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Clean install on and older machine, the NVIDIA 173 drivers are supposedly installed but X launches with 640x480 resolution, with no option to adjust it.

It is next to impossible to use the system like this, I was hoping for a dual-screen setup I don't care about the 3d eye candy as long as I can use this thing in 2d mode.

Searching around I have not found much helpful for my situation, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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I also had the same problem. Type: sudo nvidia-xconfig --mode=1280x1024 in terminal. I found the solution here: Display resolution with NVIDIA

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Try opening a terminal and running sudo nvidia-xconfig. I find especially with dual monitor setups I need to run this to get anything working properly when using the proprietary nvidia drivers.

nvidia-xconfig will automatically generate the configuration file for your monitor(s). If it doesn't generate it properly then try the following instead.

First a precaution run the following command to backup your current configuration:

sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup

Run gksu nvidia-settings in a terminal. Choose the layout that you want for your monitors. When everything is done choose "Save to config file" and overwrite the original file. Reboot, this should have everything set up like how you choose. In case there is an error and you are unable to get a GUI back, enter recovery mode and the following two commands to get back to the previous settings

sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf 
sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup /etc/X11/xorg.conf
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Thanks, tried this and I still cant get either screen past 640x480 The message I get on the "X Server Display Configuration" screen says "Unable to load X Server Display Configuration Page: Failed to query NoScanout for screen 0" I still have no options to change the resolution or color depth – Erik Oct 18 '11 at 22:02

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