Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    13
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Using external monitor in conjunction with laptop: must resolutions match?

    I have a Dell M90 laptop, with a native screen resolution of 1900x1200, running Win 7 Pro 64 bit.

    Although it's a big screen (17"), I thought it might be useful to use it with an external monitor, since I have a multitude of windows open at any given time. So I bought an LG 15-incher LCD; it has a lower maximum resolution than my laptop.

    I find that using the two together is really troublesome, because after I disconnect the LG, most of the open application windows settings on my laptop screen get all messed up -- e.g., a new message in Outlook will only open in what looks at half height, Firefox windows sizes will change, Windows explorer windows won't keep their last-closed positions and sizes, etc. (basically, most app windows won't keep their last-closed windows and sizes once the external monitor is disconnected).

    Is this to be expected, and is it a result of the fact that the two monitors have different native resolutions, or is it a more basic issue which can be simply resolved by some arcane Windows tweak?

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,335
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 267 Times in 260 Posts
    I think it's to be expected in certain circumstances, like if the windows that get resized and moved around are coming back from previously being on the lower resolution screen and were not set to full screen.

    I think you'd have to try a second monitor with equal resolution to see if that's so or not. Is the laptop maintaining its native resolution when the second monitor is connected or is it matching it?
    There might be something in the display(s) management center (Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, other?) that would affect those properties but I'm not sure what.

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    828
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 38 Times in 34 Posts
    I have similar issues with my work laptop. At work I have a docking station with 2 monitors. When the laptop is undocked, I get all kinds of strange behavior due to the missing monitor, with app windows opening up into the location of the missing monitor (and thus not being visible) being the most troublesome. I don't think that the MS engineers have really thought enough about how to handle the "missing screen real estate" issue in a decent fashion.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    13
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by F.U.N. downtown View Post
    I think it's to be expected in certain circumstances, like if the windows that get resized and moved around are coming back from previously being on the lower resolution screen and were not set to full screen.

    I think you'd have to try a second monitor with equal resolution to see if that's so or not. Is the laptop maintaining its native resolution when the second monitor is connected or is it matching it?
    There might be something in the display(s) management center (Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, other?) that would affect those properties but I'm not sure what.
    Thanks for the reply. The laptop does maintain its native resolution when the external monitor is connected (funny thing, though -- I've had occasions where I've connected an external projector, and the laptop changes resolution to match the projector).

    Also, the weird behavior of windows occurs on the windows which remained on the laptop throughout the period the external monitor was connected, and is not specific to windows which were shifted to the second monitor and then moved back.

    Second monitor with equal resolution -- yeah, i thought of that, but that's more $$$! Just thought I'd ask here in case there was an easy fix.

  5. #5
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,411
    Thanks
    447
    Thanked 406 Times in 378 Posts
    My laptop sits to the left and my external monitor sits to the right. The internal monitor is always the primary monitor. In this way, Windows always sees the same monitor as the default monitor.

    If you'll set it up this way, I believe that this will eliminate some of the reconfiguring that goes on when you go from 1 to 2 or 2 to 1 monitors.

    Also, my two monitors have different resolutions, and this causes no problems.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2013-02-11 at 13:23.

  6. #6
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    13
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    My laptop sits to the left and my external monitor sits to the right. The internal monitor is always the primary monitor. In this way, Windows always sees the same monitor as the default monitor.
    My laptop sits to the left as well, with my external monitor to the right. Also, as far as I know, my laptop monitor is always the 1st or Primary monitor. I still have these problems.

  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,411
    Thanks
    447
    Thanked 406 Times in 378 Posts
    My gut feeling is that the difference in resolution is not what is causing these problems.

    A couple of other things you might explore: Is the external monitor a lot older (or newer) than the internal monitor? Is one monitor square-shaped and the other rectangular?

    If none of those help you resolve it: Is the external monitor a CRT and the internal monitor a flat-screen? I'm not sure if this would matter, but the technologies are different, so it might.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2013-02-13 at 12:48.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    13
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    You may be right, but then what could be the problem? I've stopped using the external completely, even though it could be a real help, given the number of windows I have open.

    The external monitor is an LCD. It's newer than my laptop by a couple of years, but it's a standard LG monitor.

    No odd shapes on either monitor...both are standard -shape LCDs. The monitors run off my laptop's video card, which is an NVidia 3500 (was a pretty high-end video card for a laptop when it was introduced -- the laptop was a high-end product, promoted by Dell as a 'mobile workstation'}. The drivers are the latest available.

  9. #9
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    11
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Have you tried a multi-monitor management program? I have pretty much the

    Have you tried a multi-monitor management program like UltraMon?

    I have pretty much the same set-up as you (Dell 17" laptop and 21" monitor with lower resolution. I have the external screen above my laptop in a vertical orientation and mostly use it to keep my e-mail program visible while I work on the main monitor.

    I suppose Windows (Win7 for me) can do what I needed if I spent a lot of tweaking time, but I tried UltraMon and it made it so simple. I can configure a number of presets and save them. Ultramon adds several new buttons to the upper right of each window's titlebar so that with one click I can pop a window from one screen to the other with UltrMon taking care of all the resizing, maximizing, etc.

    It's not free unfortunately, but it is one of the best $39.95 I ever spent...

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to DeeGorman For This Useful Post:

    mrjimphelps (2013-02-14)

  11. #10
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Summerville, SC, USA
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Another good multi-monitor management program is Display Fusion.. I've used UltraMon too.

    These 2 programs provide MANY tweaks and options when using multi-monitors. Save different monitor profiles, etc. I especially like the options they give for the taskbar, e.g. full taskbar on both (or all) monitors. Windows won't do that alone.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •