How to make Windows use only the working part of my screen?
November 18, 2008 7:00 AM   Subscribe

The right 1/3 of my laptop's LCD is unusable. Is it possible to make Windows XP display on only the left 2/3 of the screen?

At first I thought that a custom resolution would solve this problem, but it is actually more of tricking Windows into thinking the screen is only as big as the left 2/3s that works.

The laptop is an Inspiron E1500 and has Intel's GMA950 as its video card.
posted by xxnopiratesxx to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can use Desktop Coral, which can limit the size which windows maximize to, and areas that windows drag to. (I don't think this limits the region for the taskbar though, but you can always move the taskbar to the side of the screen).
posted by tybeet at 7:06 AM on November 18, 2008

If the screen is broken, you can also replace just the LCD. It's really not all that expensive.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:41 AM on November 18, 2008

If you don't port the laptop around much, maybe you could just plug in an external monitor?

As a PC tech with many years' experience, I can tell you that this sort of adjustment would have to be done on the LCD itself. In the case of a laptop, we're talking about the BIOS, which isn't going to have any LCD settings, because the LCD has firmware that auto-detects the current resolution and displays it in the middle, if it doesn't fill the screen real estate.

So unless you want to become a hardcore firmware hacker to get the LCD to forget about the dead 1/3, and then deal with the headache of getting XP/vid card to play nice with a nonstandard resolution with a nonstandard aspect ratio (because two thirds of your screen won't be 4:3 or 16:9), the best solution is something simpler...

...Like replacing the LCD or using an external monitor. Probably not what you want to hear, but those are the options.
posted by SlyBevel at 8:48 AM on November 18, 2008

2nding SlyBevel - get yourself a nice external monitor (and keyboard, if yours is anything like mine) and stop slouching. Laptops almost demand that you hunch over to use them. Not cool for the back...
posted by wordwhiz at 5:01 PM on November 18, 2008

I've had this problem (groups of dead pixel lines at various intervals.. Ugh!!) So I just unlocked the task bar, moved it (click and drag) so it ran up the side, extended it to the edge of the damage (you might want to extend it excessively first and then just re-size it to fit...), locked it again and voila!

It did the trick until I got a new screen at least.

(If you should happen to have your task bar unlocked and then accidentally loose it in the abyss, as I did... open a program, something with columns or whatever? So you can gauge whereabouts your taskbar is. Click and drag-ing blindly is just so much more successful when you have at least some sort of approximate target.)

Replacing your LCD is a total snap though. It's a 15" screen yeah? (or 15.4 rather) Even brand new they're cheap as hell (comparatively). There's probably about 10 to choose from on ebay for like $50 ea. (or less) as we speak. You'll need your LCD part number and it's on the back of your LCD - so getting that will be good practice for you. :)
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 3:10 AM on November 19, 2008

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