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Windows XP low screen resolution problems

by paulsuttle / March 2, 2013 10:37 PM PST

Hi All

I've just got hold of an old desktop PC for my son, it needed reformatting, and once done. I had a problem with the screen resolution, it was on the lowest default setting,640 x 480 pixels, and when I tried to change it, in screen settings, I was unable to do so. I've been into device manager, and looked to see if I can update the drivers, but I'm sure that it's not showing there, but not knowing the precise name of it, I'm not sure.
I do know that it was ok before I reformatted it, because it's an old work PC that I had.
Can anyone help with this, obviously I need to install a driver, but which one, and how, the PC is an emachines model 390,

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The Device Manager should show "Display Adapters"
by wpgwpg / March 2, 2013 11:01 PM PST

Look for Display Adapters in Device Manager. If you see ! or ? there, you're missing the driver for it. With only 640 x 480 resolution I agree it sounds like you need it. I went to http://www.emachines.com to see what drivers would be there, but all the models they have listed begin with a LETTER, not a number. Also in your note you neglected to say what version of Windows you have. It would seem that you've learned that the time to address drivers is BEFORE you format the hard drive, not after. In fact most computers provide a way to restore to factory settings. This is much more preferable to formatting and reloading because it takes care of the drivers and any factory installed software as well.

Good luck.

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Display adapters
by paulsuttle / March 3, 2013 1:21 AM PST

Hi, thanks for replying, sorry but there's nothing in device manager that says anything about display adapters. Also, is there anyway I can find out the model number, on the front of the machine, it just says e machines 390, no letter before. You say about a system restore, how would i do that, and would that require the XP disc in the machine at the time?

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I had an E-Machine once and never found a
by glb613 / March 4, 2013 5:32 AM PST
In reply to: Display adapters

place at the website for drivers. Go to the website, service and support or drivers and software, enter your model number and see what you can find.

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Sometimes the BIOS has a setting
by ChuckT / March 5, 2013 7:17 AM PST

I have seen this in some old Dell machines, and it may be possible with yours as well...
If you are using the built-in video circuits of the motherboard (meaning, you do NOT have an added video card),

Start up the PC and get into the BIOS (tell us if you don't know how to do that).
Once in the BIOS, see if there is a video selection to allow for more video memory.
Lots of times the default setting might be set to just a 1MB (one Mega Byte) or even less, for video memory.
If there is a setting to a larger amount on memory (and in the old Dells, I have worked with, I could increase it to 8MB.
Then save that setting and then reboot your computer.

I have seen where allowing for more video memory (and 8MB is not much, compared to any new computer, but 1MB is really stifling) then once you get into Windows, and you see the video modes and resolutions you have, more possibilities may be there.

I have not needed to get some odd, or hard to find, video driver. What is built into Windows was able to work better once more video memory was allotted.

Hope that helps.

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