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Windows 7: Blurry text (and other display quirks) after a clean install

17 Oct 2015   #11

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cyclops View Post
I just went into display properties and switched to the default Windows Aero theme and all appears normal.
I tried it. It does not change anything on my system.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2015   #12

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)


Did you refuse the installation, by any chance, of some Windows Updates lately ? (See further down why I'm asking the question.)

I've done a little more testing, to no avail.

1. Uninstalled all drivers and assorted software :
  • Realtek high definition audio driver.
  • Realtek Ethernet driver.
  • Renesas USB 3.0 host controller driver.
  • JM Micron SATA controller driver.
  • All versions of Visual C++ redistributable.
All drivers and assorted software that had been installed by the "chipset driver" package, using the Uninstall function of Catalyst Install Manager :
  • AMD USB filter driver.
  • AMD app SDK runtime.
  • AMD display driver.
  • HDMI audio driver.
  • AMD SATA AHCI driver.
  • AMD accelerated video transcoding.
  • AMD drag and drop transcoding.
  • AMD media foundation decoders.
  • And Catalyst Install Manager which uninstalled itself.
2. Reinstalled a minimum set of drivers, as close as possible to my original 2010 configuration (which did not have that display problem) :
Original "chipset drivers" found of my motherboard's DVD :
  • AMD USB filter driver.
  • Catalyst Control Center.
  • ATI Catalyst Install Manager.
  • North Bridge filter driver.
  • ATI display driver.
  • Visual C++ 2008.
  • AMD SATA AHCI driver.
Two other drivers from my motherboard's DVD :
  • Realtek high definition audio.
  • JM Micron SATA controller driver.
And two other drivers, lifted from the Asus website, more up-to-date than on my original configuration, but not necessarily the latest :
  • Realtek Ethernet driver.
  • Renesas USB 3.0 host controller driver.
It would have been better to start from a barebones Windows, install those drivers, then reinstall all Windows updates, but that last part took me so long that I didn't want to do it again.

Now I have exactly the same screens on the same software with the same fuzzy effect (as if it was a picture of the screen and not fonts interpreted as such), with the added irony that the dialog boxes of Catalyst Control Center, the ATI software which is supposed to control my video card, have themselves that out-of-focus effect.

By now, I have tried at least 3 different versions of my display driver, including the original one (at that time, I did not have that problem), and the most up-to-date. The problem is the same in all instances.

So I'm inclined, by now, to think that it's a Windows Updates problem. Either from a bad update which broke something, or from the lack of one : I have hidden half a dozen of them, mostly to prevent the Windows 10 nagware and assorted updates to creep into my system. But I also excluded some telemetry updates, some that seemed as if they could be incompatible with my PC, and others which seemed tailored to solve problems caused by hardware I do not have.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2015   #13

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)
Problem solved

OK, problem solved. It was just a matter of ticking a box after all... :)

So, for the benefit of Cyclops, if your problem is the same as mine, and possibly of others :

During this install, I had adjusted Windows text size to 150 % through Control Panel / Appearance and Personalization / Display. (You can also fine-tune this through the link Set Custom Size (DPI) on the left of that screen). This was probably slightly bigger than my previous install. It made me cross the 144 % threshold beyond which some old applications, not designed for high-DPI displays, might lose their marbles and get blurry if you're running Aero (which is my case).

To correct it, click Set Custom Size (DPI), tick the box Use Windows XP style DPI scaling, click OK, log off. Next time you launch these applications, they will display correctly.

See Windows Help / Make the text on your screen larger or smaller / To make text and on-screen items clearer in programs that aren't designed for high DPI.

A similar problem can happen with blurry text in Windows 8 and 10, but the solutions are different. See here and here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Oct 2015   #14

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Yep funny 8 and 10 wants every one to increase the fonts instead of the dpi or use the silly magnifier :/
Problem is I want everything increased not just the fonts so the dpi is the easiest to increase.
I believe yes there is a sweet spot I find 130% dpi okay plus adjust page zoom in browser usually 150%
Thanks for the update
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2015   #15

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)

You're welcome, ThrashZone. By the way, I found this by searching for blurry text and not fuzzy text. I would adjust the title of the thread accordingly to facilitate further searches, but I'm not sure this is possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2015   #16

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

I think the title is fine but we can have it evaluated :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Blurry text (and other display quirks) after a clean install

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