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Weird monitor problem - solved (sort of)

SantiClaws

Senior member
Sep 2, 2000
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I run a TV display and a regular monitor hooked up to my PC. Both are 1080p displays. They are not both on at the same time, I have an HDMI switch. Everything had been working fine for months. Recently, a new problem appeared - when I switch to the TV monitor it starts freaking out - there is no picture, it just start flipping between resolutions (and not the correct ones at that). Occasionally, however, it will work fine.

I checked and it is not the switch - a direct connection from the PC has the same result. This only starts to happen after the system boots into Windows, if I boot with the TV monitor, everything looks fine until the windows welcome screen disappears and the desktop is supposed to come up. This is a windows 10 x64 pc with an nvidia 970 display adapter. I tried uninstalling the adapter and installing an older version of the drivers, since older drivers worked find, selecting a clean installation, but that hasn't helped.

Uninstalling the adapter entirely and deleting the display driver works to an extent - I can see the screen, but it won't let me adjust the display settings. Reinstalling the adapter makes the problem reapper. So a driver issue, but how do I solve it?
 
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deustroop

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Dec 12, 2010
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To clarify, you start by distinguishing a TV screen from a PC monitor, then use the phrase TV monitor throughout. So assuming you mean that the problem arises from the use of the TV, are you saying the monitor properly shows a booted display ?
Secondly. you say:
Uninstalling the adapter entirely and deleting the display driver works to an extent - I can see the screen, but it won't let me adjust the display settings.

Is there on board video ? What is the screen you mention ? The desktop ? Are you saying the TV shows the desktop but you cannot adjust any settings ?
 
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SantiClaws

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Sep 2, 2000
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Sorry for the confusion. Yes, the PC monitor works without any issues with any driver. The TV is what has issues.

There is no on board video. Everything works OK if I revert to the basic Microsoft display adapter, but obviously that would have a big impact on gaming, which is precisely what I use the TV for. As soon as I use the Nvidia driver, even the one built into WIndows, problems.

When I mentioned not being able to adjust settings, I was specifically talking about display settings - the menu was just frozen. Other settings I could adjust just fine - and that was when the TV was working with the Nvidia driver. With the basic MS driver, it works just fine.
 

SantiClaws

Senior member
Sep 2, 2000
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Looks like the Nvidia drivers are being reinstalled even after I delete them - probably from the driver repository? I can't delete all traces of Nvidia because I can't delete the Nvidia files from the driver repository. Every time I try, it asks me to get permission from SYSTEM, I tried changing owners on the folder but it won't let me. I changed owners on a particular file, which it allowed me to do and it is now owned by my admin account, but when I go to delete it, the system tells me that I need permission from the admin account I'm currently logged into!! What?
 

SantiClaws

Senior member
Sep 2, 2000
437
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See if uninstalling the card from device manager works better.
It was one of the first things I tried, and it works great, as long as Windows thinks it's just a generic video card with a generic driver. As soon as it recognizes the 970, it reinstalls Nvidia drivers and the problem reappears.
 

Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
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Is 'automatically download manufacturers' apps...' set to yes? That can also make Windows download drivers you don't want.
 
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SantiClaws

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Sep 2, 2000
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Is 'automatically download manufacturers' apps...' set to yes? That can also make Windows download drivers you don't want.
'
I don't think it was downloading them, I believe the Nvidia driver is included with Windows because it doesn't even install the driver, it's pre-installed. But I turned off that setting, it may control installation and not just downloading. I'll try again tonight. Thanks.
 

SantiClaws

Senior member
Sep 2, 2000
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If that didn't work you may want to try this 3rd party uninstaller:
http://www.guru3d.com/files-details/display-driver-uninstaller-download.html
There are comments up to current of the program working very well in certain situations.
Well, tried it, the NVIDIA drivers still get auto installed. I delete everything I can find, but as soon as I reboot out of safe mode, Nvidia drivers get reinstalled, and this happens pretty much instantly. Where the hell are they?

I really can't even figure out what the problem is - why is one 1080p display fine and the other not?? Shouldn't make any difference. Ugh.
 
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deustroop

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Dec 12, 2010
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I'm not sure that DDU cleans the registry. I cannot think that, if you boot in safe mode, then
1 Uninstall drivers manually
2. Run registry editor to remove all things NVidia then
3. Install new drivers,
that Nvidia can still install drivers.
 
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SantiClaws

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Sep 2, 2000
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Have you tried reinstalling from device manager?
Yep.

I'm not sure that DDU cleans the registry. I cannot think that, if you boot in safe mode, then
1 Uninstall drivers manually
2. Run registry editor to remove all things NVidia then
3. Install new drivers,
that Nvidia can still install drivers.
Tried this. (DDU actually says it cleans up the registry). Ran DDU, ran CCleaner, everything appeared to be OK, installed new drivers (clean install, graphics driver only), TV screen working OK. As soon as I boot out of safe mode and into normal mode, same problem. Booting back into safe mode, the problem is still present.
 

deustroop

Golden Member
Dec 12, 2010
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This is more like a virus search. Have you looked at the apps in task manager/start up ?
 

Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
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I think we have spent enough time looking at drivers tbh. I was just re-reading your opening post, and it sounds like a problem with the display.

One thing I try when I want to full rule out a software issue is to grab a spare drive and install a fresh os. If it still fails with fresh software, I know t's a hardware problem.
 
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Pick2

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Feb 14, 2017
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Does the TV have On Screen Display with a menu ? Try resetting the TV to factory defaults.
 
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DaQuteness

Senior member
Mar 6, 2008
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Does your PC sport an integrated GPU to switch to temporarily? Would make the following steps easier by switching to it...

The driver repositories are usually located in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\

You should be able to find something nVidia in there and move it out so it doesn't reinstall. So, start the PC, let it install whatever it wants, move a folder starting with nv_disp out to desktop level and nothing else, don't delete it or rename, just move.

Proceed with uninstalling, check that folder hasn't magically reappeared, pull the internet cord so it doesn't grab them again off the web, reboot and you should be able to reinstall nVidia drivers properly - in all fairness, rather than messing with drivers you'd be better off using the Refresh PC option in Windows, might just work :p

NOTE: Proceed with meddling with windows system files at your own risk. If it worked for me once doesn't mean yours will act the same but it's worth a shot.
 
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SantiClaws

Senior member
Sep 2, 2000
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I think we have spent enough time looking at drivers tbh. I was just re-reading your opening post, and it sounds like a problem with the display.

One thing I try when I want to full rule out a software issue is to grab a spare drive and install a fresh os. If it still fails with fresh software, I know t's a hardware problem.
Doesn't seem like hardware. Plugging the HDMI cable into a different TV results in a "No signal" message and BluRay works just fine on the TV I was using.

Does the TV have On Screen Display with a menu ? Try resetting the TV to factory defaults.
I'll try it, but I doubt it would work - the TV is pretty basic, so only adjustable paramters are things like brightness, tint, etc. which should not affect resolution.

Does your PC sport an integrated GPU to switch to temporarily? Would make the following steps easier by switching to it...

The driver repositories are usually located in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\

You should be able to find something nVidia in there and move it out so it doesn't reinstall. So, start the PC, let it install whatever it wants, move a folder starting with nv_disp out to desktop level and nothing else, don't delete it or rename, just move.

Proceed with uninstalling, check that folder hasn't magically reappeared, pull the internet cord so it doesn't grab them again off the web, reboot and you should be able to reinstall nVidia drivers properly - in all fairness, rather than messing with drivers you'd be better off using the Refresh PC option in Windows, might just work :p

NOTE: Proceed with meddling with windows system files at your own risk. If it worked for me once doesn't mean yours will act the same but it's worth a shot.
I was trying to do this earlier, as you will see above, but ran into a whole other problem with not being able to do anything with the FileRepository files because it as telling me I can't do anything because I need permission from the account which is currently logged in! When I try to take ownership of the folder, I get an error message for reasons unknown... Sigh.

I might just do a windows refresh. Helped the last time, when I was having a weird keyboard problem.
 

DaQuteness

Senior member
Mar 6, 2008
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I was trying to do this earlier, as you will see above, but ran into a whole other problem with not being able to do anything with the FileRepository files because it as telling me I can't do anything because I need permission from the account which is currently logged in! When I try to take ownership of the folder, I get an error message for reasons unknown... Sigh.

I might just do a windows refresh. Helped the last time, when I was having a weird keyboard problem.
Re-imaging is the last thing to try, I did suggest but thinking back I did kind of made a mistake suggesting that off the bat, my apologies.

You don't have Admin on your own computer? Give this a go:

open a command prompt: Start -> Run -> type in cmd and then type in gpresult /r (this should show you which groups you're part of, among those should be BUILTIN/Administrators)
if you're not in that group, do this to gain Admin rights on your computer: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/enable-disable-windows-administrator-account/ helped me save a few pc's in the past;
after that you should be able to do whatever you want but don't leave it enabled when you're done, it's a security risk;
you can also use a forced deletion software, I recommend using FileASSASSIN from Malwarebytes.

Let me know how it goes, let's not jump the gun yet with a refresh - learn to deal with these problems so you don't need to re-image again! :)
 
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SantiClaws

Senior member
Sep 2, 2000
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Re-imaging is the last thing to try, I did suggest but thinking back I did kind of made a mistake suggesting that off the bat, my apologies.

You don't have Admin on your own computer? Give this a go:

open a command prompt: Start -> Run -> type in cmd and then type in gpresult /r (this should show you which groups you're part of, among those should be BUILTIN/Administrators)
if you're not in that group, do this to gain Admin rights on your computer: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/enable-disable-windows-administrator-account/ helped me save a few pc's in the past;
after that you should be able to do whatever you want but don't leave it enabled when you're done, it's a security risk;
you can also use a forced deletion software, I recommend using FileASSASSIN from Malwarebytes.

