Windows 8 forum

Question

New Hard Drive, Windows 8, Dell XPS 420, Stretched Display

Hello all. Sorry if I'm starting a new topic that's already been discussed. I have a Dell XPS 420 64 bit, Windows 8. I recently needed a new hard drive, the old one died. However when I got it hooked up and got it running, the display of everything is stretched out some. It does not look like it did before. When I use my husband's laptop, I can really see the difference. I had this problem before when I had to get my computer fixed last year. I some how fixed it but I don't remember how. I have the resolution set to the highest, 1280x1024. The only problem is it will only let me adjust it to three options, 1280x1024, 1152x864 and 1024x768. I tried all three and it is definitely worse on the lower two. The driver says it is up to date. I searched and searched online and they all say to adjust the resolution, but I tried that. I even unplugged everything and hooked everything back up. Nothing. Unless, of course it is supposed to look like this. But even my icons on the desktop are a little more oval shaped then round. Some of the text is slightly on the blurry side also. My husband agreed, it doesn't look right. So I got Tech support online today and he went ahead and took control of my computer. He had no idea what he was doing. I told him lowering the display did not work, so he did that and said, is that better? OMG, no! It made it worse. Then he must of set it to upside down and then asked if that was better! Shocked I finally left that and he never called back. I reinstalled Windows 8 with the 64 bit DVD hoping it would resolve, nope! So then I went ahead and installed my Office disc, while it was installing it said something briefly in a pop-up about the graphics card. I think it said something about updating it or something like that. So now I'm thinking with the new hard drive, maybe I need to update my graphics card? But I have no idea what it is. All I know is that I am at my wits end and ready to pull my hair out. Either that or I will be throwing it out the window and I will be following it! LOL Plain Any help will be greatly appreciated. Happy Thanks!

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: New Hard Drive, Windows 8, Dell XPS 420, Stretched Display
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: New Hard Drive, Windows 8, Dell XPS 420, Stretched Display
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Answer
Since you are using Microsoft Windows DVDs

In reply to: New Hard Drive, Windows 8, Dell XPS 420, Stretched Display

Those are missing drivers specific for your PC. Your Dell will have a SERVICE TAG you enter at dell.com to get the right set of drivers BUT and this is where many set the machine on the curb with a free sign, it won't tell you a step by step or much else.

Even I can't be exact because I don't own your exact model. Some will have bluetooth, others will have the whack a mole option.

OK, here's my generic reinstall for almost every version of Windows since 1995.
1. Install the OS. (you did this.)
2. Collect the machine specific drivers. (see 3.)
3. Install in this order.
Motherboard
Audio
Video
LAN, WiFi and Bluetooth
Then other drivers specific to this model such as keyboard LED etc.,
4. AND NOW THE DELL THINGS.
Here's where Dell and other systems need a little more. For Dell you look for their Dell Quickset app for the machine and OS and that should be it.

Collapse -
Thanks

In reply to: Since you are using Microsoft Windows DVDs

Hi thank you for your reply. Not sure how to do #2. I do still have all the Dell discs that came with it. I may just call where I had it fixed and get there opinion too.

Collapse -
I can't know what these Dell discs have or do.

In reply to: Thanks

That's why for #2 I use the service tag from the Dell PC to head to Dell.com to collect up the drivers.

Collapse -
Service tags?

In reply to: I can't know what these Dell discs have or do.

Where do you find the service tags?

Collapse -
(NT) should be on computer case

In reply to: Service tags?

Collapse -
Also this.

In reply to: Service tags?

Collapse -
Dell support

In reply to: Also this.

Ok, I went and ran the diagnostic test at Dell. Everything was good except I need to update the driver. I keep getting this message. 
It also said this: System is out of warranty. Please contact Dell Technical Support at 1-800-822-6031 for further assistance with hardware and software troubleshooting.Result: Critical errors found.Critical errors must be addressed immediately. Other diagnostics may be affected by these errors. Please follow the steps below to resolve your diagnostic results. You should run the diagnostics again once the critical issues have been resolved.Recommended next stepsClear results Hardware failure Replace MemoryThis system no longer carries a hardware warranty. If you are still unable to resolve the issue and need to purchase a replacement part, please visit Dell Spare Parts for a compatible replacement part.
Note: Warranty details can be viewed at the top of this page or on Dell's My Products and Services.

Collapse -
Flash

In reply to: Dell support

I also noticed my Flash was 32 bit, would that effect anything since my computer is a 64 bit?

Collapse -
Are you talking Adobe Flash?

In reply to: Flash

It's 32 bit for all. I'm going to shortchange you here since the Flash 32 64 bit discussion is overdone, well done with plenty of forks for all. Also, it's not a driver.

Collapse -
Drivers are no charge.

In reply to: Dell support

Support for them, is free but some want an exact step by step which is rare since you would have to find someone with nearly the same model, issue and willing to write it down.

As such I have to give nods to guides.

So what driver did you need?

Collapse -
Driver

In reply to: Drivers are no charge.

I was able to update the driver. I ran the diagnostic test again. But that didn't change anything with the resolution. Sad

Collapse -
Driver

In reply to: Drivers are no charge.

I updated the driver but it didn't change the resolution. Sad

Collapse -
Windows

In reply to: Driver

I'm starting to wonder if I reverted back to W7 or less, possibly, because of this. But I really don't remember.

