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Laptop not displaying resolutions > VGA...


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So my wife's laptop (Dell Inspiron 6000, ATI RadeonX300 Mobility, WinXP MCE etc) has developed a rather nasty & annoying problem - it won't display in resolutions greater than VGA.


The symptoms are it will boot up fine, load Windows fine, and then the display switches off when it gets to the login screen because the resolution is higher than VGA. If I interrupt Windows & force it to use VGA mode, it gets to the login screen fine & happily displays the desktop etc. Just in VGA. If I then select a higher resolution, the screen switches off.


I've tried reinstalling the video drivers but the ATI drivers insist there's nothing needing installing.


Of course it's out of warranty by about four months.


Any ideas?

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Hmm, is it possible to delete the graphics adapter on a laptop? Maybe if you completely remove the hardware, it'll redetect and let you reinstall? Also, did you run the ATI driver setup, or use the "reinstall driver" button on the device manager? Not sure if it'll make a difference or not, but it could be worth a try.

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If this was a desktop it would be the monitor driver for sure. I dunno on a laptop, they don't normally need a monitor driver.


Normally on a desktop you would just download the monitor driver; go into the driver settings and do an "Update driver" on the display.


Try it and see if it finds the correct driver, perhaps:


Pick your display in the display settings.


go to Advanced / Monitor tab/ Properties /Driver tab/ update driver / then let it try to search for the correct driver. It should auto-detect it.


I also found this for an Inspiron 1100:


I found this, see if it helps:



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Ok, I'm the last person that should be giving out tech advise.


I frequently take my laptop to a conference room and hook it up to a projector. I have to push a combination of keys on the laptop to make it output to the projector hooker upper.


Once I disconnect, I notice that my laptop is wonky in the screen resolution, UNTIL I hit that toggle key a few more times. It goes like this with each press...


Laptop screen -> projector output --> both


It's when I accidently leave it on both where it looks really weird.


This is with an IBM thinkpad. Maybe try the same type of toggle on your Dell? Could it be something simple like that?




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Actually, there is a keyboard toggle for its VGA connector just like you describe.


I installed those Omega drivers last night, made no difference. I did some digging on the web last night that came to a similiar conclusion to what GreenMonkey said - it's the monitor driver, not the videocard driver... I ran out of time last night so I'll spend some time tonight on the monitor driver, but will try out that keyboard toggle first :)


Thanks for all the help, guys. I flippin' hate doing PC support :)

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AFAIK laptop monitors do not require drivers; they're plug and play monitors as far as Windows in concerned.


I'm guessing it's more along the lines of what Carlos mentioned as I had the exact same thing happen to me today when I disconnected from one of our projectors at work.

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Carlos was spot on. I must have pressed the keyboard combo & not known it. A quick tap of the FN+F8 key & then rebooting, and back into a nice high res.


Thanks a lot guys, you've said me a bunch of worry & potential outlay for a new laptop :)

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