Computer questions

Posted by: Chisel

Computer questions - 01/19/22 12:15 PM

Hi everyone

I have a small desk and the area left beside the laptop is very small. So, time to time I have to put papers or notepad on the laptop keyboard when I am writing something. This may accidently press some buttons. A few time I got a screen turned 90 degrees !!!. And the only way I knew to fix it back was to shut down the computer and turn on again. It must be some button combination that I have not figured out yet.

Yesterday, another thing happened the same way. I had papers to write on and something happened on the laptop screen. I coudn't figure it out initially, but later seems like a resolution issue. I had a picture as a background in the center of the screen. This picture reduced in size. I started Word and Excel, both fill the screen OK. The file explorer seems OK too , but seems there is a change in the file names : the font seems smaller or thinner. I wasn't as comfortable to read them like before. Seems to me (according to my limited knowledge) that screen resolution might have been increased to the max. I tried to change it back but there seems to be only one (the recommended) option which was: 1920 x 1080

I restarted the laptop , and nothing changed.

What can I do to undo this and make reading a bit more comfortable like before ?

Thanks
Posted by: Eugene

Re: Computer questions - 01/19/22 02:48 PM

Windows (assuming windows but when asking a computer question its always a good idea to tell if windows/mac/linux/whatever) has rotate in as a keyboard shortcut, hold the ctrl and alt and then cursor keys, the up will return to 'normal', down will flip, left and right will rotate left and right.

Laptops and LCD's typically have one resolution to choose from since the pixel size can't change but can sometimes include other resolutions and scale the display.

Sounds like its missing the monitor definition (.inf) or video drivers, but you would need to give more details (windows, computer/laptop make and model).
Posted by: unimogbert

Re: Computer questions - 01/19/22 02:51 PM

In Windows 7 go to Desktop. Right click in the desktop area.
You should see a choice for Screen Resolution. You can change it there.

I use less than maximum resolution for ease of reading.

Since you didn't say what OS you are using my advice may not (probably won't) apply.

I'm using Win 7 as long as I can as I'm certain that 3/4 of my apps won't migrate to Win 10 or later. (I hate & despise "upgrades")
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Computer questions - 01/19/22 03:37 PM

Thanks guys

I am using a HP Pavilion laptop , with Windows 10
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Computer questions - 01/19/22 04:59 PM

1) Please donít use any version of Windows that canít be kept up to date with security patches. Currently Microsoft supports Windows 10 and 11 for desktop/laptop operating systems. If you absolutely must use an earlier version of Windows, it should be disconnected utterly and permanently from the Internet. There is no way to run unsupported versions of Windows safely with any kind of Internet connection.

2) I would recommend that if a laptop is having screen resolution issues and you cannot correct them by changing the display resolution settings, you should download and reinstall the graphics card driver from the manufacturerís website.

With that said itís likely that 1920x1280 is the right resolution. In Windows 10, right click on an empty area of the desktop, select Display Settings from the menu, and look at the settings screen that comes up. Consider changing the scaling factor here to make things look the way that works best for you.
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Computer questions - 01/19/22 05:13 PM

Thanks

Quote:
1) Please donít use any version of Windows that canít be kept up to date with security patches. Currently Microsoft supports Windows 10 and 11 for desktop/laptop operating systems. If you absolutely must use an earlier version of Windows, it should be disconnected utterly and permanently from the Internet. There is no way to run unsupported versions of Windows safely with any kind of Internet connection.


I have Windows 7 on a desktop computer that is disconnected from the internet. It was working beautifully until we moved stuff around the house, and is now having glitches. I don't know what happened there, but that is another issue.

Back to the laptop, any ideas what could cause such a sudden change in resolution ? It was great until the moment I was writing something on a notepad and noticed the change in the laptop screen. Initially thought it was one of those times, and would only need a restart. But it is a different story this time. Can it be a graphics card problem ?
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Computer questions - 01/19/22 05:40 PM

Most likely itís an internal Windows driver issue. The driver was updated and failed, or wasnít updated and failed, or something like that. Most commonly reinstalling the display driver resolves the issue. In extreme cases (I havenít seen this in Windows 10, but I imagine itís possible) reinstalling Windows may be needed. Donít do that unless you are certain that you need to, and make sure to have complete and redundant backups.

Much less commonly itís a symptom of a partial hardware failure.
Posted by: haertig

Re: Computer questions - 01/19/22 09:50 PM

I don't use Windows, so can't guess what it may have done to your here, but it's generally best to set your screen resolution to the physical monitor resolution. If you set it to other than native resolution you can get some horrible looking displays. If native resolution is too small for you to comfortably read, don't fix that by changing resolution, fix that by using settings in the OS and in applications themselves. I'm sure Windows must support this, but it's been eons since I used that, and couldn't begin to tell you where to find the settings.

