No video on Vista 64 startup


Distinguished Member
I have a quad-boot Intel CoreDuo machine with 4 GB of memory and an ATI AIW X1900 Radeon (multi-booting courtesy of EasyBCD). To put the matter as quickly as possible, all four systems (Vista 32, Vista 64, XP, and Ubuntu) have been happily coexisting for a long time. I haven't used Vista 64 for about 10 days and went in to do some work on it this morning. To my surprise, the video disappeared immediately after the green startup wait indicator. Eventually, after about the usual amount of time and hard disk activity, the startup sound came on but absolutely no video.

I restored my full Acronis backup of the Vista 64 partition from last Sunday—same problem!

I went in on safe mode but it is impossible to change video settings or install new drivers in safe mode so that was a dead end.

I tried the repair utility that comes with Vista but it could find no problem with startup.

My working hypothesis is that something has gone wrong with the video drivers although that may not be the case. Even if it were, I can think of no way of fixing it short of completely rebuilding the Vista 64 system which I desperately do not want to do!

Does anyone have any ideas on how to get out of this mess without a complete system reinstall?

Further efforts:

Something has obviously gone very wrong with the video driver. First, when I look at it in safe mode, the only ATI entry in the program the control-panel uninstall list is the ATI install program. I can't uninstall, change, or repair it, however, because Vista says the Windows installer is not available in safe mode.

I've also used VistaBootPro to make the offending Vista 64 system use VGA mode (reasoning that if I could get into a normal session I could reinstall the ATI drivers) but when I restart, there's no change in behavior. Same thing if I set to boot with "base Video" in msconfig--no change!!! Bizarre!

BTW, I've tried the "F8" options too--they also seem to have no effect (e.g., logging doesn't create an "Ntbtlog.txt" file, low resolution doesn't change anything, etc.).
Last edited:
VistaBootPRO is written on code stolen from NeoSmart Technologies and is a poor imitation of EasyBCD.

We don't provide support for VistaBootPRO; so I can't help you with why its options don't work.


Boot into Safe Mode. Open the device manager, and delete the video card from the list (right-click -> uninstall). Then reboot.
ATi graphics drivers are part of the Vista distribution, so Guru's last suggestion should work fine.
Just make Vista detect the graphics again and auto-install the drivers.
Thanks very much for the suggestions. The video was being rerouted to the TV upstairs. Unplugged, reset, and all is well. I've uninstalled VistaBootPro. I've always liked EasyBCD and wasn't aware of the code pirating. Anyway my computing life is back to normal and my panic attack is over.

Thanks again!