Friday, October 15, 2010

Gotcha of the Day: Windows Vista Resets External Monitor Display Settings

This should really be labeled Gotcha of the Year, as this problem has been going on for months and months, and only today, did I bother to fix it.

I have an external monitor and keyboard that I plug into my laptop to make the whole setup desktop friendly. Since I've had my Dell, whenever I booted it up with the monitor attached, it always reset my Display Setting. That is, I'd have to manually tell Windows that the big monitor was on the right of the laptop, that it shouldn't have 1024x768 resolution, and that it should be my primary screen.

This problem was especially annoying because the system would boot up properly - and then every time, after a few seconds, it would re-arrange itself to the improper setting. Everytime I'd think, this is the time it'll remember my settings - and every time, my laptop would virtually yell Psych! and switch back to the way it was.

When I asked Dell about this months ago, they explained that this was normal behavior because I didn't have a docking station. This was complete hogwash. I should have just ignored this response and gone Googling on my own. Alas, I didn't bother and put put with the problem for months.

The fix, in the end, was simple to find. It's outlined here. Why a thread started in June of 2007 corresponds to an issue I'm having with a laptop purchased in January of 2008, and still fixes a bug in October of 2010 is beyond me. But, whatever.

The fix, is as follows:

  1. Go to Programs » Accessories » Task Scheduler
  2. Go to Task Scheduler Library » Microsoft » windows » Mobile PC
  3. Right mouse click on TMM and disable it
  4. Right mouse click on TMM and select Properties
  5. Click on Triggers, and delete the trigger that says to start the task when logging in

Incidentally, the task had a 2 second delay on it, which explains why the computer would tease me with the problem appearing to be fixed.

I'm pretty confident that the above steps will keep TMM from running the future. Though, if I still run into problems, I'm just deleting the whole stinking task.

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