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- Mike Blake-Knox
November 6, 2004, 4:28 pm
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of my Dell 8100 (w/ 16MB GeForce2Go video adapter, Win/XP SP2).
Unfortunately, Dell hasn't made any progress in solving the problem so
I'm hoping other I8100 user can help me get a bit of traction with
What I would like you to do is to enable your external monitor then set
the internal LCD (1600 x 1200) to millions of colours. In my case,
changing the color depth for the internal LCD to 32 bits has started
changing the resolution to 1400 x 1050 whenever an external monitor is
connected (no matter how small the resolution is set on the external
monitor). What happens on your Inspiron 8100?
Thanks very much.
Here's some background:
I have an almost 3 year old Dell Inspiron 8100 that I've been using
with an external monitor (1024 x 768) to extend the desktop (internal
LCD at 1600 x 1200). I had some video issues (display flickering into
magenta, portions of the screen being repeated) and sent it in to Dell
It came back (for the third time!) and still isn't working the way it
did before. Specifically, when I try to use the external monitor, the
internal LCD will only run at 1600 x 1200 when I use 16 bit colors.
When I try to switch to 32 bit color, the resolution changes to 1400 x
1050 and the "inappropriate resolution for a LCD display" message is
displayed. The laptop has a GeForce2Go video adapter with 16 MB of RAM
which sounds adequate. Dell hasn't been of much help so I'm interested
in any advice before my service warranty expires.
I've spent a lot of time fiddling with the display settings with no
real results. I have noticed that the NVIDIA control on this laptop
doesn't have the resolution settings functionality that I see in the
dual monitor article on the ExtremeTech site. I've tried running
dxdiag.exe and notice that it has problems when I use the
TestDirectDraw and TestDirect3D tests. The internal LCD resolution
keeps changing as the tests run, and the "inappropriate resolution for
a LCD display" message are displayed (dxdiag seems to think I'm
interrupting it by typing). I assume this isn't normal - if I run
dxdiag on a Thinkpad A31 (ATI video), it seems to run properly.
In addition, at least one of my original video problems continues. When
I choose Start/Shutdown, the dialog asking if you want to
Restart/Shutdown/.. isn't displayed on a plain blue background.
Instead, the background picks up parts of window title bars and repeats
them down the display. I end up with an effect where I might see text
from the title of a browser window repeated 20-30 times down the
I'm suspicious of some kind of a video memory problem (as it might
explain both symptoms) even though Dell says they've replaced the video
Any suggestions? Is there a diagnostic that might help?
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