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WinXP Resolution Problem - low resolution decrease screen size

Discussion in 'Software' started by ddlingling, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. ddlingling

    ddlingling Private E-2

    I'm on a 3 year old ibm thinkpad t42.

    Recently I've been having problems with screen resolution. Mainly 2 things:

    1) Lower resolution screens decrease in size (and centered, the rest is filled with black) instead of making the images bigger. This applies to everything, whether it be a program (such as a game) that decreases my resolution, or even the windows boot screen.

    2) Switching between monitors (laptop monitor -> projector) and back sometimes freezes my screen. Everything goes black as if it is hibernating, and does not come back. I have to manually restart the laptop.

    I was convinced it was a driver problem, and updated my driver from the ibm website. However it seemed that the new driver gave my computer fits as even icons were improperly displayed. I did reformatted my computer and restored the factory settings using the recovery and restore cd's that came with my computer. This should have (and did) reinstall the driver. However, the problem persisted.

    I have inclination to go into bios and check the hardware settings, however, I'm convinced this is a WinXP problem b/c my ibm loading screen displays correctly in low resolution, but the windows boot screen immediately following it shrinks to like 1/4 of the screen size.

    Any ideas? I have seen this problem before as I've seen my friend's computers shrink the size of a game when it loads, and they don't know why. But I have no idea how to fix it.
  2. theefool

    theefool Geekified

    Welcome to Majorgeeks!

    Now, as I understand it. On boot. with ALL drivers installed. I.E.:
    Click START, then RUN, then type in: devmgmt.msc (press enter). You do not have any exclamation marks on any devices.

    Running a low resolution like 640x480 or 800x600 you get a full screen, but using 1024x768 or 1280x1024 you get a black border?
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  3. ddlingling

    ddlingling Private E-2

    Hi! Thanks :)

    correct, all drivers are installed, and are done so automatically with my recovery and restore cd's from ibm. device manager does not have any !'s

    other way around, on my highest setting for my laptop screen only (14x1050) my screen is filled. 1280x1024 shrinks it a little, leaving about an inch of black all around. and it keeps shrinking as resolution is lowered, until 8x6, when the virtual screen is only like 1/4 of the actual screen size.


    one other weird thing. when i'm dual monitoring, or when my i'm single screen on a different machine (projector or monitor), the resolutions work fine! weird...
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  4. ddlingling

    ddlingling Private E-2

    would appreciate any help! :)
  5. alqx

    alqx Private E-2

    I've got the same problem too. In fact I joined this forum just because I found this thread. This problem was posted in January and yet there is only one reply?

    This, is the problem: Maxing screen resolution to a certain value maxes the screen size. Decreasing the screen resolution decreases the screen size proportionally, leaving a black area around the sides (top bottom left right). And it's not just a black border (which is disturbing enough) but a large black area surrounding the center display on 800x600.

    It is terrible especially for playing games, when you don't want too large a resolution of you'll get terrible gaming quality. But playing with that small screen size (despite smoother gaming) makes the game feel stupid looking at everything shrinked. My screen never had this problem untill 2 months ago when I started rome total war (a game) one day and I saw black borders (which didn't appear previously). I maxed the resolution and it was okay. I didn't think much about it untill recently I realised how bad the problem was. It's not only in game. Decreasing screen resolution under display settings also shrinks the screen size.

    Please help, somebody! I'm sure there are many others who have this problem but just don't notice it because they don't play games or assume that it's the way screen resolution is supposed to work.

    I hate the small screen size with large black areas around it.

    Once again, I would appreciate help, thank you.

    Thank you, seriously.
  6. ddlingling

    ddlingling Private E-2

    hey alqx

    i'll just let you know how my situation turned out. i called ibm over and over, and finally i got someone who knew what he was talking about. he recognized the problem right away as a hardware issue, not a software issue. in fact, it was a motherboard problem, and not the first mb problem i've had with this computer. eventually it got worse (the entire screen was distorted) and i had to send it in for repairs. they replaces the entire motherboard (thankfully under warranty still) and everything was fixed after that, no software changes required at all.

    hope that helps.
  7. alqx

    alqx Private E-2

    Okay I solved the problem myself by exploring randomly. I'm using Vista anyway, just in case it makes a difference. I go to adjust screen resolution, advanced settings, click on the tab for my graphics card, click on graphics settings, display settings, aspect ratio options click full screen (no border). I don't remember changing my settings before but anyway I tried this and it works. I'm not sure if any problems will arise though.
  8. Lone Ranger

    Lone Ranger Private E-2

    Hi, this is my first post. I tried to use the trial version of a dvd copier, but it was too slow. I tried another one and while loading it got a prompt about opening a vga (I think) channel to increase the transfer rate of the copy. Thinking I had found the reason the first program I tried did not work, I clicked yes.

    Next thing I knew the display got real big and coarse. I went into control panel and tried to adjust the resolution, but it only has one choice now, the very lowest at 4 bits. Any idea what happened and how to correct the problem? It seems I have disabled the high resolution video adapter or something.
  9. Bugballou

    Bugballou MajorGeek

    Me thinks you mean DMA not VGA. Sounds like you hosed your graphics driver. Try Windows Update for starters, then start a new thread with the same info if that doesn't resolve the issue.:)

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