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Sudden problems with video controller (vga compatable)

Hi, I've recently had a problem with my computer where every time it restarts, the toolbar will pop up with a bubble saying "new hardware found". I have a:
Microsoft XP
home edition
version 2002
service pack 2
dell dimension dim 4500
Pentium 4 cpu 2.00 GHz
1.99 GHz, 1.00 GB of ram

The "new" hardware is the video controller, whatever that is, and it will not install/ reinstall. This problem seems to also disable the stand-by feature during shutdown, which makes no sense to me. I'm not sure if the video card fried (happened before on this computer) or if I did something bad to the computer. The only recent change I've made to the computer was 4 days ago when I installed a game. Everything worked fine on the computer from then till 5 hours ago. Any help is welcome!

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