I'm currently having a problem with my system where the full 2560x1440 resolution of my Dell U2711 monitor isn't well supported by my ASUS G73S laptop (it has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX440M CUDA with 1.5GB RAM). The laptop doesn't have DVI-D or DisplayPort outputs and the monitor doesn't officially support that resolution over HDMI. So, to work around it I added a "Custom Resolution" in the nvidia control panel. This works until the computer sleeps or reboots, at which point it stops working and the display driver freaks out, refusing to display on either the internal or external display until I unplug the HDMI connector.

In fact, the whole machine seems to lock up when I plug in the monitor as I can't VNC into the computer, either.

Unplugging the external monitor returns functionality for a while, but as soon as I plug it back in I'm stuck again.

If I get the external monitor to show a lower resolution I can successfully "upgrade" the resolution - I just have to make sure the laptop first uses the default 1920x1080 resolution that is better supported. Then I can increase that afterwards. To do that I have plugged in the VGA connector to the monitor which seems to have changed Windows' idea of my monitor configuration enough that it resets things to defaults. However, I suspect that if I reboot my computer without downgrading the resolution first I'll be in trouble ... I don't have any more monitors to hook up to use this trick!

I'm hoping that I can find a way get the various system components that restore my prior screen resolution to forget those settings so that if I get in trouble I can unplug the external monitor, delete/forget all those remembered display settings, and plug it back in to get to the "defaults" of 1920x1080 on both displays.

The ASUS driver updater tells me I have the latest drivers installed. I tried a quick search to see if there are still "third party" video card drivers out there but I didn't see anything.

Any ideas?


I found a way.

I went to the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers and deleted subkeys that had DELA in them. These are apparently the keys windows uses to decide what display settings to use when the display configuration changes. Deleting them caused windows to forget the settings and when I plugged the external monitor in it reverted back to mirroring both monitors at a lower resolution that worked.

Special thanks to sysinternals process monitor tool which I spent a while using to see which registry keys were read and written when I plugged in and unplugged my monitor.


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    Thanks for the tip, this was enough to help me find the settings on Windows XP Embedded, where my settings were in Control\Current\VIDEO\{hash}\0000\<named settings>. There were no subkeys with DELA in them. – Kevin Vermeer Mar 13 '12 at 8:09
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    No problem. I think the DELA was because my monitor is made by DELL, so other monitors would have something different in there. – Dobes Vandermeer Mar 30 '12 at 14:46
  • Hey @DobesVandermeer: thanks for that! Upvoted! However when I filter out some stuff my log file is absolutely huge! How did you filter the output to figure out which keys to delete?? (Willing to tip you generously as this is a major issue for me right now) – Psi Apr 23 '17 at 21:52
  • @ThomasHollis Sorry it's been so many years. Definitely search for "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers" in the logs, and see what subkeys are in use. Or just go in there in regedit and see if any of the subkeys in there look like they are named after your display combination, you can try deleting them. I think it is basically OK to delete the keys in here and Windows will fallback on default. – Dobes Vandermeer Apr 27 '17 at 4:43

I solved his issue by downloading teamviewer and then attaching my not working display to my laptop and then connected to my laptop using another pc or mobile device using teamviewer app. then went to screen res and changed it back to normal settings. NOTE, YOU MUST USE TEAMVIEWER, ANY OTHER REMOTE CONTROL APPLICATION ATTACHES ITSELF TO THE COMPUTER AS A DISPLAY.


If you're using Windows 7, an easier way may be to hit the Function + F5 (or F8 depending on manufacturer). If you try this with your external display DISCONNECTED you'll find that you can navigate the options that come up with the arrow keys.

Plug your external monitor back in and both displays should go dark. Go back into the Function + F5 menu, hit your right arrow once (to wrap around to "computer only"), hit "enter" and you should have your laptop monitor back with the external monitor still plugged in. Now you can use the configuration menu to re-enable the external monitor and set the resolution.

I just had this problem and the above resolution (no pun intened) worked for me.

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