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Display Problem

maranello
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Display Problem


I've got what appears to be a display problem, but I can't work out if it is a problem with the monitor or the BIOS, or something else entirely. The symptom is that the display appears to be shifted vertically such that the top of the image rolls over to the bottom of the display. This only appears to happen during boot-up (POST and XP initiation). Once the XP logon screen appears the display is corrected, although in some games the shift re-occurs.
The monitor is an EM-150TFT lcd monitor. The motherboard is an IM845GL in an eMachines 370 desktop/mini-tower.
I've tried all the display setting options for the monitor, nothing seems to make a difference.
I can't understand why XP cures what appears to be a problem, and because it does I can't experiment with settings because I haven't got enough time during boot-up.
I hope to borrow a monitor to eliminate this as a cause. Am I right in thinking that the BIOS might be causing this effect?
My other car isn't a Ferrari
11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,768
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Display Problem

When the computer is starting up your monitor operates in a simple VGA mode at low resolution.  Just before you get to the Welcome screen the higher resolution mode (with its control software) kicks in.  Some older games may switch back to VGA mode, I think.  In your case VGA mode seems to have gone wrong. 
maranello
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 937
Thanks: 75
Fixes: 1
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Display Problem


@ReedRichards
Thanks for your response, which explains why Windows doesn't have the same problem. From this I am assuming that trying to fix the problem by pressing the buttons on the monitor is a complete waste of time. When I can get another monitor to test with this should confirm that the problem is with the display driver.
Would I be right in assuming that the VGA driver is part of the BIOS? I've had a read of the manual for the motherboard but I haven't a clue what if anything to change. The last thing I want to do is end up with nothing on the screen, and not know how to revert any changes I made.
Would a restore to BIOS default settings fix the problem? The only hardware changes made have been to add extra memory, and from what I recall the BIOS setup for this was fairly straightforward. I haven't tried entering the BIOS setup, but from what you have said above it appears likely that the display will still exhibit the same problem and might make it difficult to navigate with confidence.
If the problem is not BIOS related, then would a re-install of the graphics driver be a good idea?
My other car isn't a Ferrari
Superuser
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Re: Display Problem

@maranello  From your description, the problem looks more likely to be Hardware related.  Possibly the monitor, but more likely to be the Graphics chip (or Card) within your PC.
Trying a different monitor should help resolve the problem.  You could also try your Monitor on a different PC for additional confirmation?
Maurice
maranello
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Re: Display Problem

Maurice, thanks for the advice. I can certainly try a different monitor, but don't have a spare PC to try.
The graphics card must be a chip on the motherboard, there isn't anything in the PCI slots. I might be able to borrow a graphics card from a colleague to see if this fixes the problem.
My other car isn't a Ferrari
Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Display Problem

Quote from: maranello
@ReedRichards
Would I be right in assuming that the VGA driver is part of the BIOS?

In essense, yes.  That's how you get something on the monitor before Windows is loaded.
Quote from: maranello
Would a restore to BIOS default settings fix the problem?

I very much doubt this, there is nothing in most BIOS settings that could influence the display.
Quote from: maranello
If the problem is not BIOS related, then would a re-install of the graphics driver be a good idea?

No, that's the one thing that is working properly
Superuser
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Re: Display Problem

Quote from: maranello
I can certainly try a different monitor, but don't have a spare PC to try.

Take it around to a friends place?  A good excuse for a chat and a beer - particularly if you take the beer Grin
At least it will bottom out the problem?
maranello
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Display Problem


Thanks again ReedRichards.
The Motherboard manual does have an option to change the Primary Video Adaptor. The two options are PCI or Onboard. As there isn't a separate graphics card I assume this should be set to Onboard. I may be wrong, but I'm sure I saw on a previous occasion that this was set to PCI. If this was the case,  I would not expect the display to work at all. I read somewhere that someone had problems when changing the option for this from PCI to Onboard, which is why I thought that a revert to default settings would be safer than attempting to change the setting in case I can't change it back. Of course, this is asssuming that the default settings are a known working configuration. 

Maurice - good idea. Most of my friends have laptops, but I'm sure these have video-out ports.
My other car isn't a Ferrari
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Re: Display Problem

Quote from: maranello
The Motherboard manual does have an option to change the Primary Video Adaptor.........

Primary means the one it looks for first.  So setting the option to Onboard might speed the boot process slightly but should have no other effect.
maranello
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Display Problem


Update - The spare monitor I connected to my PC did not replicate the vertical shift problem of the original monitor - conclusion, the problem is with the monitor.
Did try to connect monitor to a friend's laptop, but neither he nor I could work out how to get the laptop to use the external display adaptor. I don't think the extra beer was helping our diagnostics.
I'm now pretty much convinced that there should be a solution possible using the monitor settings, but so far nothing I have tried has worked. The problem itself isn't that serious, certainly not enough to warrant purchase of a new monitor. I'm hoping it breaks down completely soon so that I can justify buying a larger screen, but until then it's just a case of putting up with it and occasionally trying some random combinations of button presses!
Thanks to everyone who offered help and advice. If I am successful any time soon I'll post the solution.
My other car isn't a Ferrari
Superuser
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Display Problem

Quote from: maranello

Did try to connect monitor to a friend's laptop, but neither he nor I could work out how to get the laptop to use the external display adaptor. I don't think the extra beer was helping our diagnostics.

Depending on the make, it's usually  Fn/F4 or Fn/F5  this toggles through three states:

  • Laptop screen

  • Laptop + External monitor

  • External Monitor only


IMHO It is unlikely to be a setting on your monitor?  
Maurice
maranello
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 937
Thanks: 75
Fixes: 1
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Display Problem


Fixed it!  Smiley
There is a button which when pressed should optimise the display image for VGA. I have tried pressing this before during the POST and whilst Windows was loading, but it never worked. This time I went into the BIOS setup and pressed it and it cured the vertical shift displacement. On exiting the BIOS I saved changes (none apart from this).
I still don't know how the problem happened in the first place, but at least I don't have to buy a new monitor  Undecided
My other car isn't a Ferrari