I migrated from Windows XP to Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bits and I encountered a display issue in some Microsoft/Windows Live products that did not exist in Windows XP (the same programs do not have this kind of problem on Windows XP).

That issue appears in:

  • Windows Live 2011 products (e.g. Messenger and Movie Maker - not with older versions)
  • Some newer Microsoft products (e.g. Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Express - not 2005 version; I don't know about 2008)

It affects some image and text elements on these programs, distorting them.

It is so difficult to explain that graphical issue, so I upload an edited image showing one screenshot for each mentioned software above. I did not reduce image quality of screenshots to show the issue, that appears to be some pixels drawn in wrong places, but near the right ones (I put some red arrows near distortion places):

(below it was reduced to Super User question width, but you can see it in http://i.stack.imgur.com/bXiBR.png . imgur reduced its quality a little, I think) enter image description here

It is not:

  • Wrong installation issue: I installed it four times (once I installed as 32 bits) and the problem repeated, and I did it formatting old installation.
  • Windows Update issue: all these issues occur since Windows 7 installation and I've already installed all last updates.
  • Windows Update issue: I've already installed all last updates.
  • DirectX issue: I installed the newer one, and both, newer and older, show the same issue.
  • Driver problem: I installed the newer graphical drivers (monitor, adapter...), and both, older and newer drivers, show the same issue.
  • Incompatibility with other programs: I installed only Windows 7 + Windows Live Messenger 2011 and the problem appeared.
  • User account: it occurs with any user of any kind (common or admin).
  • Clear Type: I already tested disabling or adjusting Clear Type, but the issue did not disappear.
  • Monitor: I connected external monitor and the same problem occurs.
  • A problem that appears with other OS: I tested Windows XP, Ubuntu 32 and 64-bits, Slax, Android-x86... in that machine, but only Windows 7 show that issue...


  • .NET: I think the distorted components of mentioned programs in some way use that framework, but I have already executed some other programs that use .NET and they functioned (I don't know about .NET versions...). I installed all .NET frameworks (1.1 SP1, 2.0 SP2, 3.0 SP2, 3.5 SP1 and 4.0), but no effects.
  • A hardware problem: well, I "heard" in in ternet something about Bios update for some strange cases in Windows 7, but the manufacturers of that motherboard and notebook have never provided a Bios update...
  • DirectX: I heard about problems with early versions of Windows Live products and DirectX.
  • SISM672 Northbridge and SiS968 Southbridge Chipsets: In this article http://nano-universo.blogspot.com/2010/05/chipset-sism672-sis-672-968.html (in Portuguese), author says that the real performance of these chipsets is about 16MB video RAM in Windows 7 instead of nominal 256MB (it's a reason for some users to abandon W7 and downgrade to WXP). Also it affects games with Direct3D resources...
  • Pixel Shader technology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_shader

The computer is a notebook. Bellow the config:


Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T5800 @ 2.00GHz
Caption: Intel64 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 13
L2 cache size: 2.00 KB
Manufacturer: GenuineIntel
Address width: 64

RAM size: 2.87 GB

Model: I40SI1
Manufacturer: OEM
OEM string: This is a SMBIOS 2.5 BIOS |Some of the structures are included |for demonstration purposes only
System type: x64-based PC

Monitor: Monitor Genérico PnP
Manufacturer: (Tipos de monitor padrão)
Screen height: 800
Screen width: 1280

Bios: Ver 1.00PARTTBL
Manufacturer: OEM
Version: ACRSYS - 6040000
Ver: 1.00PARTTBL
Release date: Jul 01 2009
SMBIOSBIOSVersion: 1.03.03CE
SMBIOSMajorVersion: 2
SMBIOSMinorVersion: 5
Bios features:
  ISA is supported
  PCI is supported
  Plug and Play is supported
  APM is supported
  BIOS is Upgradable (Flash)
  BIOS shadowing is allowed
  ESCD support is available
  Boot from CD is supported
  Selectable Boot is supported
  EDD (Enhanced Disk Drive) Specification is supported
  Int 13h - Japanese Floppy for NEC 9800 1.2mb (3.5, 1k Bytes/Sector, 360 RPM) is supported
  Int 13h - 5.25 / 360 KB Floppy Services are supported
  Int 13h - 5.25 /1.2MB Floppy Services are supported
  Int 13h - 3.5 / 720 KB Floppy Services are supported
  Int 13h - 3.5 / 2.88 MB Floppy Services are supported
  Int 5h, Print Screen Service is supported
  Int 9h, 8042 Keyboard services are supported
  Int 14h, Serial Services are supported
  Int 17h, printer services are supported
  Int 10h, CGA/Mono Video Services are supported
  ACPI is supported
  USB Legacy is supported
  LS-120 boot is supported
  ATAPI ZIP Drive boot is supported

