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I did what you said - now my computer is worse!

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Bert | 20:21 Sat 17th May 2008 | Technology
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A few weeks ago I asked how I could get my computer (Windows 98) to start up with (relatively) small icons on the desktop. It had suddenly started misbehaving and putting large icons there (and all over other screens). Somebody (sorry, didn't note the name) said I should reload the display adapter driver. Funnily enough, before I did that, the computer started behaving itself and started switching on properly several times. But today it went wrong again. So I did what he said and I downloaded something called Standard PCI Graphics Adapter (VGA) [even though there was a warning that it didn't have a certificate]. This gives me the choice of 2 colours or 16 colours!! and the icons are big, and I still cannot get the slider to slide to give me more pixels and therefore small icons. I used to have Voodoo 3dfx, but I don't know where to start looking for it to find it (I've tried "Find - Files or folders named voodoo" (no luck), then I tried finding files or folders with voodoo in the text - it found lots, but I don't know what to do with them). Can anybody help? AS you may guess, I'm not really good with computers, and really need somebody here to tell me which key to press!

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Bertie........sounds like you've just loaded Windows basic VGA driver. Have you got your original CD for the graphics card? Run that again to get the card running properly.
You sound like you are adding to problems that already exist. If in that position I would either do a system restore to a date you knew worked OK or failing that do a full Windows 98 recovery and start afresh. You must have the 98 disks that came with the computer?
It was me that suggested reloading the graphics driver. However it does not sound like you got the driver for your adaptor but loaded the most basic generic driver. This one works with all adaptors but has no features (eg 16 colours and 640X480). It is what you get if you are running in safe mode.

You need to find the specific adaptor used on your motherboard and get its Windows 98 driver.

One of the tabs on the Display Properties will name your adaptor. Otherwise the Control Panel > System and find the Display Adaptor name there.

Then go Googling with that name and "driver" and find the driver from the manufacturer's website. This way you get the latest driver which might be better than the one that came with the computer. Take care to get the Win98 driver.

I forget if Windows 98 had a Rollback button in the driver tab. If it does you can revert to the driver you were using before which is bound to be better than the safe mode driver.

sp1214's suggestion of reloading Windows is an extreme measure. If you do this you will also lose any Windows updates you have since applied. Win98 isn't terribly good when fully patched. Going back to the beginning would be tragic indeed.

If you can possibly afford it then I would really recommend you buy a new computer with XP. You don't have much time because XP is to be discontinued next month so you will be stuck with Vista on any new computer you buy.
"I did what you said - now my computer is worse!"

I dislike when folks come on here ask for help and then blame you when things don't work out to their satisfaction. Don't they know they are taking advice at their own risk ....
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Figure, I'm not blaming beso. My question title was just meant to be attention-grabbing. A friend of my daughter, who seems to know a bit about computers, seems to have successfully deleted the VGA driver, and managed to restore the Voodoo driver, so, fingers crossed, it's OK for the time being. I am hoping to get a new computer for my birthday (soon). My son (who lives in London, so he couldn't help me sort out my problem, but also knows a bit about computers) is going to get one. I hear what you say about XP and Vista, but surely it can't be a good idea to get a system that is about to be discontinued

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