Computer and Software Support

Video Troubleshooter

Are you experiencing the following issues?

  • Jittery Video
  • Lines
  • Weird letters in windows or during boot up
  • Colors are wrong
  • Video goes blank when windows appears
  • Out of Sink message
  • Other issues dealing with video

Try the following steps. (some steps may not apply to your situation. If it doesn't apply then skip the step) The hyperlinks will take you to a page for further help.

  1. Before troubleshooting there is specific questions you need to answer Click here for the questions.
  2. Do you have video when you turn the system on?
  3. If no video when you turn the system on, try another monitor
  4. If you have an onboard video card and an AGP or a PCI video card installed. Make sure you have the monitor plugged into the AGP or PCI video card. That card will override the onboard video card.
  5. If you have both onboard and an AGP or PCI video card, make sure the BIOS has the video selection set correctly. If you are using a video card and the bios is set to onboard, you will not get any video (consult the manual for the proper setting)
  6. Boot to safe mode and check for bangs in Device Manager.
  7. Limit MSCONFIG and check for a virus. (Windows 98, ME, and Windows XP) (Be sure to return MSCONFIG to original state after troubleshooting unless you want to leave it that way) (Do not restart system till after you do step 7)
  8. Delete the Video card
  9. Check for updated drivers for the video card
  10. Make sure the chipset is loaded on the system
  11. Install the video driver.
  12. Make sure there is no fans, cellular phones, air conditioners, microwaves, magnets, wireless devices near the system or monitor. (They can cause video distortion)
  13. Some household lights can cause the issue, turn the lights off and see if that helps.
  14. Try the computer in a different location in the house.
  15. Boot to BIOS and see if the problem exists in there. If it doesn't then it might be a software issue.
  16. Boot to DOS. If the problem still exists then it is probably a hardware issue. (can still be software but not likely). If it doesn't exist then it is possibly a software issue.
  17. Remove all of the following
    1. PCI cards (Including power to them)
    2. Hard Drive (Including power to them)
    3. CD-ROM drives (Including power to them)
    4. Floppy Drive (Including power to them)
    5. If the problem goes away then attach one device at a time till the problem returns. ***SEE NOTE BELOW***
  18. If you have diagnostic software, run the diagnostics on the video.
  19. If you have a flat panel monitor, make sure you don't have the analog and the digital cable attached (You can't have both attached. It can damage the system)
  20. If you have the Analog cable attached, make sure the monitor is set to analog. If you have the digital, make sure you have the digital cable attached. Do not have both of them connected. Having both connected can damage the video card or monitor.
  21. If your video card is an integrated video, and the video problem is when you are playing a game or a high video intensive program, the integrated video may not be able to handle it. The integrated video is lower end video and not designed for games or video intensive programs. It will work for some games but not all.
  22. Check the resolution setting. You may have it set too low or you might have set it too high. If it is set higher than the video card or monitor can handle, you can have video issues. Some monitors don't have many options to choose from for resolution.
  23. If you have another video card you can try, try it on the system.
  24. See if there is an update for your BIOS.
  25. Check the specifications for your monitor. It may require the resolution and the hertz set to a specific setting.
  26. Look at the list of known issues and see if any apply to your issue
  27. Try the Software Troubleshooter page

NOTE: A bad hard drive, CD-ROM, Floppy, or PCI device can cause an issue with bad video. If you disconnect all of the devices and the problem doesn't exist in BIOS, you will need to add one bootable device to the system to see if the problem exists in DOS or in windows. If you have the hard drive with the CD-ROM, floppy and PCI cards not attached and the problem exists in Windows, disconnect the hard drive and connect CD-ROM. If the problem still exists then the problem is either with the motherboard, memory, video card or processor (probably video or motherboard). If the problem exists for one device but not the other, then the chances are it is the device that you have disconnected.