Laptop LCD display problem

By lou433 ยท 10 replies
Sep 7, 2005
  1. I'm having a problem with the display of my Sony Vaio laptop.
    Currently, the displayed area looks like this:
    |xxxxxxx |
    |xxxxxxx |
    |xxxxxxx |
    | |
    Basically, only 800x600 pixels are used for display, although the LCD screen is 1024x768. The displayed image is fine, just smaller.
    The video adapter also reports a 800x600 LCD. The image on an external monitor looks fine, the whole screen is used.
    I checked long and hard for any SW or BIOS settings but couldn't find any.
    I doubt it is the LCD itself, because this problem appeared after I opened the laptop trying to fix a power plug problem. I might have touched the flex cable or the connectors.
    Any suggestion on how to correct this problem would be greatly appreciated.
  2. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    go into the device manager. look under display adapters, and tell us what your video adapter is identified at. this info is also visible on the display settings window. your problem could be caused by a lack of video card drivers. also, try using only your built-in LCD, with no extra monitors attached.
  3. lou433

    lou433 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for your reply.
    My video adapter is listed as "NeoMagic MagicMedia256AV". I did uninstall and reinstall the original video drivers, to no avail. The strange thing is that, under the adapter's advanced properties, the "Panel information" lists the LCD of size 800x600, although it really is 1024x768.
    Also, this "3/4 screen" appears immediately after power-on, during boot-up. I was hoping that is was a BIOS setting, but like I said, I couldn't find it.
  4. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    check your laptop keyboard/manual, see if there are any keystrokes ro bios settings you need to enable the entire screen.
  5. lou433

    lou433 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks again, but I tried that too.
    I am able to access the BIOS settings without any problems, but it doesn't appear to be one that manages the LCD size.
  6. frankd

    frankd TS Rookie

    Lou, did you resolve this? I'm having the very same problem.
  7. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    LCD's are fixed at their intended resolution. They can't display anything BUT their intended resolution.

    That being said, some videocard drivers allow you to stretch/rescale different resolutions to the display/LCD resolution. This would be something (if supported by your videodrivers) to the effect of "Expand display" or "Scale LCD display".. on some Dell and HP laptops, it's a checkbox in the Advanced Display properties. Other laptops have the checkbox/setting in the TV-Out settings (strange place to be hehe). Others simply dont have the support for it.

    Worst case scenario- you can set your desktop to 1024x768 resolution (or whatever your LCD's native resolution is) and increase Windows sizes to match. In Display Properties, Appearance.. set Font Size to Large Fonts and in the Effects button, set Large Icons. You can also use SHIFT+your mouse wheel in web browser to smoothly set your browser display to your preference.
  8. lou433

    lou433 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Unfortunately, no suggestion worked.
    I did solve the problem though - I bought a new laptop :)
  9. frankd

    frankd TS Rookie

    Lou & Sharkfood, Thanks for the replies. This one is driving me nuts.

    Lou, I have a new one ordered also (Dell 6000) but would like to get this old Gateway functioning again for a couple reasons. It would come in handy and I hate the fact that I broke it. The problem started after I opened it up to reseat cables because I was having a flickering display. Hey, it doesn't flicker any more :).

    Sharkfood, it's not strictly a resolution problem. Tough to describe. "The laptop shrinks the display by about one third and uses the the upper left of the LCD to put the picture in." The picture is complete nothing is missing. However there is extra space on the right and on the bottom. This extra space is filled in with data that is a duplicate of the "shrunken" display. I attached a picture, worth more than a thousand words in this case. The problem is evident during POST which leads me to believe its not a driver issue. Seems like a hardware setup issue to me but can't find anything in the BIOS.


    Attached Files:

  10. lou433

    lou433 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That was precisely what happened to me: I had a problem with the DC plug, opened the case and pulled the flex cable, then put it back in and the LCD resolution was detected as 800x600 ever since. I am inclined to believe that the problem is HW rather than SW. I even took the laptop to a (so called) laptop repair shop, but the only solution they offered was to replace the LCD and the mother board... So I replaced the whole laptop instead.
    Good luck!
  11. frankd

    frankd TS Rookie

    Lou, I just got it working. Not convinced it's a permanant fix but we'll see. I loosened the cable that plugs into the mother board. I can't believe it but it worked for me. I figured I'd try to undo the things I did and I recalled the plug not being completely seated when I opened it the first time. Still have your machine? Give it a shot. If you do watch your POST carefully for changes (improvement). The OS problem could be a driver issue. If so delete your monitors/displays in device manager and let Windows redetect. Mine was detected as 800x600 and is now detected as 1024x768.

    Did some more testing, definitly related to how the cable is seated. Maybe a new cable is in order? New cable won't help if it's a connector on the MB. I'm going to reassemble as is and see how it holds up.
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