Zero Display Service Error

Martin Brinkmann
May 15, 2009
Updated • Jul 6, 2017

I bought a new and shiny ATI HD 4870 video card today. Had been using an Nvidia Geforce 8800 GTS for some time and figured that it was time to update.

I began by uninstalling all traces of Nvidia card drivers from the computer system (funny that I'm still stuck with an Nvidia Physx icon in Control Panel after that).

Tip: I suggest you use Display Driver Uninstaller for the operation. It is a free program that removes all traces effectively.

I replaced the Nvidia video card with the Ati Radeon card and my troubles began. Never had a video card before that was using two power connectors. Well, the card was nice enough to tell me that I missed one. I added the second power connector and booted the computer system into the usual low resolution screen.

Put in the CD that was supplied by Sapphire and started the installation only to be greeted with a "Zero Display Service Error" during video driver installation. All additional tools and programs installed fine though.

Back to the low resolution desktop I began a search on the Internet for a solution. I tried firing up a web browser but discovered that my Internet connection was not working. Rebooted the computer once, checked the System Control Panel to find an yellow exclamation mark next to the video card entry.

I concluded that the possibility was high that my network card and video card were sharing the same resources. Radical solution was to remove the network card from the system to see if that was the cause. What can I say, Windows XP booted fine and offered me the usual choice of resolutions. Last step was to put the network card into a different PCI slot.

I read about two dozen forum threats and posts about both error messages and none posted this solution. Hope this helps a few users who are experiencing the same problems (I know many are from the Google searches that I conducted).

Article Name
Zero Display Service Error
The guide provides a solution for the Zero Display Service Error that Windows devices may display when something is not right with the graphics card.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Shady said on May 16, 2009 at 2:26 am

    To get rid of that Nvidia icon in your Control Panel – just use Tweak UI and click the “Control Panel” tab. In there you should find the Nvidia control panel applet titled “nvtuicpl.cpl” or something similar to that…

    Hope that helps!

  2. Rupert said on May 15, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Is it anything to do with your Power Supply?

    Certain cards have high power requirements, and if yours requires 2 power supplies then it must be very power hungry. Whats the rating of your PSU, for a card like that sounds like it needs to be +500W atleast?

    1. Martin said on May 16, 2009 at 1:24 am

      Rupert I doubt that. I have a solid 500W psu, should not be a problem. Everything is working at the moment. I’m just happy that I did not have to return the video card.

  3. Eduardo said on May 15, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Say hello to “Zero Display Service Error” in ATI display drivers. I’ve droped ATI because of that. If you search on Google, you’ll find “Zero Display Service Error” dating from 2003 to 2009. And no one, even ATI Suport could find a solution.

    In my case, I’ve formatted and re-installed Windows from scratch. Only that solved my problems.

    Well, never got this kind of mystic unsolvable errors with nVidia.

  4. me said on May 15, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    why not change IRQ Pnp settings in the bios!

  5. Dave said on May 15, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Nice experience that you shared. I personally would also do the same :) but still great to know that such think can happen.


    1. Martin said on May 15, 2009 at 8:32 pm

      I know how frustrating these things can be :)

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.