What video card driver replacement do I need?
Video Card = Graphics card
Video card driver = Software inside OS X
Drivers aren't to be touched. If they were the problem, one would use Disk Utility to repair the hard drive, reinstall the OS X 10.3.9 Combo Update, or reinstall the ATI Radeon Retail Update.
A replacement video card will be found used on eBay.
OEM cards like teh Radeon 900 Pro Mac edition or the Geforce Ti can be used in teh MDD.
Other cards like a Radeon 9700 Pro or 9800 Pro may also be used.
Other options are listed on my page here:
Any graphics card considered MUST be listed as a Mac compatible card by the seller, or it is likely a PC version which won't work.
Thank you, Japamac, for responding so quickly. Your explanations are great especially since I am more software literate than hardware. It appears that my G4's display problem is software related; that's why I first considered the graphics card driver. I looked at your web site and yes I'm trying to make my (old) cat better, but I have reasons for believing it is software, not hardware. Please let me know if I'm off base with my logic here:
I have already done the disk utility repair, reinstalled the OSX.3.9 combo update, and reinstalled the ATI Radeon Retail Update in addition to repairing boot blocks with an external Norton's disk and even running Tech Tools Deluxe. No hardware problems were found and the few software and file problems found were repaired successfully. The display is working fine disconnected from the computer, passes its own tests, etc. In fact, when I started from external disks, the display was perfect and as I said in my original question, it worked perfectly for over a week until I restarted the computer and somehow some OS component corrupted the color and resolution. I plan to get a new video card when I install Tiger on this old baby. I use it mainly for graphics and email since I deal with many graphics being sent that way for a gardeners web site and newsletter I edit and layout.
But for right now I need to use it with my thousands of dollars of graphics and layout software installed on it. I've moved much of the other computer work to my Macbook, but I'm retired from my job now and can't afford to buy all the other new stuff I need. And I'm getting too old to learn how to use the newer versions.
Can it possibly be something OS-related that I upgraded right before the end of the year 2011? I remember installing several Apple security upgrades and some were Java-related. I know that Java can interfere with color, but resolution also? I can print from my computer any type of graphic and it's perfect, just not showing up well on the display. I know Java is a problem, just as it is giving me a fit with my Firefox 8.01 right now on my Macbook since I won't upgrade. I use the fix version of Screengrab for my web work. I have version 1.4.2 of Java installed according to terminal check on the G4 mirror doors. Let me know if there are any other software problems I can check out. I don't know where to even start with Java at this point. I have a newsletter to get out in one week. Eeks.
I really think that you are looking at a hardware issue.
Directory repair, reapplication of the combo update and drivers leaves almost no doubt that the necessary files are in order.
An erase and install of the OS would be the only additional attempt, software wise, but I don't really see that as needed.
You say things aren't "showing up well" on the screen. Anything look familiar or similar from the following?
Or, can you post a screen shot? That would be helpful.
One other thing that you should do is to reseat the graphics card.
Shut the machine down, disconnect cables, open it up, remove the single screw and pull out the graphics card.
Reinstall making sure the card stands squarely upright in the slot before and as tightening the screw.
Reconnect all and fire it up.
I must have had my brain fried in our 106 F heat yesterday. I took the screenshot from the problem computer/monitor. Of course, it looks as it should on my Macbook, because as I had mentioned before everything I print looks fine. So I took another screenshot using my Macbook photobooth. I think you can see the problem now. SO SORRY to waste your time. I think I will let one of my sons do the video card reseat, so I think it's a good idea. I got my mini vacuum tools out a week ago and cleaned up the dust in the tower and I noticed the card was really dusty. I didn't want to touch it much, so I blew the dust off.