Since you've had problems before (albeit fixed by a reboot), you might want to consider not doing writing on top of your computers keyboard. Maybe set up a small table to the side of your desk for writing on. You can get folding TV trays that would work for this (not the cheap metal kind we had as kids, but nicer wooden ones).

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Classic-Dinner-Snack-Table/dp/B07MKQGJSW/ref=sr_1_1?crid=25BM4U26UH7SP&keywords=folding+tv+tray&qid=1642628868&sprefix=folding+tv+tra%2Caps%2C471&sr=8-1
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Computer questions - 01/19/22 11:08 PM

Originally Posted By: haertig
I don't use Windows, so can't guess what it may have done to your here, but it's generally best to set your screen resolution to the physical monitor resolution. If you set it to other than native resolution you can get some horrible looking displays. If native resolution is too small for you to comfortably read, don't fix that by changing resolution, fix that by using settings in the OS and in applications themselves. I'm sure Windows must support this, but it's been eons since I used that, and couldn't begin to tell you where to find the settings.


Windows supports this and I agree that it's the preferred way to make the display work best for who is using it.
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Computer questions - 01/20/22 09:52 AM

Thanks guys

Quote:
Maybe set up a small table to the side of your desk for writing on.


Actually, my original home office consists of two tables; one for desktop computer and one for general writing or reading. But due to home remodelling projects the home office these days is no more than a table located at the entrance of the bedroom. Expansion of this office by one square inch would get me in serious trouble. LOL.
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Computer questions - 01/20/22 09:58 AM

Quote:
fix that by using settings in the OS and in applications themselves


Thanks
That is what I intend to do.
Plus a big dose of old man's tolerance. LOL
Posted by: haertig

Re: Computer questions - 01/20/22 06:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Chisel
...the home office these days is no more than a table located at the entrance of the bedroom...

That sounds like my small reloading workstation. Predicting this might happen, I built it on a workshop saw table frame and put large carpet sliders under the feet. So I can move it around when I get into trouble with the wife!
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Computer questions - 01/21/22 09:58 AM

Quote:
So I can move it around when I get into trouble with the wife!


LOL.
It is comforting to see this is a global thing.
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Computer questions - 01/21/22 10:06 AM

Well, how can I explain this to you'll

This time I start the laptop and something feels wrong again. I mean : right. I start Word to see if I needed to squint when editing my documents, but it looks familiar and comfortable. I swear I am not playing tricks here.

I went to display settings and it was on (1280 x 720) with many other options available.

It is back to normal. But how ???
And can I prevent this from happening again ?? Especially that these days I am overly stressed about multiple issues (one girl's marriage, one girl's birth - she and her 3 kids are with us - and house remodelling project, in addition to some extremely important paper work I have to do online using this laptop with deadline approaching fast)
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Computer questions - 01/21/22 10:07 AM

WOW

Posting on ETS looks as beautiful as it was before.
I am so happy.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Computer questions - 01/21/22 10:19 AM

Whatever you did I guess it worked!
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Computer questions - 01/21/22 10:52 AM

You know, one lesson I learned from life is that when a problem is too much, I should just stop worrying about it, and sort of temporarily sweep it under the rug. It works. In this ongoing remodelling project at home we shifted lots of stuff from my office and workshop and many items were misplaced. I searched for them a little and then, swept the issue under the rug. Then one day when I was making a sawhorse in the yard, I needed to open a toolbox and found what I was looking for.

So, I haven't really done anything technical here. I don't even know what to do about it. But I am so happy now that the problem fixed itself.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Computer questions - 01/21/22 10:54 AM

When something wouldn't work my dad would take it apart and put it back together. Even if he had no idea how the thing worked that tended to fix it a surprisingly high amount of times!
Posted by: Chisel

Re: Computer questions - 01/21/22 01:15 PM

Yes. And sometimes I felt some embarrassment for asking. It sounds silly asking about something which seems so simple that it has fixed itself. It happened so many times, like when something happened to the iPad and I asked relatives and in-laws who are more technical than I am. The next day, it just worked fine. LOL.

So, next time I should wait 2 or 3 days before asking for help.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Computer questions - 01/22/22 02:39 PM

Iíd suggest you write down the current configuration for screen resolution and scaling in the operating system. While this doesnít seem to be part of your issue, Iíd also suggest you write down the zoom factor in your browser and in MS Word (for Chrome on Windows see https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/96810?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop, for MS Office apps see https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/offi...6b-6f0c090f8ec7).