Microsoft KB Archive/254982

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How to Check the Video Driver in Windows NT


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows NT Server versions 3.51, 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation versions 3.51, 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server, Enterprise Edition version 4.0
  • Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server versions 4.0, 4.0a
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server version 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore it if a problem occurs. For information about how to do this, view the "Restoring the Registry" Help topic in Regedit.exe or the "Restoring a Registry Key" Help topic in Regedt32.exe.


If you are having problems loading the video driver on your computer running Windows NT, you may have a program that has replaced some files. Symptoms of this problem include:

  • The system continues to default to VGA mode or only boots in VGA mode from the boot menu.
  • Your video driver is not loading properly.


To verify exactly which video drivers Windows NT is expecting to load:

  1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
  2. Go to the following location in the registry:


  3. The Device\Video0 value points to a registry key that has the location of the video driver Windows NT is configured to load.

    For example the value may be:


  4. Go to the following location in the registry:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\<video driver>\Device0

    To see what the value setting, double-click on the value InstalledDisplayDrivers . This is the driver Windows NT has loaded.

If it is set to another registry location, a third-party driver may be being loaded when Windows NT starts.

For example if PcAnywhere is installed, Device0 does not have the name of a file, but instead displays another registry location that gives the video driver name.

For example:


Verify the following:

  1. Verify that the file or files in step 4 is present in the WinNT\System32 folder. This file has a .DLL extension.
  2. Verify that the file or files are also present in the \WinNT\System32\Drivers folder. This file will have the .SYS extension.

If the links and values are not correct, or if the files pointed to are not present, then resolve the problem so the system starts properly.

If the links and values are correct, and the files are present, then there may be a video driver conflict. Verify that you have the latest drivers for the video card.

Below is an example of what these registry settings would be like when using an S3 video card:


The value Device\Video0 = \REGISTRY\Machine\System\ControlSet001\Services\s3\Device0


The value InstalledDisplayDrivers = s3 vga

For more information about dealing with video issues, please see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:


Q154754 STB PowerGraph Video VLB Display Adapter Not Detected
Q155681 Troubleshooting Display Problems in Windows NT 4.0

Q174567 AGP Video Support for Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0

Additional query words: kbDSupport

Keywords : kbdisplay kbhw KBW2KHOME
Issue type : kbinfo
Technology : kbWinNTsearch kbWinNTWsearch kbWinNTW400 kbWinNTW400search kbWinNT351xsearch kbWinNT400xsearch kbWinNTW351xsearch kbWinNTW351 kbwin2000AdvServ kbwin2000AdvServSearch kbwin2000Serv kbWinNTSsearch kbWinNTSEntSearch kbWinNTSEnt400 kbWinNTS400xsearch kbWinNTS400 kbWinNTS351 kbwin2000ServSearch kbwin2000Search kbwin2000ProSearch kbwin2000Pro kbNTTermServ400 kbNTTermServSearch kbWinNTS351xsearch kbAudDeveloper kbSBServSearch kbWinAdvServSearch kbSBServ400 kbSBServ400a

Last Reviewed: October 24, 2000
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