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One of the teachers at the school I support has a Dell Latitude E5500 and about 3/4 of the desktop shows just fine, but the right 1/4 shows whatever was on there last, like it's not refreshing (yes I tried refreshing the screen). For example if I open up Internet Explorer then minimize it the left 3/4 minimizes, but the right 1/4 stays pulled up.

If I change the screen resolution to 800x600, it works perfectly fine. The sceen works together and has no problems.

The only way I have found to get rid of this is to reload the laptop. How can I resolve this permanently?

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migrated from May 18 '10 at 20:25

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Thou shalt find thy help in the realm of – Sadface May 18 '10 at 20:17
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Go to the Dell support page and ensure that you have the latest video driver for this model. Also set the screen resolution (Display Properties--->Settings) to the laptop's native resolution (1440x900).

If you are still having the same problem, check that the BIOS is current.

Finally, you may have a faulty display adapter. What happens when you connect an external monitor at the same resolution?

If the machine is still under warranty, have it checked.

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I have the latest drivers and dell cant seem to do anything with it...If I change it to 800x600 it works fine, but when its in 1440x900 it starts misbehaving – msindle May 19 '10 at 20:31

Sounds like a graphics card issue.

Check different resolutions and see if it makes a difference. Make sure you have the most up to date video drivers. Check your cable connections.

Is it under warranty? If so just send it back.

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I actually don't think this is a video card or hardware issue. What's running on the laptop? Try looking through msconfig and taskmgr and see if you can't find any strange processes. Try disabling all startup items and services using msconfig and then reboot the laptop. If it's a software issue, doing this just might fix it. To rule out the possibility of a hardware issue you could also boot an Ubuntu live USB/CD and see if the graphical issues are still there at the laptop's native resolution.

Edit: Haha, this question was asked in May 2010? How did I even get here?

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I'm in the same boat as you, Huskekn... :-/ – Hand-E-Food Aug 2 '12 at 22:58

I suspect there's a program running similar to Windows Vista/7's Desktop Gadgets, but it's crashed. Your problem sounds like a program has a window on the right quarter of the screen, but due to some failure, isn't drawing anything. Windows doesn't draw the desktop there because it's expecting this program to draw something instead.

Does the problem occur if you start Windows in safe mode?

All I can think to find the culprit is to go through either the Add or Remove Programs menu in Control Panel and remove any useless crap that's been installed.

As a second option, go through the Task Manager and delete processes one by one until the desktop recovers. However, unless you have some idea which processes to close first, you could crash the system.

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