Save the VGASAVE service

Why you should not disable it.

Users know that to speed things up in Windows 2000 and XP, you can stop services and disable them. Fewer services running equals faster performance. Both operating systems contain a service named VGASAVE, which is designed to load automatically when the default designated video card driver does not work, or if a newly installed video card driver refuses to work -- this should stay off-limits to disablers.

VGASAVE is enabled by default and should not be disabled. If you disable it and reboot, there is a strong chance the system may not boot, since during boot-time it is used as a fail-safe. Many users have reported that they disabled it in the mistaken assumption they were freeing up system resources by doing so, only to discover their system was now unbootable. If VGASAVE was disabled, you can reset it by booting to the Recovery Console and typing enable vgasave service_system_start at the command prompt.

VGASAVE consists of two files, VGA.DLL and VGA.SYS, both of which must be present for the service to work correctly. In the event one or both of these files is deleted or damaged, Windows 2000 will BSOD and return the following error: STOP B4 error, VIDEO_DRIVER_FAILED_TO_LOAD. You can recover these files by booting to the Recovery Console and expanding copies of VGA.DLL and VGA.SYS from the i386 directory on the CD-ROM (stored as VGA.SY_ and VGA.DR_).


Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.


This was first published in July 2002

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