Microsoft KB Archive/58276

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8514-VGA: Switch to MS-DOS Prompt Gives White Screen


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows versions 3.0, 3.0a, 3.1, 3.11


If you are using an 8514 video adapter with a secondary VGA adapter on a 386 system (also referred to as a passthrough VGA), you may encounter problems when switching between MS-DOS virtual machines (VMs) in full screen mode.


The problem can be easily identified with the following default configuration (using Program Manager as your shell):

  1. Start Windows in 386 enhanced mode.
  2. In Program Manager, start an MS-DOS virtual machine (VM) by selecting MS-DOS Prompt in the Main Group and pressing the ENTER key.
  3. The MS-DOS VM starts full screen and presents you with the standard prompt.
  4. Press ALT+ESC. The MS-DOS VM is reduced to an icon, and Program Manager is now the active application.
  5. Press ALT+TAB (releasing the ALT key first). The icon for the MS-DOS Prompt is highlighted. When you releasing the ALT key, the MS-DOS VM appears in full screen mode.

If the screen for the MS-DOS VM is all white, then the VGA card may have a problem with the DAC (digital-to-analog converter). You may want to either remove the VGA card from your system or contact the board manufacturer to see if there is a way for you to update your VGA adapter.

NOTE: The display is correct if you run the MS-DOS VM in a Window (ALT+ENTER). To restore the display, type the following MS-DOS command at the MS-DOS command prompt, and then press ENTER:


Additional query words: 3.00 win30 3.00a 3.10 3.11

Keywords :
Issue type :
Technology : kbWin3xSearch kbWin300 kbWin300a kbWin310 kbWin311

Last Reviewed: November 3, 1999
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