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I have an HP Pavilion dm4-2033cl laptop (specs here) and am running ubuntu 14.04 LTS. I'm a professor and I need to be able to use my laptop on projectors in different classrooms (all apparently different models!) but so far it isn't going well.

I find that when I plug in to the projector by the HDMI cable, my resolution drops down usually to 640x480, a bit bigger in one classroom. When I plug in by the VGA cable, the resolution is fine but the option to "mirror displays" is grayed out and I have to treat the projector as a second screen (i.e. turn my back to the students to give my demo).

I think this may be a clue to the problem: When I go to Settings -> Details, the "Graphics" card is described as "Intel(r) Sandybridge Mobile". However, I know from HP that I have an Intel HD Graphics 3000 card. Does this mean I have the wrong driver, and could that plausibly be the problem? If so, how would I fix it?

This is the video card described in the output of lspci -v:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 1650
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 44
Memory at c0000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4M]
Memory at b0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
I/O ports at 4000 [size=64]
Expansion ROM at <unassigned> [disabled]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: i915
  • What graphics card(s) and drivers appear in the output of lspci -v? (edit this information into your question) – Wilf Sep 3 '14 at 22:02
  • done, see post. – workerjoe Sep 3 '14 at 22:04
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I think your drivers are fine (Sandy Bridge seems to a broader name for your card as you can see here)

Just in case, check that your system is up to date (run sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade)

If the problem persist, you can try to reinstall the drivers as explained here.

However, for me this smells more like a bug. I hope other users come by and help you.

  • At the risk of exposing myself as a total newb... I think this worked! I ran the update and upgrade, then tested in an empty classroom and had mirrored screens at a very nice resolution (using the HDMI cable, incidentally). I haven't tested in one of the three classrooms I'm using this semester, so I will have to wait until they're empty to be 100% sure. One correction: upgrade by itself isn't a command, so I think the proper command is sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade. I just input the two commands one at a time instead of messing with &&. – workerjoe Sep 4 '14 at 22:29
  • Well, partial success. I was able to get up to 1024x768 on shared screen mode in one of my classrooms, and got perfect performance in a classroom that I don't normally use but happened to be empty. Ubuntu isn't as smart as Windows at adapting to a projector, but 1024x768 is enough for my work. I'm betting it will work in my other two classrooms as well. – workerjoe Sep 4 '14 at 23:25
  • My bad, sorry for that mistake. That exposes my newbie status too... But glad to hear it worked! – user308164 Sep 5 '14 at 3:48

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