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On my Windows 7 computer I have two identical monitors connected to a NVIDIA GeForce GT 230 with current drivers (official, not Windows-Update). Both monitors' drivers explicitly installed (not the default PnP driver). Everytime I boot up the resolution of the second monitor defaults to 1280x1024 whereas the native resolution would be 1680x1050. The primary screen has the correct resolution.

Besides updating drivers and re-configuring anything via Windows and nVidia-Control-Panel I even tried another monitor of the same type. After all that failed I edited the following registry keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\VIDEO\...

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Hardware Profiles\UnitedVideo\CONTROL\VIDEO\...

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Hardware Profiles\UnitedVideo\CONTROL\VIDEO\...

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\UnitedVideo\CONTROL\VIDEO\...

What I did was to look for that 1280x1024 resolution and replace it with the native one. I did the same for the refresh rate and some other values. In most cases there was one key for the primary screen with the correct resoltion and one for the secondary screen with the lower resolution which I corrected.

I noticed some keys named VGASAVE like this one:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\0001\System\CurrentControlSet\SERVICES\VGASAVE\DEVICE0

with that lower 1280x1024 lower resolution configured. I did not touch these because the key says "SAVE" but it came to my mind that the screen defaults to some kind of safe mode on startup. Why could that be the case? Or is there a registry location I could have missed?

  • I would export the key then delete it. Be sure to take a system restoration point. – Ramhound Aug 7 '13 at 11:07
  • thanks for your answer but... which key? and why would you delete it? I mean... trial and error is not something I would do with the registry, especially not at work. So please be a little more specific. – Andre Aug 7 '13 at 15:07
  • The registry key. If you create a recovery point and expot the registry key to a text file. If anything happens you can simply import the key and rollback your system. – Ramhound Aug 7 '13 at 15:18
  • Actually I posted 4 registry paths plus one key (the VGASAVE which I would not delete), so my question was "which of these keys" and "why". When I made changes to these keys, I exported them. I actually deleted all keys under those hardware keys you can find there and created a fresh one by rebooting. So, again, please be a bit more specific. – Andre Aug 8 '13 at 6:29
  • If Monitor 1 is the problem child then you should export, backup, and then delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\0001\System\CurrentControlSet\SERVICES\VGASAVE\DEVICE0 I won't return to this question because of your attitude. – Ramhound Aug 8 '13 at 11:26
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After more than two years I found a solution: There was a certain service running named Windows Live Mesh remote connections service which seems to have caused the issue. Deactivating this service solved the problem.

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