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Font problems

I am having some strange problems, when i go to start up a game (any game that runs on windows) everything starts out fine except when i get to a menu there is either no font, or it is fuzzy and faded. i can still click on stuff but i have to guess where it is, for example i started up halo 1 the other day (its been installed on my computer for the past 4 years) and the menu buttons where there, but no text. same when i ran a cracked version of halo2 for xp: no words anywhere. I have checked my system folders to make sure i have fonts, and yes they are there, i've tried adjusting the screen brightness and contrast (dunno why i did that).

I am running kind of a mongrel pc, specs :
- Pentium D dual 2.8 GHz
- 512 MB of ram (i know its needs more)
- Radion 9800 All in wonder pro graphics card
- Microsoft Windows Xp home edition

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