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I just purchased a new computer that I believe has an OEM version of Windows 7 installed. I am still using the same monitor and keyboard/mouse I used with my old Vista computer.

The maximum resolution that Windows will allow for the desktop is 1280x720. However, I know that the native resolution of my screen is 1680x1050, and it worked in Windows Vista just fine.

How do I get the resolution of Windows, and hence any application installed, to reach the native resolution of my screen?

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Have you tried upgrading your video drivers (and/or making sure they are installed in the first place)? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Aug 31 '11 at 21:30
Tell us what Windows 7's Control Panel is telling you about your monitor. – JdeBP Aug 31 '11 at 21:30
that is it is a generic pnp monitor, the problem is i'm runnign an old AOC 2216Vw monitor i bought about 3 years ago for my last computer, and i will be using it until i get my new dell (possibly in the next month) becuase of it's age i have no idea where the drivers are from the original packaging and the site is less than helpful, when i Downloaded the drivers it gave me a bunch of giberrish text files from 2003. – Dylan Aug 31 '11 at 21:37
up vote 4 down vote accepted

1680x1050 is not a common resolution. You probably have a 23" widescreen monitor and it's probably a Viewsonic?

To get Windows to know this is the resolution you need to run on this monitor, go to the monitor manufacturer website and download the drivers for the monitor.

One thing monitor drivers do is tell the OS what resolutions the monitor supports, and once you've loaded the drivers you should be able to make this selection without issue.

Also, the connector you've plugged the monitor into can make a difference. For instance, using the Viewsonic VA2232wm monitor on a VGA connector, it'll usually detect properly in Windows XP and give the correct resolution options. However, using a Display Port to VGA adapter, and while it gives a dizzying array of possible resolutions, 1680x1050 is not one of the options until I load the monitor drivers.

UPDATE clear instructions for updating monitor drivers:

  1. Begin by downloading the monitor drivers from the manufacturer website. There may be updates or drivers that are written specifically for Windows 7. Extract the files to a directory. What you want is an .inf file that contains the actual drive information.
  2. Open the Control Panel. Go to Display, and then Screen Resolution.
  3. Right-click on the monitor showing there and select Properties.
  4. Click on the Monitor tab and click the Properties button.
  5. Click on the Drive tab and then the Update Driver button.
  6. Select "Browse my computer for driver software" and then browse to the location of that .inf monitor driver file and click the Next button.

If the driver package contained a more than one inf file, you'll probably see several different monitors listed in the following windows. Select the correct one and choose to install it.

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Monitor drivers are definitely the key. – Stuart McLaughlin Aug 31 '11 at 21:28
1680x1050 certainly is a common resolution. I have two displays at home from two different vendors running that right now, and neither is a viewsonic (Dell and Sceptre). I have other displays here at the office that use this resolution. It's only in about that last two years that suddenly all the high-end displays use 1920x1200 instead. – Joel Coehoorn Aug 31 '11 at 21:38
Hi well I found the old disk, was a good rummage but i found it, now when i follow inscructions on the disk (which ARE for windows vista but should still hold true) and try to update it gives me a message saying the device drivers are up to date and that nothing needs to be updated, then proceeds to do nothing at all and I still have the same problem... – Dylan Aug 31 '11 at 21:44
Then it's probably the case that I've just not had much experience with monitors of that size except in my current job. If that monitor resolution is as common as Joel notes, it does surprise me that it is not generally included as a default resolution on the systems I've worked with. – music2myear Aug 31 '11 at 21:54
this is just getting too much, I search online for teh better part of 30 minutes, and find nothing, ntoa single update driver from anywhere i look, even the AOC site is telling me it doesn't have the driver, if you go to the support and dowload section they just have spec sheets and no drivers. REALLY annoying, especially seeing as I now need to leave for work in 10 minutes. Even the windows 7 update site on microsoft i will have to manually search through 200 pages of driver software to find my monitor as it doesn't come up in teh search function and it can't be refined from filter tabs. – Dylan Aug 31 '11 at 22:20

Dylan, I have the same problem with AOC 2217v on Windows 7 32bit. I was able to download the drivers from AOC website which says that they are compatible with Vista. I got a resolution of 1440x900 which is better than 1280 that you have at present. I do get a native resolution of 1680x1050 if I use this monitor with a 32 bit Ubuntu but not with Windows 7.

You may want to download the latest drivers from the AOC US website here and increase your resolution to 1440 which works for me. 1280 is too low for a PC.

Update 1: I called AOC technical support at 1-888-662-9888 option 3 and was told to either update the graphics card driver or try a different video cable. I am using VGA. I don't see anything wrong with either but I will go through the pain and update again.

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