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Solutions: Corrupted display drivers likely at fault

I have an older computer running Windows XP. When I reboot, my display settings go back to 8-bit color. I have to go in to the control panel and switch it. Why does it do this?

It sounds like your display drivers got corrupted. Try going to the vendor's website for your video adaptor and download/install the latest drivers. You will need to know the exact model of your video adaptor.

There are a few ways to determine this information: It will be listed under Device Manager (in Windows XP — Control Panel, Performance and Maintenance, Hardware tab and the Device Manager button). The video adaptor is also displayed at bootup, just as the PC enters POST and before Windows starts.

Or you can amaze your friends and family and have them think that you're an old-school propeller head: Click Start, Run, type CMD and click OK. This will open a DOS Command Window. Type Debug and press enter. Then type "d : c000:0040" (without the quotes) and press enter. This will display the memory area that holds your video information. Type Quit to exit debug and then Exit to close the Command window.

While using my Compaq with IE8, a window popped up saying that it was "Windows XP repair" and then it started scanning my computer for viruses. Once it told me that I had numerous viruses, it wanted me to purchase the product. It had a logo that looked like a Microsoft logo but it wasn't. I couldn't get it off the screen, and it wouldn't let me access any of my programs. It attached itself into my "hidden files" and I removed them, but it didn't work. I finally got into my Systems Restore and that got rid of it. Apparently my Norton Security didn't block it. I lost all my favorites and most of my family pictures. I tried to install Malwarebytes and halfway through it said "access denied." I tried to install Microsoft Security Essentials but kept getting error message 0x80070005.

When you see the "scanning computer for viruses," that is just an animated graphic — nothing is really happening. It's when you start clicking on buttons that you gave the potential virus permission to download and install. It can be confusing, but that is how it happens. No antivirus program is going to stop that.

When you first see the false "scanning …" pop up, stop everything and run Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del and select Task Manager), click the Applications tab and do an "End Task" on Internet Explorer. Even doing a hard power-off of your PC is okay if you can't navigate to Task Manager.

Many people have trouble finding and downloading Malwarebytes AntiMalware program. Here is a direct link: tinyurl.com/2fwj868. This will initiate a download without first navigating to a new screen, so be aware for the Internet Explorer download dialog. An important part of this download link is that it gives a random name to the setup in order to sneak past your virus. Let it install and run. Follow all recommendations when it completes.

Send questions to personaltech@sptimes.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Corrupted display drivers likely at fault 07/10/11 [Last modified: Sunday, July 10, 2011 4:30am]
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