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How to fix NVIDIA blurry or fuzzy screen or text caused by driver installation

I don’t know what’s sadder, the fact that I still have to go through this workaround to get my NVIDIA graphics card to display the correct color range to my HDTV over HDMI, or that this page of essential instructions has been lost to the internet. I have grabbed the text from The Wayback Machine and am reposting it in case others could use the help.

The following text originally appeared on the following webpage (I will gladly give attribution if the proper owner is identified):

http://files.bortweb.com/how_to_fix_nvidia_blurry_fuzzy_screen_or_text.htm

How to fix NVIDIA blurry or fuzzy screen or text caused by driver installation

Symptoms

You install the NVIDIA drivers and your screen or text becomes kind of “fuzzy” or “blury”.

Kind of “washed-out”, but not quite.

It might look almost as if it was not displaying in 32-bit color, even though it is.

If you put your mouse cursor over a blue background, you see a ghosted image of your mouse pointer next to it. 
This “ghosting” happens, not when moving fast like LCD screen ghosting, but just when the mouse is sitting still.

The ghosting occurs with all objects, not just the mouse — including window borders, etc, and it’s mostly in the vertical orientation.

When you UNINSTALL the drivers, it returns to normal. When you INSTALL the drivers, the problem re-appears.

The problem can occur on many different hardware and software platforms, including WinXP, WinVista, Win7, Linux;

… including many different NVIDIA GeForce cards;

… including many different monitors (both LCD and CRT & both 4:3 and widescreen aspect ratios).

Solution

This is nothing new. NVIDIA has been aware of this problem for YEARS, and has done nothing. They do not officially recognize this as a problem. Yet search in google for “nvidia blurry screen” or “nvidia blurry text” and you will clearly see hundreds of people asking for help with this problem. If you havn’t experienced it yet, consider yourself one of the lucky majority. But do not doubt that it is a real annoying problem for many many others.

The problem is simply that a registry key is missing from the NVIDIA installer .inf file. We must find that file and add the appropriate line of text, before running the setup. Here is the step-by-step instructions to do it:


Part I – Get the drivers

  1. If you have not done so, go to nvidia.com and download the drivers for your card.
  2. Run the driver executable. A wizard will come up, asking you where it should extract the files, and you will have to click a checkbox that says something on the order of “I agree” and click next a few times.
  3. Eventually, it will pop up a different wizard — a NVIDIA-decorated one that looks like the following screenshot. When you see it, cancel the wizard, and of course tell it that “you’re sure” that you want to cancel, etc.
  4. Ok, now navigate to the folder that you told it to extract to in the above wizard. There is a file in there called nv_disp.inf or it could be something else (depending on your driver version), like nv4_disp.inf ornv_disp_win7.inf. The path should look something like this:
    c:\NVIDIA\<your OS>\<your driver version number>\<your language>\nv_disp.inf
  5. Open that file up with notepad.
  6. Ok minimize this file. We’re going to set it off to the side for now, but we will come back to it in a minute and add a line or two of text in it.

Part II – Find your monitor’s unique EDID

The EDID is different for every type of monitor. You need to find it by doing this:

  1. First, you need to use an EDID editor to find your monitor’s unique line. To do that, download this utility, unzip, and run it.
    http://www.tucows.com/preview/329441 (Alternate download: Phoenix_1_3.zip)
  2. Ok when it’s open, click New.
  3. Click Extract Registry EDID.
  4. This box will pop up. Make sure you click on the row, before clicking the Extract EDID button.
  5. Now all the info will be filled in the boxes. Click the Byte Viewer button.
  6. This screen with all the numbers will appear. The numbers you need are in Row 00, Columns 08 thru 0B

Part III – Prepare the line that we will need to stick in the .inf file

As I said previously, the problem is the lack of a registry key in the installer .inf file. Basically, when it installs without this registry key, it doesn’t know the details about your monitor that it needs to make a sharp picture. So all we have to do is supply it with the right info in the form of this line.

  1. Most of the line is the same for everyone:
    HKR,,OverrideEdidFlags0,%REG_BINARY%,XX,XX,XX,XX,00,00,FF,FF,04,00,00,00,7E,01,00
  2. The XX,XX,XX,XX is the four bytes you got from the EDID in the previous part (circled in red in the screenshot above). Again, they are different for each monitor.

