Strange behavior

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One of the things that greeted me upon my return to the office was our spare laptop sitting in my desk chair with a note that it was “dead”. Obviously, this is not what I wanted to see. So I tried booting the machine up, and everything seemed to be going along just fine, the logon screen came up, it let me log on, and then it just seemed to freeze. The desktop background came up and nothing else.

Now I had seen similar behavior with another of our older laptops, where explorer.exe was locking up at boot, so the first thing I did was Ctrl-Alt-Delete to bring up the Task Manager. Much to my surprise the Task Manager window opened, but only the very bottom right-hand corner of it was visible. Hmmm, that seems odd. Let’s take a look at the display settings. Same thing happens with that window, but moving the mouse over actually scrolled the screen to bring the window into the center of the screen. Sure enough, this laptop, with a max display of 800×600 was set to 1600×1240. It wasn’t freezing on boot, it was booting. It just so happened that the icons and taskbar we’re all beyond the visible part of the screen! Change the display settings, and everything’s back to normal. The unsolved mystery, of course, is how it got set to that in the first place. I think that will remain unsolved, unfortunately.

As an aside. While on vacation, someone’s print settings needing changed so they could print to the printer closer to their office prompted a phone call to me, a dead laptop, not so much! Ugh!

Tags: display settings laptop

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