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Incompatible Viewsonic VA1903wb moniter?


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#1 adambrown

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 02:07 AM

Several weeks ago I bought a Toshiba Satellite L505D-S5983 laptop (AMD Athlon II Dual-Core M300 2Ghz, 3GB DDR2 RAM), with Windows 7 Home Premium preloaded. The display adapter is an AMD M880G with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200, and it has a 15.6" 16:9 widescreen with a native resolution of 1366 X 768.

The problem started when I tried connecting a Viewsonic VA1903wb widescreen external monitor. I have three of this monitor; two of them are connected to PCs running Windows XP. It has a native resolution of 1440 X 900 (which is also a 16:9 ratio), and after I installed the drivers on the PCs, WinXP recognized it as a Plug and Play Monitor and set it to the native resolution.

However, on the laptop, when the moniter is plugged in, the maximum resolution allowed is 1024 X 768, which is 4:3 a ratio. I downloaded the drivers labeled Vista from Viewsonic's site and installed them with same results. When I opened the .inf, this was the first line:

;Monitor.Inf for Windows(R) 95/98/Me/2000/XP/Server 2003/XP x64
The .inf did not mention anything about Vista, even though the site said that these drivers were for Vista. Microsoft's Vista compatibility site says that it is compatible with Vista, however, the Windows 7 compatibility site does not say anything about it.

I would like to know if there is any way I can get the monitor to work with a 16:9 resolution of 1440 X 900.
Thanx.

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#2 Romeo29

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 09:32 AM

Why would you download Vista driver for a Windows 7 laptop ?

Windows 7 x86 (32bit) : http://www.viewsonic.com/support/downloads...Signed_Win7.zip
Windows 7 x64 (64 bit) : http://www.viewsonic.com/support/downloads...ed_Win7_x64.zip

#3 keyboardNinja

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 06:48 PM

Romeo's post should resolve your driver problems, but you have to realize something else.

Your laptop is 1366x768. The external monitor is 1440x900. When you plug in an external monitor, to get it to look right on the external, you have to adjust the settings in reference to it (the proper drivers are required for this). When that happens, the external looks normal while the built-in one looks screwy. That's because it can't be different resolutions on both of them (to make both look correct). And your laptop's monitor doesn't support going to 1440x900. 1366x768 is as large as it can go (mine is the same). When you plug in the monitor, the laptop does the best it can with 1024x768. To my knowledge, if the native resolutions are different, you cannot make the external and the built-in look correct at the same time. That is only my experience, and I cannot guarantee it is always true. It's just what I've seen.

I've connected to an external myself and found out all this.

Until drivers and computers get more advanced and can sort this out on their own without human interaction, I don't see this being fixed. And by the time that happens, we won't have screens. It will all be virtual. Welcome to the future.....

I hope I made sense in all that. Just ask if I didn't. :thumbsup:
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#4 adambrown

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 03:26 PM

Thanx everyone for their help.
However:
Romeo29, the reason I downloaded Vista drivers is because I thought I read in PCWorld that most devices that work in Vista would work in Windows 7. Anyways, thanks for the link; I looked here and it wasn't there. However, I downloaded the one from your link and its the same exact file; they only added some other newer drivers for other monitors. So now I'm back to square one.

keyboardNinja: I understand what you're saying; I'm assuming that you also can't set two different resolutions on the internal and external screens. However, why can't I have the external also at 1366X768?

#5 keyboardNinja

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 08:13 PM

In another thread I spent 3 pages helping another guy trying to figure out why his monitor was screwing up before finding out that it did not require drivers. We eventually figured out his graphics card was going bad (he had lines and crap on the screen).

So you may not even require drivers for it (you said the XP machines recognized it as Plug and Play which doesn't require drivers, at least on mine anyway).

As far as the resolution goes, no, I don't think you can have two different resolutions on separate screens (just imagine what your graphics card would think about it!!). Well, you said that the laptop would go no higher than 1024x768 which is the same as what would be on the monitor when plugged in. If the laptop won't go that high, then neither will the monitor (and vice-versa). I can't tell you exactly why it won't because I don't know. If it's "Plug and Play", then drivers can't be your problem.

The ratios are the same, so if you could get the internal to be 1366x768 when the external is plugged in, then the external wouldn't look too bad (same ratio, just smaller resolution). However, getting to that point could be a pain.

