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Can't adjust screen resolution

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#1 dogwoodpark


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Posted 30 December 2004 - 02:46 AM

I just bought a new computer; it came with Windows XP Home already installed. I then installed my copy of Windows XP Pro on top of XP Home, thus erasing XP Home (I think). After XP Pro was installed, the resolution was set at 460 x 600 (or something like that), which on my 17-inch monitor looks awful (HUGE letters). When I go to the Settings window where one can adjust the resolution by moving the slider to another setting, I can't move the slider at all. I've tried clicking on the Advanced button and the Troubleshooting button, but still can't figure out how to change the resolution. I was so frustrated that I've tryied installing Windows XP Pro two more times, thinking that maybe there was some setting I needed to do differently. For monitor, on the Appearance tab, it says "default". I've installed the software for my monitor (Sonic View Optiquest), but it still says Default for monitor. Maybe that is the problem, but how can I change the monitor setting? I went back to my old computer (on which the resolution slide works fine), and see that the monitor is set at Plug and Play. But how do I change the monitor to Plug and Play on my new computer? Thanks so very very much!

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#2 phawgg


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Posted 30 December 2004 - 04:13 AM

Posted Image This is winXP pro display settings "console" or box.
What you get right-clicking anywhere on the desktop & picking "properties".
I have a small video card, so the thumbnail shows that.
What does your show, exactly?

During the winXP pro loading operation there is a point where the install
program "asks" whether you want "it" to choose the best settings for display.
It gives you 60 seconds to make a choice, and thats when a default arrangement is set up. (I think, basically)
My guess is that it checks existing hardware and bases it's decision on several factors.

One of those factors may have been "determining what the winXP home had",
at the point when you loaded ontop of it. It might automatically disable prior
hardware drivers & rely on only basic ones (much like those it relys on in the
safe mode, which is also 480X600 regardless of a 1024X768 setting in normal mode)

Have you updated any system drivers since reloading/upgrading the OS?

That procedure I'm not clear on, whether any problems might result in what amounts to an upgrade. (sorta).
I upgrade from win98 when I reload.
Thats the CD I have.
I always f-disk (wipe the hard drive clean) before I do anything, though.
Re-format & partition the HD so to speak.
When you say you loaded the pro on top of the home,
I'm not quite sure exactly the procedure you followed.

The plug and play "feature" in winXP pro can be seen as a service running.
Start button-->run-->type msconfig. OK. -->"services" tab --> it should appear as "checked".

Please understand I am not a "pro" @winXP pro.
I offer these suggestions primarily to help you elaborate further about the problem.
Usually someone else will put the clues together in a brief manner.
I'm always concerned/interested in the winQuirks.
Talking about solutions.
Let us know what you find checking into
  • Advanced and Troubleshoot tabs in display properties.
  • All your buttons showing full intensity in the "settings" tab (thumbnail above)?
  • Anything unusual in the "services" listed in msconfig?
By that I mean observe & communicate things like:
All boxes are checked in the list of services shown in msconfig. (mine are, BTW)
Plug n' play (is) (is not) (stopped) (running)
Other services that might be involved?

I can't move the slider at all.

I too have faced the "frozen slider"
and I'll be danged if I just can't remember how I "fixed it"

Please rest assured that it was one of those simple (when ya' get it) sorta things.

Don't tear your hair out.
Calmly now,
approach it with patience & fortitude.
Windows isn't always user friendly and Pro version is full of options that
take a while to learn.
Not necessarily ideal using it, like I am, as a single user.

I found this program helpful when checking on system specs
(especially drivers)
since it offers within in it's reports links to download sites based on your unique hardware.
it's free and often invaluable help for you to see whats inside your case in detail
without physically opening it up.

www.snapfiles.com/get/everest. It's not hard to install & run.
You'll catch on, DogwoodPark. Give yourself a break.
patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#3 EdBee


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Posted 30 December 2004 - 11:38 AM

As Phawgg said your display sys is running at 480-600 which is what it does in safe mode. Your Vid card (or onboard vid chipset) is not getting any instructs and is dormant (apparently). The slider and changes of 16 colors-to-many-many colors is a function of what the vid card can do. It means that your vid card is not currently part of your system (as it would be in safe mode). There are others at this BB that can add to and better elaborate (and I'm sure they will). In the mean time you should go to ControlPanel/system/hardware/device manager and see what is installed in the video-sound section--perhaps your vid sys did not reinstall when you changed to WIN PRO. What little I know about this is based on experience. One time while "cleaning" up my sys I mistakenly uninstalled/deleted my vido sys-(card and drivers.) I got the very same indicators you now have. :flowers: :thumbsup:

