One year ago I decided to switch from Windows XP to Windows 7. I had a 17" CRT monitor with a screen resolution of 1600x1200 which worked fine on Windows XP. While installing Windows 7 everything went well until Windows 7 was going to install the video card its driver. Windows 7 puts the screen to its recommended resolution and my screen became black. I waited a few minutes to be sure the installation was finished. I turned off the computer by hand and restarted the computer on a resolution of 800x640.

When windows 7 was done installing I went to screen resolutions and the resolution of 1600x1200 was on the top of the list with '(recommended)' next to it. I tried putting it on 1600x1200 but again my screen went black.

I installed all windows 7 updates including the video card driver from the NVidia site (NOT from Windows 7). I tried about everything to make it work on 1600x1200 but with no succes. The highest resolution I got with the crt monitor was 1280x1024.

I had a TFT screen which had 1280x1024 as max resolution and had better colors, so I used that one till today.

My video card is 9600GT and my power supply is beyond sufficient.

I even tried to install the driver I had on XP to see if it worked, but no results. I tried classic mode on windows 7, changed the dpi, the frequentie and the monitor settings, but nothing worked.

I really like a vertical resolution of 1200, but it seems today I'm bound to all those standard monitors with a resolution of 1980x1024...

Can anybody explain to me what the cause is that it worked on Windows XP but not on Windows 7? And maybe a solution to the problem (I actually gave up on getting it fixed...)

Thanks a lot in advance.


I downloaded the according monitor driver and installed it. Next I rebooted my computer on low resolution (800x640) and connected the CRT monitor. When Windows 7 booted successfully I went to computer management and 'update the driver' of my monitor. I manually selected 'Generic PnP monitor' and made that one active. I want to advanced settings at 'Screen resolution' and selected the mode '1600x1200 (32-bit) 80 Hertz (95 Hertz did not work). Now I had my resolution on 1600x1200. I repeated the earlier step to select the original monitor again instead of the Generic monitor.

Quite a way to solve this problem, but it worked! Thanks a lot you all.

  • Monitors nowadays are cheap, you can probably pick up a 23" monitor for $200 or maybe less – Kurru Nov 19 '11 at 7:50
  • @Kurru I probably will, but I still want to know what causes the problem. I do not want it to happen again in the future. – Mixxiphoid Nov 19 '11 at 7:54
  • You may need to install the right driver. A monitor driver is mainly just a list of supported video modes though -- your video card has to be able to understand and make use of them too. – Randolf Richardson Nov 19 '11 at 7:54
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    @RandolfRichardson thanks for the hint, I will try it out! You'll hear from me. – Mixxiphoid Nov 19 '11 at 8:09
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    @RandolfRichardson please make this an answer. I found the solution thanks to you. I will update my question with the solution. – Mixxiphoid Nov 19 '11 at 8:48

Monitors often come with "monitor drivers" these days, which can be downloaded separately from most monitor vendors' web sites. These monitor drivers (which are not the same as video card drivers) will often provide a list of valid video modes to the Operating System that, as long as the video card can also support them, can be used.

Sometimes I've encountered a Windows system that can't use a resolution greater than 1024x768 even with the right video driver installed. After downloading and installing the monitor driver, the higher resolutions became available in the Display Settings control panel applet.

Usually Windows 7 will be able to obtain these drivers through Windows Updates automatically, but there are some vendors who aren't set up with Microsoft for this so there are occasions where a manual download and installation is required.

In short, the key may be to have the right monitor driver installed.

  • Thanks a lot for your help. Windows did found the right driver for the monitor though, however the exact driver for my monitor did not exist so i downloaded the one that came closest to the one I needed. – Mixxiphoid Nov 19 '11 at 11:40

It's possible that Windows 7 is trying to use a refresh rate that's too high for the monitor at the 1600x1200 resolution. In the screen resolution screen, you can select Advanced Settings and under Monitor check the refresh rate. Lower it to 60 (if it's higher than that) and then try bumping up the resolution.

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    I tried that too, but no result. I could choose between 60 and 75 if I remind it correct. Thanks for the help anyway :). – Mixxiphoid Nov 19 '11 at 7:45

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