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I have been using a second monitor for a while now, and until I connected it to our TV via the VGA port everything went well.

Then, yesterday morning, after I unplugged the VGA cable from the TV and hooked it back on to the second monitor, I was surprised to see that the resolution was set to just 1024x768 rather than the 1680X1050 it should be.

enter image description here

Following the instructions I found at Screen resolution stuck at 1024x768, I managed to add a new resolution of 1366x768 however, the top icons are half off the screen, and the other icons on the second monitor are still huge. another problem at that resolution is that there is about a quarter of the screen not visible between the two monitors.

I tried adding 1680X1050 with xrandx but that told me xrandr: cannot find mode "1680x1050"

  • The second monitor is a ViewSonic VA2016w
  • Memory: 6 GiB
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i3-2350M CPU @ 2.30GHz × 4
  • Graphics : Intel® Sandybridge Mobile - 2 GiB
  • OS : Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit
  • There are no proprietary drivers used, installed or offered.
  • Modes now offered: 1024x768, 800x600 and 1366x768
  • The resolution was 1680X1050 as shown here and the full data sheet here.

If anyone has any advicce or suggestions on how to sort this out, I'd be most appreciative.

Thanks in advance.

UPDATE

After rebooting, the resolutions were reset to Mirrored Display with the ViewSonic monitor set to 1024x768 (4:3) or 800x600 (4:3)

could not assign CRTCs to outputs: 
Trying modes for CRTC 63 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1366x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
    none of the selected modes were compatible with the possible modes: 
Trying modes for CRTC 63 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
Trying modes for CRTC 64 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 

CRTC 63: trying mode 1360x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1360x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1366x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
    none of the selected modes were compatible with the possible modes: 
Trying modes for CRTC 63 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
Trying modes for CRTC 64 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 

CRTC 63: trying mode 1360x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1360x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
Trying modes for CRTC 64 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1366x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
    none of the selected modes were compatible with the possible modes: 
Trying modes for CRTC 63 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
Trying modes for CRTC 64 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 

CRTC 64: trying mode 1360x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1360x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1366x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
    none of the selected modes were compatible with the possible modes: 
Trying modes for CRTC 63 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 63: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
Trying modes for CRTC 64 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 0) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 848x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 

CRTC 64: trying mode 1360x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1360x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 1024x768@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 800x600@56Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
CRTC 64: trying mode 640x480@60Hz with output at 1366x768@60Hz (pass 1) 
share|improve this question
    
if you solved it, post your answer and if it's good people will up vote it and you will get your reputation back. –  Alvar Jul 26 '13 at 16:36
    
Well, it's rather stupid really, not really technical at all. I don't mind loosing the points, that's not really what I'm after. However it may make someone smile, so I'll leave it here for a bit. If no one posts anything, I'll post the answer. –  SimplySimon Jul 26 '13 at 16:51
    
@SimplySimon - is the issue Ubuntu related or hardware related? –  fossfreedom Jul 26 '13 at 18:31
    
Hardware/connectivity –  SimplySimon Jul 26 '13 at 18:50
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2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted
+50

Just for the hell of it.

A VGA cable carries an analog signal, and the maximum length decreases as the resolution increases. So, 1024x768 can run effectively over a 9 meter cable, but 1600x1200@60Hz won't work good past 1 meter.

Your options are to use repeaters (which is not feasible), or use DVI instead. Since it's digital it can carry the signal longer, even with high resolutions, up to 9 meters.

share|improve this answer
    
I find this fascinating. I have installed network cabling, repeaters, hubs and radio repeaters then something as simple as this had me flummoxed! Thanks for the explanation Mitch. –  SimplySimon Jul 29 '13 at 14:50
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It was the monitor cable.

A new 5 metre monitor cable failed!

When I reverted to a 2 metre cable it worked well.

share|improve this answer
    
Since the answer to this question won't help any ubuntu users in the future experiencing a similar I suggest you remove you remove your question. –  Joren Jul 26 '13 at 19:08
    
It has a bounty on it therefore it will not allow me to. So the people who have edited it out of recognition should feel ashamed at their censorship. Bah Humbug!!! –  SimplySimon Jul 26 '13 at 19:12
1  
@Joren How exactly won't this help users in future? It's not like this is an isolated case - exactly the same happened to a friend of mine in the past, and "Why am I stuck in 4:3?" "Faulty VGA cable" to me seems a perfectly reasonable/useful Q/A. –  Jez W Jul 29 '13 at 14:45
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