Let me know how it goes, let's not jump the gun yet with a refresh - learn to deal with these problems so you don't need to re-image again! :)
I DO have Admin privileges on my computer, that's what so bizarre. It's telling me I need permission for the deletion from the logged in admin account.

I'll give the forced deletion software a shot, thanks. By the way, why do you not recommend reimaging unless it is the last resort? It's easy and relatively quick, especially considering how much time I've already spent on this.
 
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DaQuteness

Senior member
Mar 6, 2008
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By the way, why do you not recommend reimaging unless it is the last resort? It's easy and relatively quick, especially considering how much time I've already spent on this.
As a rule, any tech support offered (especially paid for) should consist of every other solution other than reimaging, which is a last resort because you are essentially telling people to give up their time to backup and restore their data, some people may not even have the storage capacity to create a backup. Besides, it's a good way of learning from problems you can't solve easily so that we can help others easier in return.

Also, having admin privileges and actually being the undisputed Administrator of the computer are different, as Administrator is the next step after SYSTEM - if you can't deal with that account, you're in for a hard time fixing stuff in Windows.

As a third note, you'd probably want to try deleting through elevated Command prompt (del /f [drive]:[folder path]\[filename].[file extension]) or Powershell (Remove-Item -Recurse -Force some_dir) because direct commands can override UAC sometimes (for instance when trying to view network/WiFi profile information which otherwise requires UAC confirmation through the Windows GUI).

Worse come to worse,unless you have UEFI secure boot just start up a linux mint live usb and delete the bloody folder, UNIX doesn't care for windows ownerships very much :)

Cheers!
V.
 
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SantiClaws

Senior member
Sep 2, 2000
437
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81
Re-imaging is the last thing to try, I did suggest but thinking back I did kind of made a mistake suggesting that off the bat, my apologies.

You don't have Admin on your own computer? Give this a go:

open a command prompt: Start -> Run -> type in cmd and then type in gpresult /r (this should show you which groups you're part of, among those should be BUILTIN/Administrators)
I am in that BUILTIN group, but it is still acting as if I'm not. FileAssasin doesn't work. I'll try using the elevated Command prompt.
 

SantiClaws

Senior member
Sep 2, 2000
437
1
81
As a rule, any tech support offered (especially paid for) should consist of every other solution other than reimaging, which is a last resort because you are essentially telling people to give up their time to backup and restore their data, some people may not even have the storage capacity to create a backup. Besides, it's a good way of learning from problems you can't solve easily so that we can help others easier in return.

Also, having admin privileges and actually being the undisputed Administrator of the computer are different, as Administrator is the next step after SYSTEM - if you can't deal with that account, you're in for a hard time fixing stuff in Windows.

As a third note, you'd probably want to try deleting through elevated Command prompt (del /f [drive]:[folder path]\[filename].[file extension]) or Powershell (Remove-Item -Recurse -Force some_dir) because direct commands can override UAC sometimes (for instance when trying to view network/WiFi profile information which otherwise requires UAC confirmation through the Windows GUI).

Worse come to worse,unless you have UEFI secure boot just start up a linux mint live usb and delete the bloody folder, UNIX doesn't care for windows ownerships very much :)

Cheers!
V.
Well... I managed to take ownership of the folders and delete them, did a clean install of the drivers; no joy. I also did a refresh of Windows 10. Still the same. This is just so weird.
 

DaQuteness

Senior member
Mar 6, 2008
200
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86
Wow, OK... I admire your perseverance in trying to solve this, how did you manage to regain ownership?

Well, I honestly don't understand what's causing this. At this point, even after a fresh windows 10, this makes no sense and I'd be tempted to try out your screen and splitter on another computer and/or another card in yours, this is beyond me right now, and formatting with a clean win10 install seems a bit redundant however it's essentially the only thing left for you to try.

I don't think the graphics card bios is the problem, can't be the mobo, can't be PSU, can't be CPU or RAM, really I'm stoked.

Bizzare... please keep us posted if you do manage to fix this or make a few other tests, sorry I can't give any further advice other than testing your TV with another pc or another card in yours.

Cheers!
V.
 

SantiClaws

Senior member
Sep 2, 2000
437
1
81
Wow, OK... I admire your perseverance in trying to solve this, how did you manage to regain ownership?
I went through the same thing as before, got the same error message that a change could not be made, but after I received the error message I tried deleting those folders again - and it worked! So I have no idea why I received the error message or why it worked afterwards. It's another Windows mystery.

I'm trying to think of what else I could test or try; coming up empty at the moment. If I could come up with some logical explanation as to why connecting the graphics card to a TV which should work like any other monitor doesn't work (and worked perfectly until recently), I could maybe come up with a solution. But I'm stumped at the moment. The only common thing is that both my TV's are TCL brand. If I can't think of anything else, I may pack up my computer and drag it off to someone else's house to see if it works with another brand of TV. But even assuming it does - what then??
 

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