Disk drive
Caption: WDC WD2500BEVT-00ZCT0 ATA Device
Description: Unidade de disco
Capabilities: Random Access
Supports Writing
  Manufacturer: (Unidades de disco padrão)
  Model: WDC WD2500BEVT-00ZCT0 ATA Device
  Size: 250 GB

Battery: I40SI1
Caption: Internal Battery
Chemistry: Unknown
Design capacity: 31.68 Watt-Hours
Design voltage: 14.40 Volts

Display configuration: SiS Mirage 3 Graphics

Video controller: SiS Mirage 3 Graphics
Adapter RAM: 128.00 MB
Video processor: SiS672 series
Availability: Running or Full Power

Physical memory
1. Capacity 2.00 GB
2. Capacity 2.00 GB

OnBoard devices
1.  Description SiS 7012 PCI Sound Chip
    Device type Sound

2.  Description SiS 191 EtherNet Chip
    Device type Ethernet

3.  Description SiS 7013 Modem Chip
    Device type Unknown

4.  Description SiS 7001 OHCI USB Chip
    Device type Unknown

5.  Description SiS 7002 EHCI USB Chip
    Device type Unknown

6.  Description SiS 180 SATA Control Chip
    Device type Unknown

Sound device
1.  Name    Dispositivo de High Definition Audio
  • 1
    Nice job clearly outlining the problem and the steps you've taken to solve it. – nhinkle Jul 20 '11 at 5:04
  • I gave up using Windows 7. I'll try that again when I buy a newer machine. – kokbira Jan 27 '12 at 20:53

It looks like it is occurring in the same places. My first instinct is that it is hardware. Have you tried plugging in an external monitor.

The font, may or may not be Clear Type issues. But I've never seen Clear Type going bonkers like that.

  • I've already connected another monitor and adjusted or disabled ClearType and the issue did not disappear. Thanks (+1) for remembering me (I added it to my question). – kokbira Jul 12 '11 at 19:57
  • Yeah, this is a tough one cause it spans multiple programs and elements. It looks more low level than just a simple driver, cause drivers don't usually cause pixels to be way off like that. But notice, that while on your other programs, the distortion goes across the screen, it doesn't affect UI elements in VS 2010 (besides the fonts). AFAIK, VS 201 uses WPF for it's UI elements while the other two programs use Win32. Something tells me this is either a driver issue or something is not right with the GDI. I assumed you used a driver cleaner before you installed new drivers? – surfasb Jul 12 '11 at 20:07
  • Next, we can eliminate hardware. Boot into your Setup DVD. Look at it. And also run the recovery console. Look at it from there. I'm pretty sure it isn't hardware, but I'd like to make sure. – surfasb Jul 12 '11 at 20:08
  • Disabling the display driver doesn't change it either does it? Under Device Manager, disable it. If it still shows, then there are serious issues that requires, at the very least, another reinstall. – surfasb Jul 12 '11 at 20:55
  • The fact that these issues don't show up under setup nails it down as a OS level issue. I'm thinking go back to the original drivers and work up from there. You downloaded the drivers from Windows Update? – surfasb Jul 12 '11 at 21:35

Solution for Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Express:

I found in Google something about DirectX problems in early versions of WLM. Then, googling more, I found that http://www.mdgx.com/newtip18.htm#DXTWK:

  1. DX9 Control Panel applet (CPL): http://www.mdgx.com/dx.htm#SDK
  2. DirectControl: http://www.mdgx.com/files/DC55B6.EXE
  3. DXTEST: http://www.mdgx.com/dx.htm#TST

In option 1, you can go to control panel and access it > Direct3d tab > disable "Allow Hardware Acceleration" > apply or ok

So now when opening MSVC you can see that this display issue disappeared.

You can disable it also using software mentioned in option 2, but it doesn't have effects on MSVC issue behavior.

Solution for Windows Live Messenger:

I found a new video driver in SiS page and it solves all problems with WLM.

I tried installing the new driver before, but every time I installed it a BSOD appeared after reboot. This time BSOD not appeared, I don't know why... I suspect of DirecX also, because I installed all available DirectX since 9.0c before it.

I'll post versions of mentioned softwares and drivers later...

Side effect with Windows Live Movie Maker:

Using option 1 in MSVC solution, I cannot enter WL Movie Maker directly.

But Movie Maker can be launched re-enabling DirectX's Hardware Acceleration.

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