Dark screen after upgrading from XP to Windows 7

By Peter J · 5 replies
Apr 8, 2014
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  1. I have smoothly upgraded my XP version to Windows 7 Prof on my Acer Travelmate. Only one problem popped up: my screen is very now very dark. It is hardly possible to read it. Some specifications: the notebook is equipped with a 2GHz Centrino processor and a Nvidia Geforce Go 6600 card. The device driver for the Nvidia card is from 2006; trying to update the driver via the device manager says that it is up to date?
    The screen was always very bright under Windows XP so the screen itself is OK.
    Any suggestion what could be done would be appreciated.
  2. Peter J

    Peter J TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Adding to the previous post: In the meantime I was able to update the old driver with a newer one from NVidia but with no positive result on the brightness of the screen: it is still by far not so bright as before under Windows XP.
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Right-click on the screen, and there is normally a 'Nvidia control panel' to select. Failing that, open control panel (start button, click on control panel), and try the Nvidia control application from there, or Device manager, open display adapters, double-click the Nvidia card and see if any problem is reported.
    I cannot guess what the problem might be, so basically, you need to check everything, such as double check the video cable and plugs, try a second display, check your monitor on a second PC.
    Start the PC in safe mode - any difference?
    One remote possibility is you have had MS supply it's own Nvida driver rather than the correct actual nvidia driver, and installing an Nvidia driver did not uninstall the wrong driver first. In my experience, MS drivers dont work well at all.
    I seem to remember some similar problem many months ago on my own Win 7 pro PC, where the brightness somehow got stuck on a very low level. I cannot recall how I fixed it, it may well have been uninstalling a MS driver and installing a 'proper' Nvidia driver. Or it might have been some faulty 'power saving' setting. Sorry I cannot remember.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  4. Peter J

    Peter J TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your answer.
    As you have read I already replaced the old video card driver with a (proper?)NVidia driver but without success. The device manager reports no problems.

    Speccy gives:

    Operating System
    MS Windows 7 32-bit SP1
    Intel Pentium M 760
    Dothan 90nm Technology
    1.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 265MHz (4-4-4-12)
    Acer Dunlin (uFCPGA)
    Generic Non-PnP Monitor (1400x1050@1Hz)
    64MB Standard VGA Graphics Adapter (Acer Incorporated [ALI])
    Hard Drives
    98GB Seagate ST9100822A ATA Device (PATA) 37 °C
    Optical Drives
    HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GMA-4080N ATA Device
    Realtek AC'97 Audio

    Name Generic Non-PnP Monitor on Standard VGA Graphics Adapter
    Current Resolution 1400x1050 pixels
    Work Resolution 1400x1010 pixels
    State enabled, primary, VgaCompatible
    Monitor Width 1400
    Monitor Height 1050
    Monitor BPP 16 bits per pixel
    Monitor Frequency 1 Hz
    Device \\.\DISPLAY1\Monitor0

    GeForce Go 6600
    GPU NV43M
    Device ID 10DE-0148
    Revision A3
    Subvendor Acer Incorporated [ALI] (1025)
    Current Performance Level Level 3
    Current GPU Clock 375 MHz
    Current Memory Clock 600 MHz
    Technology 110 nm
    Die Size 150 nmІ
    Transistors 143 M
    Release Date 2004
    DirectX Support 9.0c
    DirectX Shader Model 3.0
    OpenGL Support 2.0
    Bus Interface PCI Express x16
    Driver nvlddmkm.sys
    Driver version
    ForceWare version 179.67
    BIOS Version
    ROPs 4
    Shaders Vertex 8/Pixel 8
    Memory 64 MB
    Bus Width 128 Bit
    Count of performance levels : 3
    Level 1 - "Default"
    GPU Clock 100 MHz
    Memory Clock 220 MHz
    Level 2 - "2D Desktop"
    GPU Clock 200 MHz
    Memory Clock 400 MHz
    Level 3 - "3D Applications"
    GPU Clock 375 MHz
    Memory Clock 600 MHz

    Manufacturer Acer
    Model Dunlin
    Chipset Vendor Intel
    Chipset Model i915PM/GM
    Chipset Revision 03
    Southbridge Vendor Intel
    Southbridge Model 82801FBM (ICH6-M)
    Southbridge Revision 04
    Brand Acer
    Version V2.50
    Date 06/13/2006
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    The first thing is to establish if there is now a hardware fault of any description, or are we just dealing with a Windows driver problem?
    What about safe mode? Is there any difference?
    Can you try the external VGA port into a separate monitor?
    Do you have the ability to create and boot from a small Linux distribution, e.g. puppy linux. That will demonstrate the hardware response to an entirely different set of drivers.
    As a final resort, does the Acer site have drivers for your specific hardware, and for Win 7 32-bit? If so, they would be more likely to work than any others.
    Can you return to XP ? Many people still love XP (I was one until I realised I could make 7 look and work very like XP by using 'Classic shell'). The FUD being spread by MS regarding end of support for XP is not necessarily a cause to stop using XP. Some anti-virus vendors for instance, are promising continued support for at least another two-three years. If you avoid dangerous sites and don't have anything important like financial data, banking details etc on the laptop, there would not be an imperative to change.

    Good advice here http://lifehacker.com/what-should-I-do-with-my-old-windows-xp-laptop-493108508 Be sure to read all the contributions - something might chime with you.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  6. Peter J

    Peter J TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am glad to tell that I found the solution for my problem. Therefor I only had to read the manual!!! So once more it is proven: Read the F*** manual first.
    With the keys FN + -> it is easy to adjust the screen luminosity. Shame on me.

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