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Reformatted Windows 98SE, lost Pixel options --Help

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#1 OverRunMama


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Posted 02 May 2005 - 02:00 AM

This is our first reformatting of the entire system, and I just got off the phone with Dell talking for hours trying to all the drivers, for some reason, under the Desktop Properties, settings, the only Colors we have available is 2 colors and 16 colors and ONLY 640 x 480 Pixels. We used to have more settings than this. What happened. I can not download my Verizon DSL Disk because the pixels are too low - Help. Am I in need of an update driver of some kind? Can I download it on my xp computer and put it on the windows 98 computer? Thanks

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#2 phawgg


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Posted 02 May 2005 - 02:23 AM

OverRunMama, calm down .... :thumbsup: it'll be better.
The display drivers are probably what ya' need.

Here's why.

The formating wipes all data.
Including the little software programs we call drivers.
Drivers "adapt" the OS (operating system) to use the individual hardware.

OK, they're gone, so the OS tries to find 'em in it's huge files of stuff (sorta generic)
that make the OS big in file count, low in what it uses on a regular basis.
It fails, but will give you it's "best shot". So you get not loss of pixels,
but really you lose "range of available screen resolutions" and
"color quality".

Those choices are extended for you, and you were used to them being available,
by way of two things, actually.

1. The driver files.
2. The video "chipset". The video hardware is either "built-in" to the mainboard (called integral or embedded or onboard) or it is the job of a video card. Cards are add-ons that plug into (at right angles) the motherboard.

So here it is.

If your onboard video is without the right drivers, Dell should be able to fix ya' up with the right files.

If (and only if) you didn't reformat. They rely on you having a "no touch part of the hard drive" policy 'cause thats where they put the OS "backup" or "restore files".

Reformat the whole drive, they're gone.

So what do ya if you wipe the whole thing to load the way a person who has a windows OS CD does it?

I'd say make it simple.
Buy a $50.00 video card, plug it in to where it can go.
(thats called the AGP slot) Advanced Graphic Port and enjoy three easy things.

1. A better bunch of controls for the monitor
2. A fresh set of files on a CD to drive it with, with nice instructions.
3. A reduction of the system use of RAM, 'cause the video card will
subtract from the "drain" on your available RAM equal to the amount of RAM it has.

If that don't work, use a video card that plugs into any available PCI slot.
Not quite as "close to the processor" and so not exactly the ideal place to put it, but they sell them, cheaper, and they'll work.

Any of this kinda thinking mentioned over the phone at Dell?

Let us know exact make/model number of your PC.
The monitor, too.

Sometimes companies just can't put the words right when it meanss something about a warrenty or you spending dollars at somebody else's store, IMHO.
patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#3 acklan


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Posted 02 May 2005 - 05:39 AM

What type of Dell do you have? I have several of he GX1s. They use the ATI rage II. You can find most drivers at Drivers Guide. You will have to sign up for a membership. If you have a CD-R on your XP box you should have no problem.
I agree with phawgg you will be better servied with a new card. If you buy a new card check to see if you need a PCI (white slot) or an AGP (brown slot closest to the processor). Some Dells can only take a PCI. When you plug the new card in it will disable the onboard chipset.
If you don't have a GX1 look on the Dell site for spec sheets on your model to see which drivers you need.
Good luck
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#4 OverRunMama

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 10:32 AM

Dell did fix me up with a Link in an email that I tranferred to download on old computer, now we are on the net, getting better, but now we have this problem of a locking up mouse --really annoying. It did not have this problem before the formatting . It is just one of those inexpensive plug & play red light mouses that don't need a mouse pad, cost about $15 - Dell brand. Is their newer drivers for these also? Husband is doing a scan disk now. Thanks

#5 Herk


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Posted 02 May 2005 - 10:52 AM

I've often had to reset my desktop after a crash. It starts out with the low resolution, usually sixteen colors. It takes a couple of restarts and settings as high as you can get them each time to finally get back to normal. I have no idea why Win 98 would always lose the video settings, but it was getting to be a repetitive problem before I finally decided to build a new machine and switch to XP.

Even after getting the desktop to look normal, some of the icons still looked fuzzy but fixed themselves after the last restart. This was not a driver problem, since I never had to reload drivers to get back to normal. It happened after a bad shutdown, and I assume that Windows just didn't save the settings.

The first thing to do is don't panic. It's probably not a hardware problem, and probably not even a driver problem. But just to be sure, the first thing you should do after an install is check your device manager to see if there are any yellow exclamation points or yellow question marks. Expand all the plus signs next to the items and if you have any warnings, one of the drivers may not be correct.

One of the nice things about XP is that it will compare your video settings and your monitor and equipment and ask you if you want it to set the screen to a better resolution. But Win 98 was a bit lagging in this respect. Be patient, change it to the highest setting allowed and restart, then attempt to change the settings again.

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