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I have had this issue with a few laptops now and it looks like it is some sort of user account problem. Specifics of the system are:

  • Dell Laptop
  • Windows XP Professional SP3
  • Non-domain member computer
  • DLP Projector connected to laptop via VGA

I use this setup almost daily to do presentations, always the mirrored display mode where I can see on the laptop monitor the same thing that is displayed on the projector.

Today, when I boot up, I get the mirrored display at the login screen, but after I log in, it switches to Extended Desktop (like two desktops side-by-side). Fn+F8 just cycles through all the normal settings except the mirrored display.

I created a new user account on the computer and it performs normally. Mirrored display works as normal.

I have run into this about four times now and it always can be solved by creating a new user account on the computer, and then all is well.

I would like to either:

  1. Find a way to reset the customized settings for a specific user account which would hopefully make this go away, or
  2. Find the specific setting that causes this so that I can easily fix it when the problem comes up.

Creating new user accounts is kind of a pain and an easy fix must be out there somewhere.

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Which graphics chipset does the laptop have? – Shevek Mar 25 '10 at 14:23

Does your laptop has Intel graphics? If yes, you can try this, instead of using Fn+f8 or Fn+f7

Desktop-Rightclick > Graphic Options > Output To > "select what ever you want"
share|improve this answer
    
nVidia graphics. and the graphics software is no help. – Chris Mar 25 '10 at 14:29
    
Strike that, it is ATI. – Chris Mar 25 '10 at 19:28

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