Laptop screen image too small

My laptop is an old fart, but it has a new problem. The screen only displays the desktop on about 1/4 of the screen. About half the distance is black in both directions, and the entire desktop is displayed in a centered rectangle. Some programs refuse to operate on this scale, and have their edges invisible, running off into the black.

I don’t know what kind of setting would govern this. I’ve thought of just formatting the drive and reinstalling Windows, but it sounds like a big hassle.

Suggestions? Thanks.

Check your video properties. Some laptops have to be run at the maximum available resolution in order to use the entire screen. My ThinkPad is just such a creature.

If the resolution cannot be increased, make certain that you’re using the correct drivers for both the display adapter and the display.

Purd Werfect got it. Unlike CRTs, LCDs have a “native” resolution. If you try to run at below this resolution, the image will only take up a portion of the screen. If you try to run above it, the image will be cropped. Some LCDs or videocards can resize the image to fill the screen properly, but this is really just a kludge.

(Assuming you are not running XP or NT) try starting in safe mode. It will default to 640x480 or standard VGA resolution. If the screen looks normal in safe mode it is likely to be a driver or resolution setting issue that should be easy to correct. If the chopped screen persists in safe mode you may well have a critical video hardware issue.

Please disregard my previous post. It would not be correct for the majority of modern notebooks.

Purd Werfect, you and Alereon are my new computer heros. That was exactly the problem. I had looked at that, but since the preview make it look like the items will look smaller, I didn’t actually do it.

P.S. What’s a kludge?

Kludge is a variant of Kluge
Jargon entry for ‘kluge’