Acer Laptop resets screen resolution after every re-boot

Posted on 2009-04-15
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Hi I have an Acer Extensa 5630 laptop with the Intel Mobile 4 Series Express Chipset graphics.
The optimum resolution for this latop is 1280 x 800 and everything was fine until I attached an external monitor to the laptop. Which the Intel chipset is supposed to handle fine ( and did until i removed the external screen again from the laptop)

Now ever since when the laptop is booted (minus the external monitor) the display resolution changes from 1280x800 down to 1024 x768 and I have to go into the driver config and set it back up to 1280 again. When it is booting you can see initially it does show in the 1280 resolution however  as windows is finallising its startup the resolution changes down as you watch it.

I have tried all the settings, uninstalled and reinstalled the intel drivers and this effect continues.

If however I attach the external monitor then the resolution stays at 1280 on the laptop display and does not drop down to 1024. But as soon as the external monitor is removed then I am back to the problem again.

It looks as if the intel driver is now defaulting to a lower resolution at startup but I cannot see how I can get the settings to stick at the desired(and correct resolution of 1280)

Any help is resolving this would be much appreciated.

Question by:Nocturnal_nomad
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Expert Comment

ID: 24153531

internally, the graphics card is feeding the built-in LCD monitor of the laptop.  That LCD monitor has a native resolution that is apparently 1280 x 800.  The graphics card also feds an external 15HD connector which contains ID bits/DDC.  So some of the pins on the 15HD/VGA connector communicate with the external monitor and the external monitor tells the graphics card, i need this resolution.  That communication can be overriden via the graphics card settings on the laptop.

Now when an external monitor is connected to a laptop the DDC communication to the built-in LCD monitor is overriden so that the display seen on the built-in monitor usually gets changed to that of the external monitor.  Once the external monitor is disconnected, the graphics card once again recognizes the built-in LCD monitor and feeds it the appropirate resolution.

Having said that, it sounds like the graphics card is not recognizing the laptop's built-in LCD correctly and is feeding it a "default" or resolution.

Perhaps there are drivers that should have been preloaded on your laptop for your laptop LCD that have been replaced with other drivers...??


Author Comment

ID: 24155571
Hi thanks for the response. We are based in the UK so unfortunately the links appear to be for the US only. However this problem occured effectivly out the box so the drivers were the originals. The machine is running Windows XP Pro and I have been onto the Acer support site and downloaded the correct drivers provided for this model from Acer as they do not provide a separate driver disk with the machine - only a full recovery CD for all software. So its not possible to  pick and choose what you want to install.
Uninstalling the existing driver from the add remove programs and installing the downloaded drivers makes no dfference at all to the issue.

I have noticed , through searching on google of reference on other forums for different machines and indeed other graphics chipsets  being reported with then same kind of issue however solutions to this appear to be thin on the ground- the only "workaround " I found was for a mini laptop ( cant remember the manufacture now) that unpacking the drivers and modifying an inf file to force the card to default to its correct resolution. However the file in question was not part of the intel drivers that i could see and the instructions were pretty sketchy.
Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


Expert Comment

ID: 24164106
Hmmm.  Sorry.  I'm out of ideas.  

Sound like contacting the manufacturer by whatever means necessary is in order.


Accepted Solution

Nocturnal_nomad earned 0 total points
ID: 24165744
Called Acer Support who's final advice after various driver reinstall suggestions, was to backup my data and reset the machine back to factory defaults from the recovery CD's.  Suggested this was a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut and doesn't get to the bottom of what has gone wrong with the graphics driver. However as there were no better solutions available I did recover the Operating System.

...and the graphics driver is now working correctly again with both external monitors and Projectors.

However still concerned as to what caused the issue in the first place but  for now I guess I won't find out and just hope it doesn't happen again without explanation..

Thanks VBAN for your input though.


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