YIKES! At low res screen goes black!

I don't know what "sub-category" means...none of those suggestions mean anything to me.

OK, we don't know what we're doing... We wanted to change the wallpaper image, to make it smaller, so we tried "low resolution". But instead, the whole screen went black. What happened and how can I fix it if I can't see anything? Fortunately we have a laptop and wireless or I'd be SOL right now. Can someone help us? Our son has a lot of homework to do for Monday (11-2-09). Thank you. -MGM
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  1. Most likely you took the resolution that is too low for the monitor.

    First thing is first, does your monitor have an Auto config button? Usually it fixes those kinds of issues. If this doesnt work, go to the next.

    Second: If you have another monitor, plug it in and turn the PC on again, hopefully your GPU will automatically tell it's a new monitor and adjust the resolution. If it works, plug in the previous monitor and it should be fine now. If this doesnt work go to the third.

    Third: if your PC uses a discrete video card you can just remove it then turn on your PC with it's integrated GPU then shut it down and start it again.

    If all of this fails please post here with this information:
    1. Monitor model/brand/size.
    2. How do you connect the monitor: VGA/DVI/HDMI
    3. PC model/video connections available: VGA, DVI, HDMI etc.

    Let me know how it does.
  2. Thank you for responding! I tried the "auto" button on the monitor, but nothing happened...still a black screen. I don't have another monitor. And we're not tech savvy. I assume access to the video card is in the back of the tower, but we've never opened the tower before. (We'd have to disassemble all cords in order to pull the tower out from this desk...quite the hassle.)

    Here's what else I tried today: Lacking screen control, all I could do is turn the PC off on the tower. When I restarted, I chose "safe mode" in an attempt to get access to the user page on which I changed the resolution. I did change the resolution back to "mid-resolution," where it had been before I messed it up. But when I restarted the PC trying to get back to normal (not "safe mode") use, the screen was still black.

    So now I have it on in safe mode. I checked and that resolution I changed is no longer changed. (Yes, I did "Apply" and "OK.") What do I do now??
  3. Oh... Okay I think it may be the graphics card having issues, most likely the card is integrated meaning you cannot remove it or replace it.

    From safe mode you have a few options, first is to uninstall your video drivers. You can do this by going to:

    Control Panel-> Programs and Features (vista) or Add or Remove Programs (XP)--> Look for Nvidia or ATI control centers~ and uninstall.

    This will uninstall your video drivers, setting your graphics to "default/unused". From there you should be able to log on, however you MUST install your drivers again (it is very bad for computers to run without graphics cards, they cause issues with performance and reliability)..

    You can get most drivers from the computer brand's website using a model or serial number on your desktop.
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