Section 16.3. Installing and Configuring a Display


16.3 Installing and Configuring a Display

Physically installing a CRT monitor or FPD requires only connecting its video cable to the video adapter and plugging the monitor into the wall receptacle. The steps required to adjust the CRT monitor or FPD for best image quality vary according to the specific monitor you use. See the monitor manual for specific instructions.

We recommend using DisplayMate (see Chapter 2) when you install a new monitor or change video settings. In our experience, most monitors are not set for best image quality. Most people either use the default manufacturer settings or make a few arbitrary changes to brightness and contrast and let it go at that. Unless you've used DisplayMate to optimize it, chances are your monitor could be displaying a better picture than it is right now.

The steps required to configure the video adapter to use the monitor optimally vary by operating system, as described in the following sections.

16.3.1 Configuring a Monitor Under Windows NT 4

Windows NT 4 understands the capabilities of the installed video adapter, but has no knowledge of what monitor is connected to the system. Accordingly, it will permit you to configure video adapter settings that the connected monitor cannot display. In the worst case, you may configure the video adapter to use video settings so far beyond the ability of the monitor to display that using those settings for even a few seconds may physically damage the monitor.

Therefore, when installing a monitor on a Windows NT system, the first step is to check the monitor manual to determine the combinations of resolution, refresh frequency, and color depth that the monitor can support. Choose the optimum combination for your own needs from among the supported combinations, and then configure the video adapter to use those settings (see Chapter 15).

16.3.2 Configuring a Monitor Under Windows 9X/2000/XP

Windows 9X/2000/XP detects PnP monitors and automatically configures the correct settings for them, both when that monitor was present during Setup and, at the next restart, when you install a new PnP monitor. For non-PnP monitors, Windows uses the Standard Monitor, which displays only standard VGA resolution. Monitor type is configured from Display Properties figs/u2192.gif Settings figs/u2192.gif Advanced figs/u2192.gif Monitor. Changing monitor type manually uses the same Update Device Driver Wizard described in Chapter 15, but the search options are less useful for monitors than adapters.

Windows enables Automatically detect Plug & Play monitors by default. With some display adapters, enabling this setting causes the monitor to flicker during detection each time the system starts. This is harmless, but some people find it disconcerting. If that's the case, once your monitor is installed properly you can safely clear this checkbox.

Windows also enables Reset display on suspend/resume by default. This setting causes Windows to send a reset to the monitor each time you resume from Suspend mode. This causes annoying flickering with most video adapters, but disabling it can cause problems with some monitors, including inability to resume because the monitor never "wakes up" from Suspend mode. If you decide to disable this function and this problem occurs, the only option is to restart the computer and re-enable this setting. Note that even with this setting enabled, some configurations fail to resume from Suspend mode. If that occurs, the only solution we know of is to disable power management for video functions.

If Windows does not detect the monitor model (or detects the wrong model), use the Update Device Driver Wizard to select the proper monitor model from among those supported by Windows or to install a driver provided by the monitor manufacturer.

Note that we refer to monitor "drivers" only for convenience. In fact, there is no such thing as a monitor driver in the same sense as a driver for a video adapter. The monitor "driver" is simply an information file that tells Windows the capabilities of that monitor e.g., what refresh rates it supports at a given resolution which allows Windows to choose optimal settings for that monitor for the video card in use.


    PC Hardware in a Nutshell
    PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition
    ISBN: 059600513X
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2002
    Pages: 246

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