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Author Topic: Running the Windows desktop at a low resolution  (Read 26149 times)
Rik Wang
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« on: September 14, 2003, 07:56:31 AM »

The minimum desktop resolution Windows requires has risen over the years from 640x200 in Windows 1.0 to 800x600 under theme-enabled WindowsXP. If you need to run the desktop at a lower resolution - on, say, a small LCD or an arcade monitor - you can do so by following the steps below. (You may need a regular multisync monitor to set things up initially.)

    1. PowerStrip menu > Display profiles > Configure
    2. Click "Advanced timing options" if its enabled; if not, see the Note below
    3. Click "Custom resolutions" if its enabled; if not, see the Note below
    4. Enter the resolution you need and adjust timing parameters as needed
    5. Click the "Copy" (to clipboard) button
    6. Open Notepad and paste the timing from the clipboard - Edit menu > Paste
    7. Create a Windows shortcut to PowerStrip, by right-clicking anywhere on the Windows desktop > New > Shortcut
    8. When the "Create shortcut" dialog box appears, click Browse and point Windows to the pstrip.exe file on your HDD
    9. After the shortcut is created, right-click the shortcut on your desktop and select "Properties"
    10. Append to the "Target" field the command-line parameter "/T:", followed by the PowerStrip timing parameters from Notepad, e.g.,

    C:\Program Files\PowerStrip\PStrip.exe /T:512,8,48,56,384,1,3,10,21110,1

    Note: The executable file name (with or without path) goes *inside* quotation marks, and parameters follow w/o quotes, e.g.,

    "C:\ Program Files\PowerStrip\PStrip.exe" /T:512,8,48,56,384,1,3,10,21110,1

    11. Back to PowerStrip: click the "Apply" button
    12. If the resolution you created is already supported by the display driver for, e.g., DirectX, PowerStrip will give you the option of switching to the resolution now; otherwise you'll need to reboot to see if the driver will support the resolution

If everything is Ok, you can switch the desktop to the resolution you just created by using the Windows shortcut you just created.

Note: if your display driver does not support custom, user-defrined resolutions, you can still run the desktop at a lower resolution, but you'll be limited to resolutions (and possibly timings) that the driver already supports for DirectX. You can create a standard PowerStrip display profile, with or without a Windows shortcut, to switch to the resolution.

PowerStrip 3.42 Addendum:
The number of steps required is simplied somewhat beginning with 3.42:

    1. PowerStrip menu > Display profiles > Configure
    2. Click "Advanced timing options"
    3. Click "Custom resolutions"
    4. Enter the resolution you need and adjust timing parameters as needed
    5. Click the "Apply" button - if the resolution you created is already supported by the display driver for, e.g., DirectX, PowerStrip will give you the option of switching to the resolution now; otherwise you'll need to reboot to see if the driver will support the resolution and then repeat steps 1 thru 5
    6. If supported, you should now be running the desktop at the custom resolution - click Close to return to "Advanced timing options"
    7. Fine-tune the display as needed and right-click on the copy-to-clipboard speed button, which will give you the option of creating a shortcut on your desktop with the resolution and correct timing parameters
    8. Click Ok to return to back up

You now have a shortcut on your desktop you can use to switch to your sub-VGA resolution whenever needed.

PowerStrip 3.54 Addendum:
Beginning with 3.54, you can select a sub-VGA resolution directly from the PowerStrip resolution slider by following these steps:
    1. Close PowerStrip if its running
    2. Use Notepad to open the pstrip.ini file in your PowerStrip folder
    3. Add the following line:

[Global Options]
MinLines=200   ; the
default is 400

4. Save back to disk
5. Restart PowerStrip[/list]
You should now be able to select resolutions as low as 320x200 from the Resolution slider in PowerStrip menu > Display profiles > Configure.
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