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Graphics Card Blues

Friday, July 20th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals
 
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Have you ever tried to play a game or use software that involves a lot of graphics or anything of the sort, only to get a pop up message telling you that you need to lower your screen resolution? Or, maybe even lower your color quality. Either way, if you have, you probably find this extremely annoying, am I right? Well, this pop up can happen for a number of reasons. Today, I will talk about the top three reasons and I’ll also give you some hints on how you can fix the problem yourself.

The first cause of this could be that your graphics card cannot handle such a high screen resolution, color quality or both. Most users who use Windows have their screen resolution set to 800×600, 1024×768 or something relatively close. If you have accidentally set it to something higher, your graphics card may not be able to handle all of that very well. The same goes for the color quality. Most people have it set to a good quality, but some just have it too high. This is one reason why you keep getting that darned old pop up! The way to fix this is very simple though. Here’s how:

Simply right click on your desktop and select Properties.

Once you have the Properties window open, select Settings. You will see a screen that looks similar to this screenshot:

That is how I have my computer set up. This is where you can change the screen resolution and color quality if you need to. I would try this method out by setting the resolution and quality to the lowest possible settings. Once you do, make sure you click Apply and then see if your program works. If it does, great! If not, stay calm. There are a couple other things you can try.

The second thing that could stop your program from running correctly is that you don’t meet the system requirements needed. I know many programs require you to have a certain amount of RAM memory and whatnot, but some programs need you to have a certain amount of video memory as well. Check the program and see if it lists the system requirements for graphics. If so, the way to check and see if you meet those requirements is rather simple:

Go to Start, Run and type “dxdiag” (without the quotes) into the box.



Once you have made it this far, hit OK. Another window will pop up and look very similar to this:

Click Display at the top and it will turn to a page that will look somewhat like this:

If your page doesn’t include too much information inside the Device area, skip to possible solution number 3. If your page does show plenty of information, look to where it says Approx. Total Memory. If this is lower than what your program requires, you are going to have to take some extra steps. You will need to go to a computer store and ask if they have video cards that meet your requirements. Usually, a good computer store will even install them for you. After this is done, you should be able to run the program. If not, please proceed to the next solution.

The third solution is one that many people will have to use if you just upgraded to a different operating systems, rebooted your computer completely or just fired up a brand new computer that hasn’t been updated with drivers.

The easiest way to update your drivers it to follow part of the process in the second solution above. Go to Start, Run and type “dxdiag” into the box. Then click Display. You will once again see the screen that should have all your information on it. If it doesn’t, you will probably need a driver update. This is a very simple procedure though, so don’t panic!

Look in the box that says Drivers. This is the place that should have your information. It might not have a lot, but it should have some. The main place to look for your information is in these highlighted areas:

If there is any information under the Main Driver option, put that and the words “driver download” into the Google search engine (or whatever search engine you like to use).

Click on a result that looks promising. Follow the steps provided and eventually, you should be able to download a driver for your graphics card. Drivers vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and they download differently from different Web sites, so just keep trying to find one. Once downloaded, you will need to let the Install Wizard run. Once the wizard has run, if you do the whole “dxdiag” part one more time, you should see a whole lot of information that wasn’t there before. If not, contact your computer manufacturer or if possible, the company that manufactured your graphics card. They will be able to give you the drivers that are most up to date. I hope this tip helps all of you who are in need of getting that one special program to run. Good luck!

~ Dylan Essing

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