Display Driver Problems

by T.M. Wit

Display driver problems are potentially the most frustrating errors you can encounter as a PC user. When your display drivers fail, you will often encounter a blank screen or skewed colors, and loading new drivers requires multiple reboots and installations to finally correct. Display driver problems range from file, registry and data corruption to installation errors. It's not hard to identify many display driver problems and correct these errors.

Installation Problems

One of the most common problems when installing new display drivers is forgetting to uninstall and delete the old ones. When you fail to uninstall the previous drivers some overlap may occur, resulting in errors. The safest way to install new drivers is to first download them, then delete the old drivers. Once you have done this, boot into safe mode and install your new drivers, then reboot into normal mode.

Version Problems

Make sure you are installing the correct driver for your particular display adapter. Since many of the available graphics cards have very similar names, it is easy to accidentally download and install an incorrect driver made by the same company. It is important to verify that the drivers you are downloading and installing are the correct ones, so make sure to pay close attention when selecting drivers.

Anti-Virus Corruption

Some anti-virus programs can corrupt the installation of both video and sound drivers. Anti-Virus programs protect your computer against viruses and malware by monitoring what programs are running and being installed. This can potentially cause corruption problems during your driver installation. So to safeguard against this corruption make sure to disable your anti-virus program before installing your new drivers.

Registry Corruption

If your computer's video driver will not load, and your system keeps defaulting to VGA mode, your registry files could be corrupted. If a registry corruption has occurred, then a program has changed some of your video driver files. One of the ways to fix this problem is to manually edit the registry. A safer remedy to this problem is to run a system restore, which will reset your computer to a previous date before the problem occurred.


Whenever you are changing anything display related on your computer, it is important to back up the previous working version. This is especially important if you are attempting to edit your registry. If you mistype one line while registry editing, your entire system could have massive loading errors, and these errors are difficult to find. Similarly, when updating drivers, make sure you back up the previous driver in case the new one does not load correctly.

About the Author

T.M. Wit was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio. He has advanced studies in mathematics, probability, business and economics. When he's not freelance writing he enjoys golfing, bowling and poker. He has worked in information systems in Asia and the United States.