Cannot change Screen Resolution - Windows XP

Posted on 2009-04-13
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi all,
I replaced the fried motherboard in a semi-old computer with this one ASUS P5N73-CM. Changed a few things around etc. All in all, I built an almost new computer.

I formatted, installed windows xp pro sp3, no problems whatsoever.
Now that I unplugged the machine from the repair bench's monitor, took it over to the customer's desk and plugged in their monitor, the resolution is stuck to what I had on the repair monitor.
The repair monitor happens to be a 16inch wide panel that runs at 1366x768, and the customer's old monitor is a 4:3 panel. So everything's squished.

I've tried google of course but I keep running into the same crap about people not installing drivers. Drivers are not the issue here, this motherboard's on-board VGA is by nVidia, I downloaded the latest nforce driver from nvidia's site and installed it. Worked just fine.
Now that the resolution is stuck, I tried installing the drivers from ASUS, but still the same.
Both Windows and nVidia control panel let me change resolutions, but nothing actually happens to the resolution, and when I refresh the settings window, it goes straight back to 1366x768.

I have a hunch that it has something to do with the "windows will automatically adjust your screen resolution" message during installation. If I could at least tell windows to NOT adjust anything... But I still can't find where that is.

Thanks for the help
Question by:DorianIS
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LVL 118
ID: 24132805
Maybe Windows XP Pro installation is not able to pick-up the DCC info about the current connected monitor, and still "thinks" it's connected to the old montior.


Can you change the monitor? What monitor is currently connected?

Author Comment

ID: 24132828
Oh yes, I'm sorry, I forgot to include this bit of information.

Yes, the monitor has been recognized correctly.
And to be sure that wasn't it, I actually drove back to the repair bench and plugged it back to mine. And again, it found my monitor and installed it.
I tried changing resolutions then... but still the same.
LVL 118
ID: 24132862
what happens when you force a vga switch in the boot.ini?

Expert Comment

by:Jeff Brown
ID: 24132872
Delete the Monitor in device manager.
hit F5  to refresh and force a redetection.

if that doesn't work go to the display settings
click on advanced
click on monitor
uncheck the box that says Hide modes that this monitor cannot display

the second option is less elegant but will allow you to change modes again.

Author Comment

ID: 24132876
I haven't tried that at all. Suggestions?

Author Comment

ID: 24132892
I'll check wildstar's suggestions tomorrow morning and keep you guys updated.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 24133012
You might try booting to the Advanced Options menu (f8 at startup) and choosing VGA mode. Resolution should default to 600 x 800, and from there you could try to set the resolution you want, then re-boot and see if it has changed.

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Author Comment

ID: 24138760
I've just tried all the above and nothing works.
I noticed that when I leave the computer with no graphics driver, the resolution changes to 800x600.
When I install the drivers, it goes to 640x480.
I cannot change the resolution on either setup, with or without drivers.

Is there any way to access the prompt during installation of windows that asks you to automatically adjust the resolution? Maybe if I clicked NO to that, it'd allow me to actually change resolutions.

This is really weird because I've been formatting and building computers for quite a few years now and this is the first time I come across this problem.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 24140681
"... noticed that when I leave the computer with no graphics driver, the resolution changes to 800x600.
When I install the drivers, it goes to 640x480..."
This is surely a driver issue...


Author Comment

ID: 24141828
I guess I'll take a look around for a different set of drivers for that chipset.
Maybe I'll find some Omega drivers for it. I'll keep you guys updated.

Author Comment

ID: 24147170
I tried the omega drivers but still nothing.
I give up. I'm reformatting it.
We'll see how it goes the second time around

Accepted Solution

DorianIS earned 0 total points
ID: 24210387
I have resolved this issue and here's the final report.

I grabbed a separate hard drive and started installing everything from the beginning. Each time I installed something, I changed resolutions and back. Long process, but I nailed it.

It was Spyware Doctor 6.
So as a note to everyone out there, here's a combination that I can replicate with the same effect.
Windows XP Professional SP3 - ASUS P5N73-CM - Spyware Doctor 6
(Latest updates from Microsoft Update, latest nForce drivers, and latest version of Spyware Doctor from Google Updater)

As soon as I installed Spyware Doctor, the resolution was stuck to whatever it was at that time. Didn't matter whether the program was running or not. As soon as I uninstalled Spyware Doctor and restarted windows, everything was back to normal.

When the problem was identified, I swapped the original drive back, uninstalled Spyware Doctor and the problem was fixed.

Thanks everyone for the ideas. Honestly... who could've thought this was in fact the cause.
Anyway, I'm glad it's done.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 24211996
Now THAT'S what I call trouble-shooting!!!

Well done.


Expert Comment

ID: 24547325

Just a thank you from a different thread on a different forum that was working on this problem - at intel communities.

Your diligent troubleshooting work was discovered by one of the many posters working on this problem and resolved the problem for us.  A stunningly strange interaction, but there you have it.  Thank you very much.



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