by Karl Davis
A garbled display usually indicates a bad video driver or settings which are incompatible with the monitor. The best way of determining if the problem is with the video driver is to start the system in Windows "Safe Mode." Safe Mode loads Windows without any hardware-specific drivers.
Safe Mode is entered differently for Windows 95 and Windows 98.
For Windows 95, as soon as the display shows: "Starting Windows 95." press the F8 key. You will be presented with a menu. Select "Safe Mode" either by entering the number or using the arrow keys to highlight your choice. Press ENTER. The system will now start in Safe Mode. For Windows 98 systems, as the system is booting up, press and hold the control (Ctrl) key until the menu is displayed. Select Safe Mode and press enter.
As Windows starts, it will present a message box indicating that the system is operating in Safe Mode. Click "OK" to continue.
Once in Safe Mode, your display will probably not have the resolution or color you are used to. This is normal. If, however, you still cannot read the display, the video card is probably bad. See a professional to have it replaced.
If you are able to read the display, then the driver for your video card is the most likely problem. You should have received a disk or CD with the appropriate driver for your card. If not, contact your PC manufacturer. Driver problems cannot be corrected without the proper video card driver.
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