I regularly have a problem when switching between users in Vista - the screen resolution drops down to 800x600. If I try to set the resolution back to the maximum, it says nothing, but just keeps it at 800x600. I can set it back to an intermediate value. Otherwise I have to either restart the PC, or sometimes if I log off one of the users, I can then set the resolution back to max.

Might it also have something to do with using sleep mode instead of performing regular shutdowns? I thought it might be related to the desktop background image taking up too much space, but even with plain colours, the problem still occurs.

There is an enormous thread on this here, but not really any answers.

From what I can gather from that thread, it isn't related to any particular applications, nor limited to a particular make of graphics card or monitor, so I don't think that including hardware details is useful.

This is a very annoying problem, as it screws up my desktop and screen layout every single time.

Has anyone here experienced this problem or found a solution?

I've noticed that Windows Update has tried to install nVidia updates and apparently they've failed on several occasions. Not sure if that is of any relevance or not.


The last post on the thread:

FWIW - I had this problem for about 2 years and wrote a number of posts in this thread in the past. It survived OS reinstallation, change of practically all of my hardware piece by piece (mobo, cpu, monitor, graphics card, memory, power supply...) I used to be affected by this annoying problem at least once every 24-48 hours.

About 1.5 months ago I wiped out my 32 bit vista ultimate installation and installed Windows7 ultimate 64 bit from scratch and never saw this problem again. GOOD RIDDANCE. Vista was a pathetic piece of ____ that felt like a flashback to the old [horrible] NT4/Windows95 days. I was seriously considering switching over to Apple/Mac OSX if this problem persisted.

There's another thread here, which comes to the same conclusions about the cause, but still no word on a (satisfactory) fix :)

  • When did it start occuring? What's the specs of your computer? How long since you installed the OS? – Ivo Flipse Oct 9 '09 at 6:27
  • I have this same problem with a dual monitor set up. It happens randomly, and when it does happen it usually affects only the second monitor. Sometimes when I reset the display settings it puts it back to my higher resolution, but other times the only way to get it back to normal is to reboot. – Bratch Apr 30 '10 at 23:06

Haven't read all of the "enormous thread", but are your display drivers up to date?

Is this a new problem? Did the resolution stay after user switching previously? If so, what changes have been made (maybe a service pack)?

This question has been asked. You could try the Ultramon method.


I installed this update a while ago:

nVidia - Display - NVIDIA GeForce 7100 / NVIDIA nForce 630i
nVidia Display software update released in January, 2010

I continued to have the same problem after, but much less.

Something else I did was switch down from 32 to 16-bit colours. And that stopped the problem completely...

  • I hate it, but this was the solution that worked for me... – Benjol Sep 16 '10 at 11:12
  • Note, now that my daughter has started using the PC (one more user) this has started happening again. So it's definitely something memory-related. – Benjol Dec 4 '12 at 9:18

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