External display 'squashed' resolution woes

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by peanutismint, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. peanutismint macrumors 6502

    peanutismint

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff, UK
    #1
    I've got my MB hooked up to an external display via a mini-DVI to VGA cable. I want to mirror the two screens rather than have an extension. Unfortunately, a problem I once thought I'd solved (albeit by accident) has once again reared its ugly head. When I connect the external display, I'll either get both displays in a lowish resolution (say 1024X768) with the full display used but the sides of the screen missing, or I'll get my MB's LCD widescreen display in letterbox on my monitor. I had the problem when I first got my MB, but after a while of brute forcing, it seemed to go away when I clicked 'detect displays' in System Preferences. Well now it's back, and it's a real pain!

    Basically what I want when I connect the external display is the usual 1280 X 800 on the LCD and my preferred 1280 X 1024 on my monitor. It has worked before, so why not now?!



    N.B. the display menus show both displays as being in those desired resolutions, but the monitor's is clearly letterboxed for some reason.
     
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #2
    Mirror mode is by definition a mirror, thus both monitors will be the same resolution. So if your displays have two different resolutions it will usually display both monitors at the lower of the two resolutions.

    The only way to get the monitors at different resolutions is to disable mirror mode.
     
  3. peanutismint thread starter macrumors 6502

    peanutismint

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff, UK
    #3
    Hmm that's a bit crap, seeing as my MB's LCD display won't go into 1280 X 1024 (but then, it is widescreen...) I guess I could live with a non-mirrored setup, but only if I could have my external display as the primary and the MB's LCD as the 'extender', although there doesn't seem to be any way to set primary and secondary displays, or is there?

    I know I had it working before, so there is a way, I just have to put my finger on what it is! Anyone else know?
     
  4. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #4
    Yes, your external can be the primary.

    In System Prefs-Displays, when it shows you the picture of the two displays, drag the menu bar to the other display, then that will be the primary.
     

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  5. peanutismint thread starter macrumors 6502

    peanutismint

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff, UK
    #5
    GENIUS! And a snappy screenshot to boot! You, sir, are a modern day hero, and I wish you fair fortunes.

    Incidentally, I'm having another quandry in this very forum about my MB waking up. If this is a lazy Sunday afternoon for you, as it is for myself, feel free to weigh in there too! :)

    Thanks again mate!
     
  6. masse macrumors 6502a

    masse

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Location:
    MA/GA
    #6
    lol the menu system for displays is the most intuitive thing ever...
     

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