Part IV – Putting the line you made into the right spots within the .inf file

  1. Go into the .inf file that you set aside in Part I.
  2. Hit CTRL+F to pull up the Find box and look for any or all of the following sections:
    [nv_SoftwareDeviceSettings]
    [nv_SoftwareDeviceSettings_GT2x]
    [nv_commonBase_addreg]
    [nv_commonBase_addreg__01]
    [nv_commonBase_addreg__02]

    Or something else similar. I can’t be too much more specific because depending on what driver you download for whichever graphics card series you have, will determine what sections there are.

  3. For my specific system, I added it (the bold line) to these two sections:
    [nv_commonBase_addreg]
    HKLM,”Software\Microsoft\TMM”,UseIViewHelper,%REG_DWORD%,1
    HKLM,”Software\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\Hybrid”,AddDeviceSequence,%REG_DWORD%,1
    HKR,,Acceleration.Level,%REG_DWORD%,0
    HKR,,FeatureControl,%REG_DWORD%,4
    HKR,,InstalledDisplayDrivers,%REG_MULTI_SZ%,”nvd3dum”
    HKR,,MultiFunctionSupported,%REG_DWORD%,1
    HKR,,RMCacheLoc,%REG_DWORD%,0
    HKR,,RMDisableInst2Sys,%REG_DWORD%,1
    HKR,,UseBestResolution,%REG_DWORD%,1
    HKR,,UserModeDriverGUID,%REG_SZ%,”{9A516B97-E7C1-451B-9165-C5035994A3F5}”
    HKR,,UserModeDriverName,%REG_MULTI_SZ%,”nvd3dum.dll”
    HKR,,OverrideEdidFlags0,%REG_BINARY%,5C,85,80,51,00,00,FF,FF,04,00,00,00,7E,01,00
    [nv_commonBase_addreg__02]
    HKLM,”Software\Microsoft\TMM”,UseIViewHelper,%REG_DWORD%,1
    HKLM,”Software\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\Hybrid”,AddDeviceSequence,%REG_DWORD%,1
    HKLM,”Software\NVIDIA Corporation\Installer”,PhysXInstall,%REG_DWORD%,1
    HKR,,Acceleration.Level,%REG_DWORD%,0
    HKR,,D3D_39482904,%REG_DWORD%,1
    HKR,,FeatureControl,%REG_DWORD%,4
    HKR,,InstalledDisplayDrivers,%REG_MULTI_SZ%,”nvd3dum”
    HKR,,InstalledDisplayDrivers,%REG_SZ_APPEND%,”nvwgf2um,nvwgf2um”
    HKR,,MultiFunctionSupported,%REG_DWORD%,1
    HKR,,RMCacheLoc,%REG_DWORD%,0
    HKR,,RMDisableInst2Sys,%REG_DWORD%,1
    HKR,,UseBestResolution,%REG_DWORD%,1
    HKR,,UserModeDriverGUID,%REG_SZ%,”{9A516B97-E7C1-451B-9165-C5035994A3F5}”
    HKR,,UserModeDriverName,%REG_MULTI_SZ%,”nvd3dum.dll”
    HKR,,UserModeDriverName,%REG_SZ_APPEND%,”nvwgf2um.dll”
    HKR,,UserModeDriverName,%REG_SZ_APPEND%,”nvwgf2um.dll “
    HKR,,OverrideEdidFlags0,%REG_BINARY%,5C,85,80,51,00,00,FF,FF,04,00,00,00,7E,01,00
  4. After you added your unique line to the proper places, save the .inf file and close it. Proceed to Part V.

Part V – Finishing

  1. Go to control panel & uninstall your current video drivers.
  2. Go to the folder and click setup.exe to install the drivers with the modified .inf file.
  3. There will be a message asking if you’re sure you want to install the driver b/c its not trusted or something like that. That’s just b/c you modified the .inf file and the checksum didn’t add up. Click OK to install anyway.
  4. Everything should be good now, if you did it right. If not, then you did all this for nothing b/c you obviously had some other problem from the one I am talking about in this How-To. Good luck!

Inventing on Principle

This is a little long, but it is brilliant. Bret Victor gives a presentation that not only demos some insanely cool software development tools, but with a worthwhile underlying message. If you have the time, take a look (and make sure to hit that full screen button).

(Via Coding Horror)

 

“60 Seems Like Nothin’ Now”

This girl rocks. 9 years old and grabbing the bull by the horns.

