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Distorted Monitor Problem
Denny writes in about a hardware question:
Question: The monitor on my HP Pavilion (6553, which I bought around 1999 or 2000 went out so I connected an older monitor made by Packard Bell to it. However, when I turned it on the image was all distorted. I tried restarting the computer in safe mode and adjusting the properties. I tried changing the pixel setting, but the only one that doesn't distort is 640x480 and 16 colors. But the icons don't fit on the screen and it won't let me use my kids' CD-ROMS because they need to have 256 colors. I used to have the computer set at 800x600. Is there a way to make this monitor work with this computer?
Answer: It sounds like you are using an older computer with an older version of Windows. If this is the case you may need a driver for your monitor. Newer versions of Windows such as 2000 and XP usually detect the monitor or use a standard display which works for most monitors.
If you don't have a driver for the monitor you can see if you can find one online but its doubtful for that old of a monitor. You can also go to the display properties and then to the monitor settings and choose Standard SVGA or Plug and Play and see if that helps.
You can also play with the refresh rate settings but this can be dangerous because you may set it to where you won't be able to see anything. If this happens try rebooting in safe mode again to change it back.
You should also check to make sure it is not your video card going out. See if you can you get newer monitor to attach to the computer to see if it works and rule that out.
Also try updating your video drivers by finding out what video card you have and going to the vendor's website and looking for updates. You can find the model of video card in the display settings as well.
Then of course it may be that the monitor is so old that it doesn't support higher resolutions or may be going bad itself.