Video driver problem - black screen
My Dell Inspiron 530 (running Vista) started having video problems. (After working fine for months). It would boot and let me log in, and would display the desktop for a moment, then the desktop would refresh, the screen would go black, and my Viewsonic VG 150 LCD monitor would display an error "Out of Range".
"Out of Range" error means "I am getting a signal, but it's not a signal that I recognize so I can't display the image".
It would boot correctly in Safe Mode, and also in 640*480 resolution. But it would not work in 1024*768 resolution (the native resolution of this LCD).
I noticed that Microsoft Update had, the night before, installed an Optional update to the Intel onboard video controller driver. The driver was dated Feb 2008 and that is the latest from Intel, so I don't understand why it installed a new update in April 2009 (?).
I ran the Dell diagnostics on the video hardware and I did notice that in one sequence of about 15 screens that flashed quickly, two of them displayed the Out of Range error. So clearly the Intel video hardware is able to generate a mode that this monitor cannot handle.
My best guess is that something about the automatic Update of the driver is what broke this installation.
I removed the Intel driver (in Device Manager.. Display Adapters), so Vista fell back to its generic video driver, and the problem went away... I can select 1024*768 resolution and it boots fine.
I haven't yet attempted to reinstall the Intel driver (I'm just happy to have it working again).