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Force Video With Text Mode

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 by | Filed Under: Shortcuts & Keyboard Tricks

Here’s a scenario. You’re studiously working on your laptop or desktop, when all of a sudden your screen goes blank. You can swear that the computer is still on, though! What do you do?

It might be a serious video error, or perhaps your display driver decided to go on a coffee break for a bit, but no matter what you press, the video just won’t come back up! Today I’m going to teach you what to do in this situation to force an answer out of your computer. You may never actually need this tip, but for the few that might, it’s a lifesaver!

So here’s what you do if your screen goes blank. There’s a little bit of magic in this technique, so have faith!

Press the Windows Key + R. This will bring up the run command. Yes, I know, you won’t be able to see it if your screen is blank, but trust me, it’s still there.

Type cmd. This brings up a command prompt.

Now, here’s the spell. Hit Alt + Enter. This toggles full screen mode; putting your display into what is known as text only mode. If your display is only experiencing a minor glitch, this should reset your video, allowing you to go back to work. Type Exit to leave the command prompt, and you’re all set!

If it doesn’t work, try a couple more times before you go calling your resident guru for help!


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