is any mention of the option, but it appears to be down at the moment.
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)

Closed, 500 points refunded.
EE Moderator
Unlock the solution to this question.
Join our community and discover your potential

Experts Exchange is the only place where you can interact directly with leading experts in the technology field. Become a member today and access the collective knowledge of thousands of technology experts.

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.