I'm not really sure where to go from here, but hopefully I have helped you some. I'll come back to this thread to give my advice, but I currently don't have any recommendations for your next move. Sorry.

It may just be plain incompatible. There might still be a solution for you, but I don't have it right now.

Edited by keyboardNinja, 29 December 2009 - 08:15 PM.

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#6 adambrown

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:10 AM

keyboardNinja:
I'm still confused.

So you may not even require drivers for it (you said the XP machines recognized it as Plug and Play which doesn't require drivers, at least on mine anyway).

Let me explain what I meant. I had to install the drivers to get the maximum resolution. When I said that Windows recognized it as a PnP monitor, I meant that that's how it came up in Device Manager. I believe that the installation program installs the drivers in a way that Windows can use it through the standard PnP drivers.

Well, you said that the laptop would go no higher than 1024x768 which is the same as what would be on the monitor when plugged in.

The laptop only would go higher than this when the monitor was plugged in, presumably because the monitor was forcing the internal screen to use that lower resolution. But again, why can't I set both of them to use 1366x768, since they both theoretically support it? Which I assume is what you meant in the next paragraph:

The ratios are the same, so if you could get the internal to be 1366x768 when the external is plugged in, then the external wouldn't look too bad (same ratio, just smaller resolution). However, getting to that point could be a pain.

Well, how can I do it?
Thanx for the help.

#7 keyboardNinja

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 04:03 PM

Like I said, I have no idea. Besides Googling it and/or waiting on a hardware wizard to stop by this sub-forum, I don't really have any suggestions. I might be able to fiddle with if I had my hands on it, but I don't really know where to go from here. If the slider in Display Settings won't go any higher, then I'm at a loss.

Sorry. :thumbsup:
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#8 ReviverSoft

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 06:35 PM

The problem started when I tried connecting a Viewsonic VA1903wb widescreen external monitor. I have three of this monitor; two of them are connected to PCs running Windows XP. It has a native resolution of 1440 X 900 (which is also a 16:9 ratio), and after I installed the drivers on the PCs, WinXP recognized it as a Plug and Play Monitor and set it to the native resolution.


First thing you need to know is that monitors don't necessarily need the manufacturer's drivers because the generic Plug & Play (PnP) drivers that come with Windows is all that is required. The drivers that ship with your monitor, simply give it an identity in the operating system.

Now, what really matters are the drivers for your onboard graphics chipset or graphics card.
Assuming you have the drivers for the onboard graphics (if not, please download and install the latest drivers), all you need to do is open ATI's Catalyst Control Centre and change the resolution(think it's under Display Manger) accordingly, AFTER HAVING CONNECTED the Viewsonic display to your PC.

One more thing, you mentioned your display adapter showed HD 4200 but the Toshiba site shows the Satellite L505D-S5983 to have the HD 4100 chipset?
Anyway, here's the latest driver for the HD 4000 Series: ATI Catalyst Display Driver

Edited by ReviverSoft, 30 December 2009 - 06:57 PM.

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#9 keyboardNinja

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 10:49 PM

See? I told you there was somebody that knew more than me. :thumbsup:
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#10 adambrown

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 03:14 PM

keyboardNinja:
Thanx for your help anyway.

RiverSoft:

One more thing, you mentioned your display adapter showed HD 4200 but the Toshiba site shows the Satellite L505D-S5983 to have the HD 4100 chipset?

My source was Device Manager which says 4200 as the display adapter.

Anyway, here's the latest driver for the HD 4000 Series: ATI Catalyst Display Driver

I downloaded the drivers from the link you provided, and installed it. I went into CCC - Advanced, and still, the only options I have for desktop size are 800x600 and 1024x768.

#11 ReviverSoft

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 01:27 PM

Could you please take a look at following links and see if they can be of any help:

External Monitor with laptop

How to setup your laptop for external video
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#12 adambrown

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 02:57 PM

It doesn't seem like these will help me. However, I was wondering if the problem could be that even on my WinXP computer there is no option to set the monitor's resolution at 1366x768. So perhaps because of this, the laptop is forced to use the lowest common resolution shared by both the internal screen and the monitor, which is 1024x768.

#13 ReviverSoft

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 04:52 PM

The maximum resolution supported depends on the monitor and graphics chipset, not the Windows OS.
Although, the OS can limit the resolution depending on the hardware.

BTW, I'm currently using 1366X768 on Windows XP. :thumbsup:

Edited by ReviverSoft, 07 January 2010 - 04:52 PM.

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