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Help With Xp Graphics Problem!

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 10:03 PM

I have aquired a 2nd hand Pentium 4 [Dell], and have run into some bizarre and unexpected problems in preparing it for use with Windows XP Pro SP2.

To begin with, I followed the exact same procedures as I did when installing Windows XP Pro SP2 on an old Pentium 2 previously:-

1] Ran KILLDISK and blitzed the hard drive including all partitions

2] Installed Windows XP Pro SP2 (Corporate Edition)

While everything went smoothly with the Pentium 2, things started to go wrong with my new Pentium 4 install:-

Problem: Installation procedure went through as normal, until after I had entered all the setup information and the machine rebooted again. Now when it comes back on and asks me for the Administrator password, the screen is ultra-low resolution and... well from there on everything just looks outsized, clunky, incorrectly coloured and plain wrong, if you would care to examine the screenshots I have attached..?

It almost looks like it is in 'safe mode', but it isn't. Also, when I try to alter the resolution settings in Control Panel, the slider remains at rock bottom giving me no chance to improve/fix the graphics through this method (of course as you can see it is not just resolution that is the problem). I have examined several of the graphics settings and cannot see anything wrong, or anything i can adjust to make the picture right. I've tried another monitor with same results.

What I cannot understand is, I have not deterred from the formatting/installation procedure I previously used on my old Pentium 2, and have even used the same Corporate Edition Windows Pro disc. This Windows XP Pro SP2 immediately installed and ran without a problem on the P2.

Also, when I first examined this Pentium 4, Windows XP (Home Edition) was already up and running on it, so perhaps we can rule out an 'XP' issue? Or could it be that this Pro edition is too much for the graphics capabilities of this P4? Hardly seems likely - it's just been running a version of XP about an hour ago!

Following through the Microsoft Support troubleshooting steps, I have checked the BIOS for my P4 machine but they seem up to date. Could I need some other upgrade[s] from Dell?

I did have a problem this evening with "NTLDR MISSING" error message after I tried to install another (different disc) version of XP Pro Corporate, which failed during install - after researching this, I believe I fixed this problem. The graphics issue occured before and after the NTLDR matter appeared.

Finally, this may or may not be significant: when installing the XP Pro on the Pentium 4, I notice that it has not asked me for different 'users' details this time... and I know it did when I installed the very same disc on the P2 a few months ago. Instead, it just asks me to type in my 'Admin' password when I try to boot it up each time. Any of this related to the graphics issue?

Hope I've been clear enough, this has kept me up till 3:30AM and I need to leave it for this evening... hopefully somebody can offer some advice?


EDIT: I have run DIRECTX DIAGNOSTIC TOOL, and in 'Display', there are no details available in 'Device'! Name, manufacturer, chip type etc all read 'n/a', only 'resolution' shows information of 640 x 480! Why isn't it reading a valid graphics card? Could I possibly have deleted something important with KILLDISK!?

System Details:-

Pentium 4 2.50Ghz
1.00 Gb RAM
Windows XP Pro 5.1 Build 2600
Graphics: information unavailable!

Attached Files

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#2 Andrew


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Posted 25 October 2007 - 10:58 PM

Hi there TEKKKEN, welcome to BC! :thumbsup:

Your graphics issue sounds like one run into by many users of Dell computers who do a fresh install. The most likely fix would be to go to Dell's support web site, enter your computer's model info and download the latest graphics driver for Windows XP. Most Dell drivers come in self-executing form so all you need to do is run the file you downloaded to install the latest driver. After which, you may need to reboot.

As for the other issue with only the Administrator's account usable, try going to the User Account Control Panel by Clicking on Start then Run... and typing nusrmgr.cpl then clicking OK.

From there you can view existing user accounts, add news ones, etc.

Edited by Amazing Andrew, 25 October 2007 - 11:30 PM.

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