More video card driver problems.

As I said before, I found the Omega Drivers very stable. But this morning, I did a Windows Update and found that it crapped out. A simple reinstall fixed it.

After some googling (and much cursing Micro$oft), it seems that Windows Update replaced my working driver with a broken (or incompatible) one. I have an ATI card with XP, while the post below has an NVIDIA card with Vista. Seems likely, though….

Windows update overwrites working nvidia sata driver with broken one.

EDIT: I made a mistake here — it was actually a SATA controller thingy, not a video card.

So I’d recommend keeping the installer package for a working driver nearby when you update. And it’s a very bad idea to let Windows automatically install for you — for example, if you have your school essay open and unsaved, go to the bathroom and come back, you may find it gone.

Omega Drivers — Third-party ATI & NVIDIA Drivers

Most of you should know about my constant video card driver problems. Recently, after spending nearly 6 hours trying to reinstall the ATI Catalyst drivers for my crummy integrated card (ATI Radeon Xpress 200 series), somebody suggested that I use the Omega Drivers, which are third-party drivers optimized for gamers.  They are said to provide better stability and performance than the regular drivers.

Well, guess what? After two hard boots and a few Windows updates (my usual trouble spots) I haven’t had any problem!


We all know what the Blue Screen of Death is, but have you heard about the Black Screen of Death?

In early versions of Windows, sometimes a DOS-based program didn’t execute properly, leaving a blank screen with a blinking cursor in the upper left corner. This would require a hard boot. In newer versions of Windows, the Black Screen of Death can happen when there’s video card driver issues (which I’m very familiar with!) or missing system files.

It can also happen in OS/2, an old operating system which nobody really uses anymore, and game consoles.

Interesting coincidence (or not?) — except for the Nintendo Wii and DS, the black screen of death exclusively happens on Microsoft products.

Do you have an ATI Graphics Card? Try ATI Tray Tools

I have an ATI Radeon Xpress 200 (integrated, but hoping to upgrade it), and I’ve found ATI Tray Tools very useful. When I upgraded my drivers, it messed up the brightness/contrast/gamma sliders so it was all in one “brightness” slider, which I wasn’t too happy about. Then I found ATI Tray Tools which lets me adjust them seperately!

Also, on games, it provided a number in the corner — recently figured out it was the framerate. I personally stay away from the overclocking settings, but there’s plenty of things in there I haven’t touched yet.

Learned from Experience — Display Adaptor and Drivers Part 2

Some while ago, I posted an article dicussing display adaptor problems. Well, the other day, it happened again, and I learned some new things.

After a routine Windows Update (which I now learned are often unneccesary), the screen went blank! So I immediently went into safe mode and uninstalled the driver. Reboot. Ta-da….oh crap, funky screen design.

So next thing I do, is go back into safe mode. So what would happen if I disabled it? It rebooted properly, but the default VGA display adapter SUCKS ASS!!!

Somebody told me to get a new driver. So I looked it up, downloaded and installed … YAY!! IT WORKS!!

Videos play too dark? How to fix it.

Because of my corrupted display adaptor, I had to reinstall it — defaulting all the settings. All was fine — but I recently discovered videos were too dark!

Well, I knew that videos used overlays to play (which is part of the reason why it’s hard to get a screencap of one — it usually goes black.)

So, just adjust the overlay settings.

How I found the overlay settings (Note: May vary from computer to computer)

1. Either right click on the desktop and click “Properties”, or go to the Control Panel and pick “Display Properties.”

2. Go to the “Settings” tab.

3. Click “Advanced.”

I found my overlay settings easily there — but you may have to do some digging. Also, mine required you play the video before you could adjust it (huh??)

Usually, changing the brightness or contrast is good enough.

Good luck! (And if you have problems — don’t hesitate to email me — I’ll try my best to help).

Learned From Experience — Video Card Drivers (or as Windows calls it, “Display Adapter”)

Okay, this has happened several times. Sometimes, I install a driver, but when I reboot my computer, the monitor goes blank after the Windows XP splash screen. The solution is easy — go into safe mode (which disables the drivers), and uninstall it.

But what if it happens randomly? Most likely, it’s the display adapter (or the video card driver). My driver¬† has a bad habit of getting corrupted when I reboot the computer improperly (power cut). So, you have to go into Safe Mode, uninstall the adapter (some people say to switch to a generic VGA driver, but mine does not have an option for that), restart, and fix the distorted screen. (That happens because the screen resolution goes all funky. Also, sometimes it resets the colors to 16 colors. Ugh!)

I hope this helps somebody else out.