A couple of things:
It sounds like you have the wrong video drivers installed. 1024x768 is a resolution the base windows VGA driver sets.
Right click on your desktop and select Screen Resolution. Does it offer higher settings?
If not, do you know who made the video card in your laptop? Go get the latest drivers available for it. You will find them here for the "Big Three" graphics chip makers:
If it's the actual display hardware (either the card or the actual LCD display) causing that low resolution, there is nothing you can do as laptops are pretty inflexible when it comes to upgrades. Hopefully it's just a driver issue.