The Reinstall
Date: 27/7/2008
So every 2-3 years I have to reinstall windows. It's part of life. This week it's my turn to face the dreaded reinstall to get XP running on a new faster HD with way more space. Anyway the install went something like this:
  • Put new drive in.
  • Put XP pro cd in drive, boot machine.
  • Drive doesn't read disc. Wow great start.
  • Make copy of disk using Macbook
  • Boot copy of disk. Install.
  • Wait for 2+ hrs while it formats the drive.
  • Boot up, no network.
  • Download nForce4 drivers on Macbook, sneaker net.
  • Install them and reboot.
  • "Pci.sys" missing. Oh great... here we go.
  • Boot into repair mode, decompress pci.sys from i386 and copy into place (using Macbook for reference info)
  • Boots... *sigh*
  • Install the latest nVidia drivers.
  • Install other apps, drivers, HD's etc.
Now at this point I have a working machine with most of the apps we use day to day working well. Seems fast, hasn't crashed... looking good.

Of course it's not good is it.

TV out doesn't work. Here we go. I have painful memories of getting this working last time.
  • Open nVidia control panel.
  • Select TV format PAL/B
  • Select show video on TV monitor
  • "Apply"
  • Nothing works.
  • Repeat all those steps.
  • Still nothing, watch the settings as I do them and each time I set "PAL/B" as my composite output format it reverts to "NTSC/M". Nice.
  • Ok so I poke around on Google, and it seems the regional settings matter. So I set my regional settings correctly and reboot (just to be sure).
  • Then try nvidia control panel again. Same results.
  • After a few minutes of clicking around I pressed apply and the screen went totally desktop blue. Somehow it had decided that 640x480 was good for my main LCD... almost like it had swapped the resolution settings between TV and the LCD.
  • I managed to get the nVidia control panel up again and reset to 1280x1024, but all the task bar and icons were gone.
  • I turned off dual view mode hoping to get my desktop back with "Single Display". Guess what nVidia decided I meant by doing that?
  • It shut down the LCD completely and output to the desktop to the non-functional TV out. So I had 2 displays dead in the water.
  • Some nice descriptive words came to mind for nVidia.
  • After uninstalling the driver, I sorted through my little collection of drivers from past installs. I'm somewhat of a pack rat and sure enough in my nVidia drivers folder is a file called "84.21_forceware (really good).exe".
  • Lol that looks good, so I install it and bang... the TV out is working perfectly. No thanks to nVidia, they must hate their customers with a special sort of evil malevolence to release their current series of drivers.
Needless to say my days of buying nVidia are well and truly over.
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