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Cannot adjust screen resolution after updating to SP2

by bogbrush88 / April 11, 2008 7:33 PM PDT

I updated Windows XP to Service Pack 2 yesterday. After installing and re-booting, the screen resolution and the colours of my monitor have changed (big icons and only four colours), which makes it look like it was in Safe Mode (which it isn't).
I have tried to change the screen resolution and the colours under Display properties - Settings, but it only gives me the option of a screen resolution of "640x480 pixels" (the slider won't move) and colour quality of "Lowest 4 bit".
I presumed it was a driver issue so I have tried to uninstall the graphics controller in the device manager and re-install it with the latest driver, but it doesn't help. (I might be doing something wrong here, but don't know what that would be...)

I have tried to decrease the hardware accelerator, according to the Windows troubleshooting guide, but this doesn't seem to make any difference either...

I have had no problems whatsoever with this monitor up until yesterday, and just to be sure, I have also tried connecting another monitor to no avail.

I still suspect that it has something to do with the drivers not loading properly after the SP2 update, but doesn't seem to be able to work out what, so any help would be much appreciated!

Some info:

Computer: Dell GX110 664MHz 256MB RAM

Monitor(s): Old Dell 17" (non-flat screen) and Mermaid Ventura 15" flat screen

OS: Windows XP SP2

Graphics controller: Intel 82810E

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If updating the graphic driver did not work
by lacsr / April 11, 2008 10:10 PM PDT
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Solved it!
by bogbrush88 / April 12, 2008 7:28 PM PDT

Hi lacsr,

It wouldn't allow me to use system restore (couldn't find a date to roll back to....), so I uninstalled SP2, and it worked!!
I'll have to live without that upgrade, I suppose, after all that PC is not this years model....

Thanks a lot for your advice and for the link - it cast some new light on this issue!



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I would try again.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / April 12, 2008 8:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Solved it!

Whilst I accept you've had problems this time upgrading to SP2, the upgrade really is necessary to ensure your computer has all the necessary critical and security updates that have been issued since SP1. So I would try again.

SP2 was a major upgrade. It made significant changes to the XP Operating System and so is prone to install problems on systems that are not working smoothly and without issues, and/or have any sort of malware, (virus, spyware, trojans), infestation. So the thing you need to do is to prepare your computer for the upgrade first, and make sure it is malware free, all hardware and software drivers are updated and working well, and the OS is stable, and running without any hiccups.

This is what I would do;

1] Update all of your Anti-Spyware,Anti- Adware, Anti-Trojan, and Anti-Virus software, and do complete computer scans to ensure you are completely free of infection. For good measure you could also do a free online anti-virus scan at , and a free online anti-spyware scan at .

2] Make sure you have all of the Windows critical and other windows updates installed, other than the SP2 update. (In your case this may be difficult, because SP2 is now some years old and identifying updates prior to it will be a problem).

3] Clear out all your rubbish files, like temporary folder files, temporary internet files, history files, Recycle Bin. You can use the Windows utility "Disk Cleanup" for this, found in Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools. Or you can use a dedicated cleaner like CCleaner, found at . Be sure to deselect the option to install any toolbars during installation.

4] Check what BHO's are installed in Internet Explorer. Google will explain what BHO's are, (Browser Help Objects), and how to remove them).

5] Back-up all your important files. Difficult this if you do not have anywhere to back them up to, like a 2nd hard drive, or 2nd computer, or recordable CD's, but better for safety reasons if you do. Back-up, (make a copy), of any documents you want to save, email address book, favorites folder from Internet Explorer, (or bookmark folder in Firefox), email settings, internet connection settings, (for people on dial-up).

6] Check Microsoft's web page, for any incompatible programs, and also check your PC manufacturer's web page for any advice they have about upgrading to SP2.

7] Run Scan disk, (or now known as Check Disk, or Error Checking), reboot the computer on completion then run Disk Defragmenter, reboot again.

Cool Set a Restore Point. The SP2 installation does anyway, but it is good to be safe.

9] Re-visit Windows Update, and download and install the SP2 update. Or if you have the CD, follow the instructions and install it from there.

10] And finally, no P2P software like Limewire, bitTorrent, etc.

By the way, and no offense meant, SP2 will find out any 'non-genuine' XP installations.

I hope all that helps.


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thank you
by bogbrush88 / April 14, 2008 3:32 AM PDT
In reply to: I would try again.

Hi Mark,

Thank you for your extensive reply and for taking your time to help out - much appreciated.
I will look into your step-by-step guide and save it for future use!

#3 seems vital - clear out rubbish files.
I have backed up all valuable and useful files to an external harddrive and will now proceed getting rid of all unnecessary programs and files that may cause conflicts, and will take it from there.
Fingers crossed...


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That's the one
by bogbrush88 / April 12, 2008 7:24 PM PDT

Hi Bob,

That's the one! I haven't managed to find anything more up-to-date, so I guess that one should be good enough.


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