Collapse -
Which driver did you update ?

In reply to: Driver

It looks like that Bios Flash A07 is for Enhanced Audio .
Did you install the Video Drivers from Dell ?

Collapse -
Drivers

In reply to: Which driver did you update ?

Yes, I went to Dell.com/support and entered my service tag and ran the diagnostics. But i don't know what drive it was. it just said driver update. But here is my info according to them as of now:

Disk DrivesDELL USB HS-SD Card USB DeviceDELL USB HS-MS Card USB DeviceSony Storage Media USB DeviceDELL USB HS-CF Card USB DeviceDELL USB HS-xD/SM USB DeviceWDC WD3200AAJS-56M0A0

Collapse -
Drivers

In reply to: Which driver did you update ?

Yes, I went to Dell.com/support and entered my service tag and ran the diagnostics. But i don't know what drive it was. it just said driver update. But here is my info according to them as of now:

[table]Disk DrivesDELL USB HS-SD Card USB DeviceDELL USB HS-MS Card USB DeviceSony Storage Media USB DeviceDELL USB HS-CF Card USB DeviceDELL USB HS-xD/SM USB DeviceWDC WD3200AAJS-56M0A0[/table]
Here's what I'm seeing. 

Collapse -
That's a facebook page.

In reply to: Drivers

As to diagnostics I didn't ask for that so I must defer to who told you to do that.

Collapse -
Fb

In reply to: That's a facebook page.

I just posted a screen shot of Fb. So everyone can get an idea of what my resolution looks like, that's all.

Collapse -
There are 2 pieces to get this working.

In reply to: Driver

1. The video driver.
2. In some cases the display "driver." Now this is not technically a driver but a monitor definition file. I don't want to go too deep on this so check your display maker for a monitor driver.

Usually I can get the full display capability with just the PC drivers but once in a while I'll need the monitor drivers.

Collapse -
HHHMM

In reply to: There are 2 pieces to get this working.

A little confused with that. How to i find them? I think i found it, I searched it. I found this under monitor: Dell SE198WFP(Analog)

Collapse -
I found that at Dell.com

In reply to: HHHMM

I'm getting the feeling you need tech support. While I did find the monitor driver at http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=7MCVG there is a problem with it.

It's old school. That is, Dell did provide the .exe that extracts the .inf file for us to install but your average PC user may be stumped here.

That is, just like before (decades in fact!) you have to find the .inf file after this runs then right click and install it.

Not only that but some PC users will be put off by the note about Vista. It's a .inf file which is not version specific.

If that doesn't clear it up, you need someone that's been installing Windows to work on your PC.

Collapse -
Dell

In reply to: I found that at Dell.com

What do you mean there is something wrong with it? Should I try to update it? Before I got the new hard drive, my computer was slow, froze up and Shockwave would crash or I would have to reload it all the time. Even now with new hard drive I'm finding it is still slow and sticky sometimes. I used Chrome it was before it was fixed because I just couldn't get IE to work right. Would constantly stop working etc. Haven't had any major problems with Shockwave yet. Could be this model doesn't really support Windows 8. But you think they would've told me that when they fixed it. Or maybe they just didn't know. I haven't had a chance to call them yet. or maybe I would be better off to talk to tech support at Dell. IDK. LOL But this stretched out biz is nuts. Plain

Collapse -
I don't know what it is in your post "Dell"

In reply to: Dell

We've covered drivers, service tags and the monitor driver. Given you've done all that I think you may have not completed a step (there is no step by step anywhere, only guides) and it's time to get a PC guru to see the machine first hand.

Collapse -
Dell

In reply to: I don't know what it is in your post "Dell"

So I contacted Dell and this is what they had to say Plain

Mary Wieloch
Hello, I have a Dell XPS 420. I just recently had a new hard drive put in. Mine died. I am now running Windows 8. But my display is stretched out and fuzzy. I have my resolution set to highest. Anything lower and it is worse. I have run the diagnostics test at Dell and ran the updates. But that didn't help. It did say I needed to replace the memory. I'm not sure if that would have anything to with it? I even had someone from tech support from Windows trying to help me, who actually made it worse and could not help me at all. I also notice is is running rather slowly at times and sticking. Before my hard drive died Shockwave would always crash and I would have to reload it. Sometimes my computer would freeze and I would have to restart it. I bought W8 a few years ago. I remember having this problem before. I have no idea how it got fixed. But I'm starting to wonder if I went to W7 because of this problem. Any advice at all would help. Thanks. also here is a screen shot of what my resolution and display look like.
Dell
11:33pm
Dell
Hi Mary,
Thank you for reaching us here, sorry to know that you're facing issues with the system. I would like to let you know that this system is not tested for Windows 7 and above operating systems. Hence I request you to install the operating system that originally got shipped with the system. Also, please share the service tag, registered owner's name and email in case if you need further assistance with the system, so that we could review the details and assist you further.
Thanks,

Collapse -
Answer
I read all above and still came up short.

In reply to: New Hard Drive, Windows 8, Dell XPS 420, Stretched Display

I can't tell what video card or onboard video you have.

After this many posts I think a PC guru has to see your PC and fix it. Forums may fail because it's too much to ask about the exact PC content or parts for some.

Wish I could help but all this and I still can't find what your PC is made of.
(repeat) the model is the series, so I can't use that to give exact advice.

Popular Forums

icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

SMART HOME

This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.