How to Fix: Windows 10 Black Border (Shrinking Screen) | www.infopackets.com

Infopackets Reader Tim G. writes: ” Dear Dennis, Thanks for your article yesterday on ‘How to Fix: Windows 10 Display Shifted; Screen Fuzzy’. I have somewhat of a related problem; after I upgraded to Windows 10, my screen has shrunk with a black border all around the edges of the display. I use 1280×720 resolution, though my monitor can handle 1920×1080 (I prefer 1280×720 because it’s bigger and easier on my eyes). It’s the 1280×720 resolution that shrank, and there aren’t any video card updates. I am using the ATI Radeon 4250 which is integrated with my motherboard.

Source: How to Fix: Windows 10 Black Border (Shrinking Screen) | www.infopackets.com

 

How to Fix: Windows 10 Black Border (Shrinking Screen)

Infopackets Reader Tim G. writes:

” Dear Dennis,

Thanks for your article yesterday on ‘How to Fix: Windows 10 Display Shifted; Screen Fuzzy‘. I have somewhat of a related problem; after I upgraded to Windows 10, my screen has shrunk with a black border all around the edges of the display. I use 1280×720 resolution, though my monitor can handle 1920×1080 (I prefer 1280×720 because it’s bigger and easier on my eyes). It’s the 1280×720 resolution that shrank, and there aren’t any video card updates. I am using the ATI Radeon 4250 which is integrated with my motherboard. I use to have an option in Catalyst Control Center (CCC) that allowed me to use an overscan option but that feature is no longer present, so now I have a big black border around my screen, whereas before it fit the entire screen just fine. Do you have any ideas on how to fix a shrinking screen in Windows 10? “

My response:

I had this exact same problem with my server computer, which I also use as a media center, which also happens to be shared on two different televisions. The Catalyst Control Center (CCC) as you mentioned used to have an option for overscan / underscan, or “Scaling Options” which allowed me to adjust the black border on my screen for certain resolutions — including the 1280×720 resolution you mention.

I searched high and low for the solution to the shrinking screen in Windows 10 problem, and finally stumbled across an old registry fix that did the trick — and without the need to upgrade the video card driver. Normally the preferred method to resolving this issue is to update the video card driver, but I’m not even sure if ATI will release an update to the Radeon 4250 because their upgrade paths for Windows 10 appear to be only for ATI Radeon 5000 series and above, which leaves my graphics card (and yours) currently unsupported.

At any rate, I’ll explain how to fix the Windows 10 black border problem below.

How to Fix Windows 10 Black Border (Shrinking Screen)

If you are running Windows 10 and have an older ATI video card, and the latest Windows 10 graphics video driver doesn’t present the scaling options for overscan / underscan, then you can make a Windows Registry tweak to resolve the issue.

Please note: the steps below on how to fix the Black Borders / Shrinking Screen problem are for older AMD / ATI video cards and will not work on Nvidia cardsIf you have an Nvidia (geforce) card, click here to read this article instead. If you do not see the “DALR” registry attributes described below, it indicates that you are not using an older AMD / ATI video card. In that case, you may want to read this updated article with regard to adjusting display frequency settings (Hz) using Windows 10 Anniversary Edition.

Here are the steps:

  1. Click Start and type in “regedit” (no quotes) and press Enter.
  2. The Windows Registry Editor will appear; the next thing you need to do is make a backup of the registry before continuing with any changes. Once you make a change to the registry, the changes are ‘live’ and cannot be undone, which is why it’s critical to make a backup before proceeding. To do so: click File -> Export. The “Save As” window will appear; save the filename as “registry backup [date]” (where [date] is today’s date), and store it in your documents folder. IMPORTANT: under the filename, select “All” for the Export Range, so that everything gets backed up, and then click the Save button.
  3. In the main Registry window, click the “Computer” icon above HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. Next, collapse all registry sub folders (if any are open) so that the display is clean and easy to navigate. You should only see the following folders (without any sub folders shown): HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKEY_USERS, HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG.
  4. Now we’re ready to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Video. Click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE to expand it, then go to the SYSTEM and expand that, then to CurrentControlSet, Control, and finally, the Video folder.
  5. In the Video folder, you will see a bunch of other folders similar to {978CD144-4DF2-4999-A633-26A2612D9607}; there should be approximately 5 or 6 folders like this. Expand each folder so you see its contents and look for sub folders with 0000 and possibly 0001 and 0002.
  6. Whichever registry folder has the 0000 and possibly 0001 and 0002, left click once on the 0000 folder so that it is highlighted. Once highlighted, there should be a bunch of registry keys listed on the right side of the screen. Use the mouse to scroll down until you see a registry entry called “DALR6 DFPI … (etc)” and look for your target resolution. For example, if you have a big black border on the 1280×720 resolution, then look for “DALR6 DFPI 21280x720x0x59″ and “DALR6 DFPI 21280x720x0x60″ (or similar). Note the bold numbers I have highlighted – that is how you read the resolution. The first number isn’t important, then the resolution is listed, followed by another number, followed by the frequency in Hz (hertz).

    If you do not see the “DALR” registry attributes described below, it indicates that you are not using an older AMD / ATI video card. In that case, you may want to read this updated article with regard to adjusting display frequency settings (Hz) using Windows 10 Anniversary Edition.

  7. Now it’s time to make the changes. Double click on the registry entry with your target resolution (example: DALR6 DFPI 21280x720x0x59 for 1280×720 resolution at 59hz); this will bring up the “Edit Binary Value” window with a bunch of 00’s. Look for the first double digit non-zero entry (in my case, it was the first ’08’ entry), and double click on it so that the number is highlighted. Now, type in “00” (no quotes) to overwrite the number. Click OK and then minimize the Windows Registry.
  8. Now it’s time to test the change you just made. Click Start and type in “adjust screen resolution” (no quotes) and then select it when it appears in the start menu. If your target resolution is 1280×720 and you are currently on 1280×720, select another resolution (such as 1920×1080), then click the Apply button. IMPORTANT: When it asks you “Do you want to keep this resolution?”, select Yes. Then, change the resolution back to 1280×720 and see if your black border has disappeared.
  9. If the black border has not disappeared, go back into the registry where you were last, and change the next double digit non-zero entry to “00” as outlined in Step 7. Then, test your change again as outlined in Step 8.
  10. If you’ve modified all the double digit non-zero entries and you still have a black border, move onto the next target resolution with a different frequency. For example, if your target resolution is 1280×720 and you modified the “DALR6 DFPI 21280x720x0x59” registry folder, then try modifying “DALR6 DFPI 21280x720x0x60”, as this would be 1280×720 at 60hz instead of 59hz. Repeat steps Step #7 and #8 above to test your changes.

In my case, the first non-zero entry ’08’ in the registry folder “DALR6 DFPI 21280x720x0x59” was the one that made my black border disappear.

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I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question — or even a computer problem that needs fixing — please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can’t promise I’ll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I’ll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis’ areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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