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Windows 7: Force DVI/HDMI resolutions and refresh rates



Force DVI/HDMI resolutions and refresh rates

Published by baarod
27 Apr 2009
Default Force DVI/HDMI resolutions and refresh rates

How to Force DVI or HDMI Resolutions and Refresh Rates in Windows 7

information   Information
There have been innumerable posts on SevenForums about things like 59Hz refresh rates and 1080p 16:9 HDTVs that display only 1024x768 when connected with DVI or HDMI. After a ton of research and development I think I've got a working solution for virtually all of these issues.



Starting with Vista, Microsoft has required graphics vendors to read and respect monitor capability information from the display itself if they wanted to pass Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) certification. This display capability data is encapsulated in an EDID. Few HDTV manufacturers sought WHQL and it's unclear whether Microsoft tests display EDIDs from monitor manufacturers as a WHQL requirement. Please let me know if you have a WHQL display that seems to have a bad EDID.

As a result, many DVI/HDMI connected HDTVs and some monitors are locked into displaying only those resolutions and refresh rates that are specified in the EDID. No graphics adapter or driver is supposed to allow configurations not listed in the EDID at least as a default. Newer ATI drivers allow for a small number of HD resolutions to be forced but it's been hit or miss for the users I've surveyed and nVidia's offerings don't seem to be a 100% solution either.

The natural solution would appear to be changing the EDID information in the display. Rarely, this is possible with Powestrip if the display stores the EDID in a flash memory but more commonly the EDID is stored in an EPROM that can only be updated with specialized hardware. I've talked with several display vendors during the development of this tutorial and none of them consider a bad EDID grounds for warranty service. So if next to no displays support updating the EDID through software and the manufacturer won't fix the hardware, what are we left to do? Break out the toolkit and warm up the soldering iron?

While that's well within my capabilities it seems to put some end-users off a bit, although I really can't understand why -- I love the smell of solder in the morning! But there has to be a better way right? Again, Microsoft has a solution if you really dig for it and do your homework: How to Use an INF to Override the Monitor EDID While it's not intended for end users, what really fun stuff is? The challenge was to develop a method accessible to a greater audience -- to improve on the solution that Microsoft provides that's intended for hardware manufacturers and make it work for us.
warning   Warning

Prerequisites
  • Read and understand both linked documents above.
  • Post questions if anything is unclear before you proceed.
  • Don't blame me when you ruin your $3000 HDTV. Smoke can happen.
  • Read up on what your displays true capabilities are stick close to them.
  • This is more of a coffee tutorial than a beer tutorial...





Procedure
  1. Download Phoenix.zip and extract it to a working folder.
  2. Run it and click the registry toolbar button.
  3. Click the pencil toolbar button for edit mode.
  4. Change the EDID settings to reflect you display's true capabilities
  5. Pay special attention to the Standard Timings tab.
  6. Detailed Timing blocks 2-4 provide some very interested additional options.
  7. Save the EDID to a .DAT file in the working folder.
  8. Download moninfo.exe and install it.
  9. Open the saved .DAT with MonInfo and make sure it doesn't complain about it
  10. If it does post here for help
  11. If MonInfo reads in an displays the settings the way you configured them in Phoenix then...
  12. Select Create INF... from the file menu and save it to the working folder.
  13. Feel free to edit the strings in the INF to your liking.
  14. Open Start, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter.
  15. Select the monitor you want to change, right click and select Update Driver Software
  16. Use the tried and true "Have Disk" method to select the INF and install it.
  17. Reboot and enjoy your new resolution!


Published by
13 May 2009   #1
jygoro

Windows 7 Professional x86 RTM
 
 

Thanks a lot for this tutorial. I had never seen my monitor with 1280x1024 and 72Hz of refresh rate. I can choose 60, 70 and 75Hz but 72Hz was not in the EDID. Now I can choose 72Hz and my 24fps movies looks fantastic! Thanks again.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2009   #2
HHawk

Windows 7 & Windows XP x64
 
 

Well this didn't work for me.

The first problem was, that my Registry Display List in Phoenix was empty (in Windows 7), therefor I decided to reboot to my other OS, which is Windows Vista x64.

In Vista x64 it did show the monitors, so I followed the rest of the steps. I edited it 1600x1200 to 100 Hz and 1280x1024 to 100 Hz (since my CRT monitor fully supports this).

I edited some names in the .inf file (only renamed the monitor). Rebooted back to Windows 7 and installed the .inf. It loaded the monitor correctly in the devices list, however I still cannot select a refreshrate higher than 85 Hz (same as before).

How come? Am I doing something wrong? Please advice.

Thanks for your time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2009   #3
jygoro

Windows 7 Professional x86 RTM
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HHawk View Post
Well this didn't work for me.

The first problem was, that my Registry Display List in Phoenix was empty (in Windows 7), therefor I decided to reboot to my other OS, which is Windows Vista x64.

In Vista x64 it did show the monitors, so I followed the rest of the steps. I edited it 1600x1200 to 100 Hz and 1280x1024 to 100 Hz (since my CRT monitor fully supports this).

I edited some names in the .inf file (only renamed the monitor). Rebooted back to Windows 7 and installed the .inf. It loaded the monitor correctly in the devices list, however I still cannot select a refreshrate higher than 85 Hz (same as before).

How come? Am I doing something wrong? Please advice.

Thanks for your time.
This is the only thing I have changed. Before was a 60 now a 72. Of course your problem can be different and not like mine.

My monitor is a LCD connected through DVi, BTW. This probably does'nt work for CRTs.

[img=http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/623/captureslh.png]
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


14 May 2009   #4
baarod

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HHawk View Post
Well this didn't work for me.

The first problem was, that my Registry Display List in Phoenix was empty (in Windows 7), therefor I decided to reboot to my other OS, which is Windows Vista x64.

In Vista x64 it did show the monitors, so I followed the rest of the steps. I edited it 1600x1200 to 100 Hz and 1280x1024 to 100 Hz (since my CRT monitor fully supports this).

I edited some names in the .inf file (only renamed the monitor). Rebooted back to Windows 7 and installed the .inf. It loaded the monitor correctly in the devices list, however I still cannot select a refreshrate higher than 85 Hz (same as before).

How come? Am I doing something wrong? Please advice.

Thanks for your time.
It's designed to work as an override. In your case you don't have an EDID to override. I don't have a strange setup like that so I was not able to test it and thus have no idea what it'll do. I will ask this -- did your monitor renaming show up?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2009   #5
jygoro

Windows 7 Professional x86 RTM
 
 

"The full EDID spec can only be read via DVI."
I have read this in another forum. That would explain it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2009   #6
HHawk

Windows 7 & Windows XP x64
 
 

So the workaround is not for me.
Bah...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2009   #7
baarod

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HHawk View Post
So the workaround is not for me.
Bah...
Maybe another way -- what video card do you have?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2009   #8
HHawk

Windows 7 & Windows XP x64
 
 

GTX 285
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2009   #9
sHaDoW8185

Windows 7 Build 7100
 
 
Hmm

From: Screen Refresh Rate - Display Settings

I do have to say that this tweak might be a little beyond my level. I downloaded the phoenix program and ran it and am looking at all my settings and many of the modes listed are in 16:10 with strange refresh rates that I have no idea about. I must say that I'd be very lucky to modify anything correctly. It's not that I don't know what any of that stuff is, but why the values seem so foreign and which ones will affect exactly what I'm looking for. I don't see anything about 1280x960 in there at all. Etc...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Force DVI/HDMI resolutions and refresh rates




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