Square eyes from a rectangular monitor. Not ideal.
August 15, 2011 9:34 PM   Subscribe

I have been completely outsmarted by my monitor (or perhaps Windows XP?). Please help!

I recently bought a Samsung SyncMaster EX2220 monitor. My computer is an old laptop with onboard graphics running Windows XP.

The problem is that I can't force the screen resolution to its native 1920 x 1080. Windows XP does not give me the option, and nor does the Intel something something Graphics Utility.

So far, I have tried all the usual settings I would try as well as all manner of third party apps, homemade drivers and registry hacks that I've found. I have now reverted to the latest official drivers from the Samsung website but still cannot make it display full screen.

Interestingly, I've been fooling around with linux installs on a different hard drive and with three different distros, on what is otherwise the same laptop, I've managed to pretty simply configure the monitor to display its native resolution.

What have I missed here? I'm going crazy (and squinty eyed), so I any ideas are much appreciated, thanks.
posted by doublehappy to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Does your video card/driver simply not support this resolution? If it's an old laptop with integrated graphics, this is what my money would be on.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:43 PM on August 15, 2011

Sorry, didn't see that you had success with linux.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:44 PM on August 15, 2011

What type of video cable are you using? It's totally possible that that graphics output can't sustain a 19x12 VGA signal. Try a DVI cable if possible.
posted by Sphinx at 10:16 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Have you tried updating the video card drivers in addition to the monitor drivers?
posted by JauntyFedora at 10:57 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Stating the obvious, you've eliminated hardware reasons by proving it works with Linux.

It appears you have problems with your software and since you (like me!), use XP, voila. Drivers are the first order of business. JauntyFedora is right.

I normally cycle through every one I can find, and it helps if you have some indication of what kind of graphics hardware you have.

I use System Information for Windows to inspect windows boxes for their private little secrets. It might help you get some visibility on what you have.

Good luck. Every time I have run into problems like this, they eventually are solved. The fact that Linux works suggests yours will, too, eventually. Welcome to the continuing joy that is Windows.
posted by FauxScot at 2:18 AM on August 16, 2011

What video card is it?
posted by dgeiser13 at 4:09 AM on August 16, 2011

Try Powerstrip.
posted by euphorb at 8:16 AM on August 16, 2011

Hi, thanks for your responses so far.

I feel like I did update the driver for the video card itself but I might be lying, so I'll try that when I get home from work. It's some Intel onboard mobile graphics dealy that I'll need to confirm later.

I have also tried powerstrip but wasn't really sure what I was doing so I just changed a few fields and gave up.
posted by doublehappy at 12:15 PM on August 16, 2011

Check Intel's website for their latest driver: http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/detect

It's sometimes possible to use a more recent (or more versatile) driver from the chipset vendor instead of the OEM stuff. Worst case you'd have to remove it and re-install the OEM driver.

Also be sure to dig into the display card properties and see if it's limiting itself to resolutions the monitor can display. Sometimes the way it determines this is a bit stupid.
posted by wkearney99 at 2:30 PM on August 16, 2011

If you can't find newer drivers, you might want to solve your problem with cash by purchasing something like this. These USB/DVI adaptors are not as fast as the native adaptors but are generally fine. You'll still need to use the integrated video as the USB/DVI adaptor cannot act as the boot up monitor.
posted by chairface at 7:32 AM on August 17, 2011

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