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Very Low Resolution On Computer Startup? Need Help Please!


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First, I want to apologize for the information overload. I just want to get this problem resolved as quickly as possible and I'm guessing the more detail I can offer, the better the chances of that happening. :)

My current system stats are in my profile information to the left.

I have recently installed driver 185.68 for my 8700M GT video card and now my system is frequently starting (about 50% - 75% of the time) with a very low resolution. I usually set the resolution to 1280 x 960 but when the error occurs, the resolution is reset to (I believe) 800 x 640 (Everything is VERY large and VERY grainy). I also noticed that the color quality was set to lowest. (Medium and Highest are usually my only 2 options.) When I tried to open the Nvidia control panel, there was no response so I went into Control Panel>Display>Settings and tried to reset the resolution there... But no matter what resolution I tried to increase it to, the display would not change. I had to restart my computer several times before the display finally appeared as it should at the 1280 x 960 resolution. Of course all of my desktop icons were moved to the left. This is becoming more than a little frustrating.

I'm assuming there is a driver conflict somewhere but I don't know how to pinpoint the issue. I've installed Driver Cleaner and when I do an analysis on the Nvidia Display drivers, I am given the following list to "clean".

I took screenshots of the Driver Cleaner results because I have no idea what to keep or clean. Hopefully they will help somebody who knows more about this stuff than I do to help me out. Some of the files are cut off but I couldn't expand the D.C. window to show the remaining text. Sorry about that. Each image is exactly 1 page scroll down from the previous image. The very last image (#12) is almost an exact copy of the previous image (#11), having only a few extra files listed.

























I've also looked into the Add/Remove programs but my only option is to remove Nvidia Drivers. I'm assuming this means all of them. Is that even an option and then reinstall the 185.68 Driver? Would that install contain everything I need to make my system run as it should?

Also, when I bought the system used, the old Nvidia Driver was in the C:\Dell\Drivers folder so that is where I installed the 185.68. Is this the right location or should I install it elsewhere?

Edited by MalakaiSPSC
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It's very simple - first uninstall your driver ad then in safe mode run driversweeper and clear everything that NVidia filter pops up. Then install the new driver. The location is just to store your drivers for new install, it may be where you find it practical.

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Thank you for the answer!

Update: I did as you suggested and the Driver Cleaner found 7 files to remove. I then did the reinstall and reboot and set the resolution. So far everything looks good! :)

Edited by MalakaiSPSC
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The resolution reset again. :)

The laptop started as it should three times but on the fourth startup, the resolution reset to 640 x 480. I had to restart it twice before the resolution could be changed back to 1280 x 854.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Update: I ran Driver Sweeper again. It showed that I had Nvidia-Chipset drivers but when I done an analysis, it was empty. It also shows that I have ATI Display drivers. Could these be causing conflict with the Nvidia drivers?

I also updated the PhysX drivers from Ageia to Nvidia's.

Edited by MalakaiSPSC
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Sorry for the multiple postings but I think I've figured out the problem. It *seems* that the resolution on the laptop only screws up when I am running it on battery power. I did several restarts with the AC Adapter and several restarts with the battery. Every restart I did with the AC Adapter left the resolution and icons exactly as they are supposed to be. On the contrary, every restart I did with the batter dropped the resolution to 640 x 480, and I switched back and forth between AC and battery with the same results. If the resolution was messed up on battery and I shut the system down and then plugged in the AC before restarting it, everything appeared fine. If everything appeared fine on AC and I shut down and restarted on battery, the resolution would be messed up again.

I checked the power settings and couldn't find anything that would cause it to do this. The laptop is also telling me that the battery is at 90% of full charge.

Have any of you ever experienced anything like this? Could I be missing a battery setting somewhere? Or is it just a faulty battery? Or something else entirely?

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My assumption is that the Hybrid SLI of the 1730 is what may be causing your issues.

If you open device manager do you see a yellow exclamation point on one of the video drivers?

I sounds like Hybrid Power is trying to switch your GPU to the integrated one when you unplug and the drivers are not installed properly for it.

FYI You should be able to adjust some Hybrid Power settings under Power Options:

Start -> Control Panel -> Power Options -> Change Plan (on current plan) -> Change Advanced Power Settings -> Find "GPU Settings"

Under "GPU Settings" you should have "NVIDIA Hybrid SLI Graphics" in which you can change the hybrid mode when "plugged in" or "on battery"

Also under "GPU Settings" there is "Put Discrete GPU to sleep after" where there are additional timer options for automatically switching to power savings

Note: These settings wont work properly of course if the dirvers are not installed or working properly.

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I have went back and re-installed the 177.98 driver using System Restore and the instructions that zipper provided. This included:

1. Uninstalling Nvidia Drivers using Add/Remove Programs

2. Restarting the system in safe mode.

3. Using Driver Sweeper to clean off all Nvidia driver files remaining.

3. Unzipping the 177.98 driver files into a folder.

4. Placing the Modded INF into the same folder.

5. Running the setup.exe

6. Restarting the laptop in Normal mode.

7. And resetting the default resolution of 1920 x 1200 back down to a more reasonable level.

Now I'm back to where I started, but I am hoping that the Driver Sweeper in safe mode removed whatever was causing the occasional glitches that started me down this path.


I also followed the procedure you had listed but I ran into some problems. When I went into Control Panel > Power Options. The default window looks like this:


When I click on the pulldown tab, I am given a list of quickset options:


I'm sure that you already know that these options merely preset the controls for the power scheme settings below that can range anywhere from "After 1 Minute" to "Never". The preference was already set to "Portable/Laptop" when I opened the power options, but just to see the difference, I set it to "Maximum Performance (QuickSet)". The difference I found was that in Maximum Performance mode, the monitor turns off after 15 minutes on AC Power and the Hard Disk turns off after 15 minutes on Battery Power. Everything else remained the same so I left it on the Portable/Laptop setting.

I then began checking all of the tabs: Power Schemes, Alarms, Power Meter, Advanced, and Hibernate, and found nothing on the "GPU Settings" or "Nvidia Hybrid SLI Graphics". I then checked within the Nvidia User Control Panel and still found nothing matching those descriptions. I'm sure you have them on your system, and I may still have them somewhere on mine, but I'm not finding them.

So, for right now...

I'm going to see if the 177.98 performs any better than it did previously and keep my fingers crossed that it does and chalk all of this up to an educational experience since I now have a much clearer understanding of driver removals and installations. On the other hand, if it continues to glitch, I may try again working my way back up to the 185.68 driver gradually by trying out the 182, 183 or 184 first (assuming they are available for download.)

But I do still have one question. Some of the drivers are marked as Desktop and some are marked as Laptop. Other then the obvious differences between the Desktop and Laptop, what difference does it make with the driver assuming that both systems share the same specs?

Thanks to both of you for all the help. :)

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