#4 dogwoodpark

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 09:53 PM

Thanks so much Sgt. Phawgg and EdBee for your advice. I've tried pretty much everything that both of you said, and have now re-installed WinXP SEVEN times! But with no luck. I do think though that I know what the problem may be, but not how to fix it. EdBee told me to go to Control Panel/System/Hardware/Device Manager and see what is installed in the video-sound section. I did this and there is a section called Other Devices that includes the video, etc. Next to Other Devices is a big bright yellow question mark with a black exclamation point next to it. And when I open Other Devices, every item has this bright yellow question mark. So evidently I have no devices to produce video or sound or Ethernet. (Let me add that I also cannot access the Internet on my new computer, and maybe this is why). But I've now reinstalled WinXP 7 times, and I've done it several different ways. I have no idea why I'm not getting the Other Devices when I do the install.

Here's how I'm installing: I do F2 when the computer boots, and I tell it to boot from the cd (Win XP) and not the hard drive. Then it boots and does the install. I choose the C partition, and it tells me there is already an OS there and there may be problems if I install a second OS. I tell it to do so anyway, and it says that will delete everything that is already in there. Which I figure is fine. Then it gives me a choice of 3 ways to install, I've tried picking both the top one (quick, it says beside it), and the third one. Also, let me add that when I do the install and it asks if I want the computer to adjust the resolution, I don't tell it to do so. Also, everytime I boot up the computer I get a message telling me that the resolution is too low, and asking me if I want the computer to adjust it. It doesn't matter if I say yes or no, nothing happens.

Thank you again for any and all advice!

#5 phawgg


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Posted 01 January 2005 - 12:09 AM

Your description(s) is good,
I think I see the picture, dogwoodpark.

When you install, as you have, with a re-format & re-partition...
You have a "fresh install".

The winXP home is a thing of the past. All data is gone.
Thats what you want in a fresh install.

The next step is to load the drivers.
All devices not run by Windows OS itself require software to "tell" Windows what to do with them.

When you had the winXP home installed, all of the drivers were in place.
Then they weren't.

Some devices require a CD of files to be placed in the optical drive and installed.
Some devices can "install" using downloaded files.
Still others, once they are identified as "new hardware" can utilize drivers that
Windows OS has "on hand".

The fresh install includes files in a folder called "driver cache".
Many of those are not used, because updated drivers become available, or
devices unknown to Windows can be installed... and would need "special files".

But they are there.

If you disconnect your printer and boot the computer,
several "reminders" that it was once there can be found on your hard drive.

If you then power off & plug it back in, winXP will throw a flag up when you boot.
"New Hardware Found".

Depending on those "reminders" left, what is done next may vary.
It might be as simple as cancelling the alert.
Windows will have enough data in the right places to restore the connections
that once it had to work the printer.

You might, on the other hand, have to reload the drivers to get the printer to work again.
It wasn't really an uninstall of software.
It was unplugging a piece of hardware and the software remained. (to some extent)

In a fresh install, no "reminders remain".

But the OS "sees" the hardware in place.
Thats part of what the installation process is all about.
"Windows is configuring".

So it's kinda confused. Needs you to direct it.

At this point neither of us knows exactly what to do. There is a reason for that.
Its not a permanant situation, either.

Windows needs hardware to exist. The motherboard.
All components & attached hardware to it "impact" how windows works.
Windows in turn effects how the hardware works.

Windows can be installed on to the motherboard in several ways.
At the factory in some cases, with the "fresh files" duplicated on a special partition of the harddrive.
From CD, like I do.
As an upgrade to an existing version of Windows already installed.

It came with Windows XP Home already installed. I then installed my copy of Windows XP Pro on top of XP Home

The exact procedure used to remedy the "confused" OS I described varies quite a bit.
It all is called installing the drivers.
System drivers or Device drivers are the two basic types.

Thats where the Everest Home Edition software comes in.
It details exactly what you have. :flowers:
Scroll back up to the first post reply in this thread.
(or scroll down to the bottom of this post)

Let's say you lost the operating manual the factory shipped with your new computer.
Maybe you bought the computer second hand.
Maybe the instructions are in a foreign language.
Maybe the "restore operating system" feature of the pre-installed Windows
had to be followed a particular way prior to the interjection of an "unforseen"
factor such as loading an upgrade to the existing Windows.