But I Probably Won’t Hear You

I am a huge fan of programmer-turned-troubadour Jonathan Coulton’s folk/pop/geek song writing skills, and I’m not the only one. Graphic artist Jarrett Heather created a jaw-dropping-ly brilliant animation video for one of my favorite JoCo tunes, “Shop-Vac”:

For more awesome songs by Jonathan Coulton, visit http://www.jonathancoulton.com/. Check out his primer, general info, and listening suggestions.

EJK for the Year

Music: Code Monkey by Jonathan Coulton

One year ago today, I was playing around with Automator in OSX and decided to create a script that would automatically upload my latest picture in ichat to flickr. Every time I change my chat icon in iChat I upload it, (mostly) daily. It has gotten to the point where it’s taking over my photostream and I’m just ready to quit, or at least slow way down.

So what better way to celebrate the one year anniversary of my first ichat2flickr picture than a nice 90 second slideshow of all 187 pictures. You’ll see at the 0:47 mark where I upgraded to Leopard and the ichat pictures changed to 640×480 instead of 256×256.

I used iPhoto to create a slideshow of all the pictures, then exported a quicktime movie into Quicktime Pro to squish it all down to 90 seconds.

This also means that I won’t be posting all these goofy pics as often, so my contacts won’t see my face plastered in their photostream quite as incessantly as in recent months.

Breakin with Steve and Bill

Just hanging with my boys. Who says we all can’t get along?

Installing HDTV on my MythTV PVR

I just installed an HTDV Wonder tuner card into my ubuntu MythTV box. So while I watch a bit of a very pretty PBS program, I wanted to throw a couple of notes here to remember what the heck I just did.

My myth box is running ubuntu fiesty fawn. I debated whether or not to update to the latest version, gutsy gibbon, before I installed the card, but it had taken a while to get the Video-out working just right and I didn’t want to rock the boat too much. Then I found the following page, which helped tremendously:

[http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/ATI_HDTV_Wonder]

Luckily, it had instructions for Fiesty Fawn, so I decided to go for it.

I shutdown, opened the card and physically installed the card in my last free PCI slot. I followed the directions at the link above for manually setting up a perl script to grab the firmware for the card (I had to sudo most of the commands to get them to work, though). The firmware worked correctly and the drivers loaded on the first try. So the card was recognized and loaded by the operating system, that left configuring mythtv to actually tune something in on the card, which is where I ran into problems.

I followed the directions for setting up the card in mythtv, but I couldn’t tune any channels. There are two inputs on the HDTV Wonder: “DTV” and “CATV”. I wasn’t sure which one to plug in my analog cable connection. I believe the directions were for using an antenna, not for tuning non-encrypted HD channels on the Cable connection. After a lot of trial and error, I found a setting that actually tuned in some channels. I saved the settings, went into myth, and I can now watch FOX HD, NBC HD, ABC HD, CBS HD, and PBS HD for NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE on my comcast “basic cable” subscription, not to mention some other local digital channels.

Here’s the changes from the above instructions I had to find to tune HD channels on my basic analog cable, plugging into the “DTV” port on the card:


4. Input Connections
New Input
Select "DVB : 0"
Display Name: ATI-HDTV
Video Source: CABLE-HDTV
DVB Options:
Unencrypted channels only - checked!
Radio Channels - checked!
Use Dish Long-term EIT Data - unchecked
Scan for Channels
Scan Type: Full Scan
Frequencey Table: Cable
ATSC Modulation: Cable (QAM-64)
Channel Separator: (5.1) Period
Existing Channel Treatment: Minimal Updates
Next <--- The scanning process will take a long time!
Verify the output, checking for "Locked" channels.
Exit mythtvsetup with the Esc key

The hard part was the channel scan.

Now I just need to get the guide data set!

Youtubular

Here’s my first upload to [http://youtube.com|youtube]. Yeah, I know, welcome to 2005.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone.

As my first post of 2007, I thought I would share a favorite video from youtube. This embodies everything that is good about web 2.0. It’s made by a guy in Norway that has either way too much time on his hands or he’s a prodigy. Either way, it’s an incredible demonstration of this new wave of communication, allowing worldwide connections. It’s great fun to watch.

The only problem is that for every gem like this on YouTube, there are 99999 lumps of coal. That’s why the rating systems and popularity tracking are so important.

Go Blue.

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