New ATI Radeon drivers cause windows screens (XP, 2K and ME) to go blank after boot on Compaq EVO N6

Discussion in 'Compaq' started by Charles Waters, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. Okay, this is weird. I don't know if my kids did something or what.
    Suddenly, whenever windows goes into graphics mode, the screen goes
    completely blank. Let me describe the scenarios......

    I couldn't figure out why the display would go completely blank, so I
    reloaded the OS (Windows XP). The graphical portion of the load works fine
    as does the generic VGA mode. After the boot, I can see the 640X480X16 color
    screen. After I download and load the latest ATI Radeon drives from the
    Compaq web page, the system reboots. After the reboot, I see the text
    portion of the boot, then I see the Windows XP logo with the little bar
    below it that shows the progress of the OS load, then blank. It's completely
    blank, like all power is being removed from the display, no back light, no
    nothing. The PC is still operating. I can hear sounds, just no display.

    So, I tried loading Windows 2000 Pro, same problem.

    Then I loaded Windows ME, same problem.

    I loaded a few versions of Linux and they all work! So I know that the
    display is functional.

    I tried toggeling the Function F4 sequence which changes display output to
    the video-out connectors, but this had no effect.

    Any ideas?

    Charles Waters, Apr 20, 2004
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  2. Charles Waters

    JAD Guest

    Definitely a driver install problem. As the PC boots it is using the
    basic I/O from the bios, after the logo and a few seconds the drivers
    for windows loads. Try booting to 'safe mode' and check the device
    manager for problems.
    JAD, Apr 20, 2004
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  3. Hi Charles,

    am I understanding correctly that you installed these new drivers in
    WinXP, Win2000 and WinME (which requires a different driver package),
    but the effect was the same in all three OS?

    If that is so I'd say it's something in your video card's or mobo's BIOS
    not being compatible with the new drivers. Maybe try disabling
    Fastwrites and Sideband Adressing, change the size of your AGP window to
    a different value from what it is set to now, and set the AGP speed to
    AGPx4 or x2 to see if that helps.

    If it were my machine, I'd probably also try a mobo or video card BIOS

    Joachim Trensz, Apr 20, 2004
  4. Charles Waters

    Tom Scales Guest

    I have the same exact problem on my Thinkpad X31. I just went back to the
    earlier drivers and it works fine.

    Tom Scales, Apr 20, 2004
  5. ATI cards that are nonXT should always have fastwrite disabled. My
    other possible help (again) is to try Omega drivers instead of the ATI

    Julian Richards
    computer "at"

    XP Home
    L7S7A2 motherboard
    Powercolor 9800 SE 8 pipelines with Omega drivers
    1 GB RAM
    10 GB + 80 GB HDs
    CD+DVD/CDRW drives
    Julian Richards, Apr 20, 2004
  6. Thanks for the advice guys. Unfortunetly, the Compaq BIOS gives very few
    options. In fact, the only options that effect video are making the onboard
    video the primary or secondary controller.

    I've burned the latest BIOS with no luck and I've reset the BIOS repeatedly.
    For some reason, I think that after Windows boots, there must be some
    hardware register on the machine that is turning off LCD output and enabling
    the external video output. I'm trying to find a way to change that setting
    in hardware, if I can find it!

    I'll keep trying and post the resolution when I figure it out.

    By the way, ATI doesn't make drivers for it's Mobility series of video
    chipsets available on its web page. You are forced to download the drivers
    from the vendor that made the laptop.
    Charles Waters, Apr 20, 2004
  7. Charles Waters

    Bratboy Guest

    is your system using a flatscreen (LCD)? I know some ppl had/have problems
    with their monitor going into pwrsave on boot. Fortunatly so far not had the
    issue here. Anyway if it is a flat screen some say they pwr off the monitor
    bootup then pwr on the monitor with sucess
    Just Jess
    Bratboy, Apr 20, 2004
  8. Okay, what could this mean?

    The Fn-F4 key doesn't work, at all. I have discovered that the VGA out works
    great, but that's all that works. When I hit Fn-F4, the external display
    will flicker, but not change. Furthermore, under the hardware list, I show 3
    'standard displays'. The LCD doesn't appear on the list. Too weird.

    So, LCD display works for text and the initial VGA only graphics modes for
    OS installation, but goes out to the external display only, after loading
    the ATI Radeon Mobility drivers provided by Compaq.

    Charles Waters, Apr 20, 2004
  9. Problem Solved.

    Okay, I hope this can help someone in the future. There is a weird key
    sequence that works for most Compaq's (as I understand it) that worked for
    my Evo N600C.

    Remove the battery and the AC power from the laptop.
    While holding the FN key down, insert the AC power and immedietly start
    tapping the F11 key. I had to hit it about 15 times. At some point, the
    laptop will power up and apparently, some hard BIOS reset occurs. This seems
    to be a much more through reset then the "Restore Defaults" is in the BIOS

    After doing this, the laptop display started working again and a few other
    devices popped up in my device list.

    Is that weird or what?

    Thanks for everyones help.
    Charles Waters, Apr 20, 2004
  10. Thanks for the info, Charles. And grats on solving the prob!

    Joachim Trensz, Apr 20, 2004
  11. Charles Waters

    johns Guest

    Sure is weird. Why are you screwing around so much? You
    are loading ATI drivers on a LAPTOP ?? For what? Laptops
    don't use standard video card drivers. For pete's sake reimage
    the thing and be done with it. I get called on site, and I find
    stuff like this all the time. Holy Cat! I just give up when I see
    this. I know that fixing it is not going to stop the kludging, and
    I'm going to get called back a dozen times until I blow my top
    and tell the user to stop it ! For heavens sake call a tech, and
    quit fooling around.

    johns, Apr 21, 2004
  12. Charles Waters

    Asestar Guest

    By the way, ATI doesn't make drivers for it's Mobility series of video
    Ati does make the mobility chips, but many system makers, lke Sony, Toshiba
    and IBM are known to modify it in some ways, so that standard ati drivers
    doesn't work.

    However, in most cases, you can get ATI catalyst to work on your mobility
    card. Just download a little tool called "mobility modder" from and it will do the rest.

    You can also try Omega Drivers, they work with most mobility chips available
    on market.
    Asestar, Apr 21, 2004
  13. Charles Waters

    Asestar Guest

    Why are you screwing around so much?
    Eh, because Ati has current drivers that solve many issues, and increase
    So what? I've used Catalyst drivers (Manual selecting, Radeon 9000 series)
    on my MobilityRadeon9000 that came with Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo-D8820 for over
    a year now. Using cat 3.5 - 4.4, no problems ever!

    And my new Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo D 1840, with 128mb Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro
    (375/320) uses catalyst 4.2 drivers , without any problems so far.
    Asestar, Apr 21, 2004
  14. Charles Waters

    David Kehler Guest

    I have had a similar problem with a 4.4 Omega drivers and my Radeon
    9600 Pro. The 4.4 drivers seem to cause my monitor to lose the video
    signal and go into sleep mode randomly. This happens both in 2-D and
    3-D modes. Switching back to the 4.3 Omega drivers fixes the problem.

    I tried enabling and disabling fast writes, but it didn't seem to have
    any effect.

    David Kehler, Apr 21, 2004
  15. With all due respect Johns, I like to screw around with my laptop. I'm no
    novice. This was a really odd problem and your solution did not work for me.
    I am a tech. In fact, I teach techs. Thank you for your advice though.
    Charles Waters, Apr 22, 2004
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