Screen resolution for Inspiron 17R


I have a Dell Inspiron 17R laptop with Windows 7. I recently added a Plugable UD-160-A. Everytime I reboot or turn-on the laptop I have to adjust the screen resolution to 1600-900. I have the latest driver. How can I permanently keep this setting? Thanks.


Hi Gary,

Usually that problem is caused by Windows 7 not getting the monitor’s ID and capabilities from the graphics controller (via a mechanism called EDID).

This problem is most common with VGA (analog) connections.

Do you currently have the docking station attached to the monitor with VGA (blue cable)? Does the monitor have a port and cable to connect directly with DVI (white cable)?

Thanks for your patience … We’ll get this figured out.


The only connection to the laptop is thru USB 2.0. I have no additional cables.


Hi Gary - The dock has a DVI connector, plus a DVI to VGA adapter in the box. So the question about cabling is from the dock to the monitor (not from the dock to the laptop - as you say, that’s always USB). Can you say whether you’re using VGA or DVI? Thanks!


Aha! I found a cable with Two VGA conectors. Is it just a matter of plugging in to the laptop and into the convertor then to the Plugable?


Yes. Can you say - how did you have the dock connected to the monitor before?


I had no additonal connection other than the USB 2.0 connection. Apparently that is the problem. I am only using the laptop monitor.


Ah, got it. I was assuming you had a second monitor connected to the dock - now everything makes sense!

If you don’t have a second monitor, you should not connect the laptop and the dock - both the laptop VGA connector and the dock VGA connector are for the some purpose: connecting to an additional monitor. They’re both VGA outputs.

Going back to the original problem of having to set the laptop screen manually to 1600x900 on each boot - what mode does the laptop screen set itself to if you do nothing? Any problems? And did this behavior change after installing the drivers for the docking station, or has it been there a while?

Thanks for your patience and the clarifications!


Woouldn’t you know. I just restarted and the screens came up OK. Here is hwat is shows: Display - 1/2 Multiple Monitors, Resolution - 1600x900, Orientation - Landscape, Multiple displays - Duplicate these displays. And yes, when I installed the docking station, the resolution changed. The resolutions highest setting did not show 1600x900. I loaded and updated driver, I think dated 12/10 and the highest resolution became 1600x900. But, then, every startup I had to reset it. Does this make sense?


Ah, what’s happening is Windows by default will mirror your laptop screen with the unused screen on the docking station. Mirroring the two will bump both down to the lowest common mode between the two (which is probably less than 1600x900).

So to undo that default, you can disable monitor two (the phantom monitor attached to the dock). You should be able to do that from the Screen Resolution control panel you’re looking at by selecting “disconnect this display”, or by clicking the “Windows-P” hotkey combination, and choosing “Disconnect Projector” (Windows 7 in somewhat silly fashion assumes the first extra monitor connected to a laptop is a projector).

That should get you back to what you expected. Let us know if you have any problems getting there!


Beautiful! I think that got it. Thanks, Bernie.