To a certain extent, that's what I think has happened to you.

Pre-installed Windows really amounts to the manufacturersof the hardware called the PC interfacing between you the user and they Microsoft in how they utilize the motherboard & components as applied to the Operating System.

It's good to consider this also:
The BIOS, or basic operating system, is kinda like the "OS of the motherboard".
A small set of files that prepares the hardware to be used by "bigger" Windows.
A Compaq laptop might use the same BIOS as HP or Packard Bell desktop because each use a board with an (Intel) or (AMD) processor.

So, maybe the present situation is the result of a "communication" breakdown.
The companies want you to periodically cough up some money and replace it all.
The users shouldn't be necessarily so obliging.

No problem. Everest scans the entire system.
Presents you with a report in great detail.
You don't need the factory user's guide.

Among those details are exact model numbers/locations/etc. of

devices to produce video or sound or Ethernet.

All of which are present, but "not accounted for".

Armed with that information, which includes links to the websites of the
manufacturers of all the components attached to your motherboard,
the correct drivers can be found & installed.

Windows freshly installed can have that program installed to it.
You can't connect to the Internet to get that free download, though.
Your modem needs drivers.
Your Ethernet... all those "other devices".

So, download it using another PC.
It is 6.23MB. You might be able to reproduce it on several floppy disks.
Best would be to burn it to a CD, and use your new computer's optical drive to install it.

Like most program installs, you'll launch the application file.
a couple dozen other files 7 folders are there, too.

You'll see a graphic of a PC tower case showing the insides when you begin
It'll open, you want the "summary" first.
It's very user friendly.
Scroll through the report generated or simply click icons that are the same ones
that windows uses.

You'll find the information you need. (and some, if you're like me... challenged by technology)
Then, it might be smart to use the same technique to download the
system drivers first. Then the modem and others if they are "unique".
From sources you'll find.

You might have a CD somewhere you've overlooked for these purposes, also.
Stranger things have happened to me.

The devil is in the details, they say. :thumbsup:

Edited by phawgg, 01 January 2005 - 12:32 AM.

patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#6 JackTheHaack


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Posted 01 January 2005 - 12:49 AM

What about checking in the BIOS that "Plug & Play" is enabled first, then re-booting and see if it detects new hardware, if it does then problem solved....if not then try to detect it manually by going to your control panel and selecting "Add new Hardware" and letting the computer do a search for the offending video card.

Just a thought ?

#7 Leurgy


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Posted 01 January 2005 - 08:49 AM

Did you get a CD that pertains to the Motherboard when you got the new computer? If so, run that. That CD should always be run immediately after you reinstall the OS. The fact that you have no video (or at least proper video), sound or ethernet indicates that these are "on board" devices probably using the same chipset.

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#8 dogwoodpark

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 05:25 PM

Thanks so much again, and special thanks go to Phawgg--you are great! After I posted again last night and waited a little bit, I was so frustrated that I decided to call Microsoft Tech Support even if I had to pay them for the call. You see, for me even things such as BIOS and the concept of drivers and safe mode are pretty foreign, although I'm learning all the time! As it turned out I didn't have to pay, and I got a guy in New Delhi who worked with me to solve the problem for TWO WHOLE HOURS. He never did solve it though, but I give him great credit for trying, considering that I now realize it wasn't even a Microsoft Windows XP problem, and he knew that also, but he said he just really wanted to help. He finally gave up and said I needed to talk to the manufacturer of my new computer, which happens to be Dell. So he patched me in to yet another person in India, this time a Dell tech support person, who worked with me for another hour. This person walked me through the reinstallation of all the drivers (they were on one of the disks that came with my new computer) that I guess I had erased when I installed the Win XP Pro over the Win XP Home. I hadn't even understand the whole idea of drivers before this--but now I do! So now I have Internet access, and thank God, the resolution is at the level it should be! Again, thanks for all your support.

#9 JackTheHaack


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Posted 01 January 2005 - 05:36 PM

Good to hear you got it sorted in the end and thanks for posting back here and letting us know.

#10 phawgg


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Posted 02 January 2005 - 12:00 AM

Just another example of Learning Daily, dogwoodpark, and this new year has 364 more of 'em. :thumbsup: Yes, thanks for letting us know of your progress & success. :flowers:

Edited by phawgg, 02 January 2005 - 12:01 AM.

patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

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