Why do I have Only 16 Colours in Windows

Question: I reformatted my drive and reloaded windows. Now I only get 16 colours and a resolution of 640 x 480. I had more colours and could change the resolution before. What has gone wrong?

Answer: Windows has failed to recognise your graphics card during the install process. To enable the install to proceed Windows installed the default vga graphics driver which only supports 16 colours on a 640 x 480 resolution.

To rectify the problem, you need to install the correct graphics driver for your graphics card. From the Start menu, select Settings then go into the Control Panel and double click on the Settings icon. Look down the list of hardware devices to find and select your graphics card. You will find an option here to update your graphics driver. As windows was unable to recognise the driver, you will probably need to install a special driver that came on a disk with your graphics card or system. If you cannot locate the disk or have had the system for some time and would like to install a more up to date driver then you can download one from the internet. Check out our Utilities links page for information on how to do this.

Once you have the correct driver installed, you will be able to change the number of colours and screen resolution to any combination supported by your graphics card.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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