Flattened screen headache
March 1, 2010 8:41 AM   Subscribe

The monitor I'm using at work is stretching/flattening a 4:3 resolution into a widescreen format. This gives me a headache. Can I fix it?

I'm usually on a Mac, but I'm using a Dell Inspiron here. The graphics chipset is an Intel G33/G31 Express, on-board I guess. Monitor is an Acer B223w which should have a native resolution of 1680x1050. I've been reinstalling drivers and all that, but all I can get is 1600x1200 flattened and wonky looking. Any way to fix this?
posted by setanor to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's totally fixable. The challenge is figuring out if the monitor itself is doing the stretching, or if it's the graphics driver. Try the monitor first. Cycle through the menus and look for scaling options. It should have an option for "no scaling" or "driver scaling". Enable that. If that doesn't fix the problem, in particular if the monitor is already set to no scaling, then you need to go to the video driver control panel.

You have two different goals in the video driver controls. First, you want to disable any scaling. The details differ by video driver, I don't know the Intel options. You may need to hunt for the "advanced" display driver options, or some Intel-specific control panel program. Once that's sorted out you should have an unscaled display with some black bars on the monitor. Your second goal is to change the display resolution to use all 1680x1050. If that's not an option in the display driver, it may be that Windows hasn't detected the monitor resolutions correctly. There are ways to fix this but if it's a loaner computer it's probably not worth the bother.

You can short circuit this whole process by just setting the display driver to 1680x1050, then it won't matter what scaling options are set. But that may not work, which is why I suggested the more complicated path.

If you want more specific advice it'd help if you posted which version of Windows you have.
posted by Nelson at 9:00 AM on March 1, 2010

Response by poster: There's no reference to scaling in any of the monitor on screen displays.

The video driver has a setting for Aspect Ratio: Maintain Aspect Ratio (black bars), or Full Screen. This is already set to Maintain Aspect Ratio.

I can set the display to 1680x1050 in the Displays panel, as well as in the video driver control panel. Each time I do this, I get an "Input Not Supported!" box taunting me as it floats around the screen.

I'm using XP Professional.
posted by setanor at 10:08 AM on March 1, 2010

Are you connected through VGA or DVI? DVI seems more capable of detecting the actual screen resolution.
posted by chairface at 11:51 AM on March 1, 2010

Response by poster: It's VGA. Seems like it still should be able to maintain the aspect ratio when that is expressly what is selected in the driver and it is the native resolution of the display?
posted by setanor at 12:46 PM on March 1, 2010

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