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Windows Fall Creators update wreaks havoc on computer displays

Q: My computer is set to download and install all updates automatically. On Nov. 23, after using the computer earlier in the day without incident I woke it up and was greeted with a severely distorted display. A little research revealed that an update touted as Feature Update 1709 had just downloaded. All efforts to correct this have been a dismal failure. I am also using Windows 10 downloaded during the free upgrade period. My monitor is an HP Pavilion 27xw IPs bought new less than one year ago. The recommended resolution is 1920×1080 (60 Hz). The Windows settings display resolution provides three choices, (but none) for 1920×1080. I have tried checking for driver updates with both Windows and HP. All are reported as current and working. I have tried searching for answers in the morass of Windows support forums to no avail. I am out of ideas. Can you please help? ~ Richard, Sterling, CO

Tech+ The latest Windows 10 upgrade, a.k.a. the Fall Creators Update, did wreak havoc on some computer displays, as noted by several tech sites — the least of which is resolution confusion. A quick search on Richard’s display, the HP 27-inch monitor, says it has a native resolution of 1920×1080, so what happened to it?

The likely culprit is that existing hardware — the video card — doesn’t quite work with the update. Some people fixed the issue by downloading updated software (also called drivers) for their Intel, Nvidia, ATI or other graphics card. In some cases, companies, notably Razer, are still working with Microsoft on this.

So let’s start with what Richard has already tried. Update your video cards:

  1. Find new display software from the manufacturer that made the monitor. In Richard’s case, the HP 27-inch monitor page offers a link to download new drivers.
  2. Open Windows Device Manager by typing “Device Manager” in the Windows search bar.
  3. Find the Display adapters.
  4. Right click the adapter and select “Update driver.” Use the file just downloaded from the manufacturer.

If that doesn’t work, try uninstalling the driver and then rebooting. Windows 10 will automatically reinstall it. If rolling back the driver doesn’t fix the situation, check to see if all the potential resolutions are showing up.

  1. Open “Display settings” and click the “Advanced display settings.”
  2. If the native resolution isn’t showing up, click the “Display adapter properties,” which opens the graphic card’s settings.
  3. On the “Adapter” tab, choose the “List All Modes” and select the one you need.
  4. You can also try the “Monitor” tab and make sure the box to “Hide modes” is unchecked.

Since readers have different technology, I also suggest Googling “No 1920×1080 resolution option windows 10” to find tips on forums of how others have fixed this problem depending on which graphics card they have.

Another temporary fix: roll back the latest update of Windows until it’s good and ready. You typically have 10 days to do so once the new update is installed. To revert back, type “settings” in the Windows search bar. In the opened window, select “Update & security” and then “Recovery.” Under the “Reset this PC,” press the “Get started” button and look for “Go back to the previous version of Windows 10.”

After 10 days, you can always reset your Windows PC if you have the original files that came with the PC (or if you know your license number, you can download the Windows 10 installation software here: microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10). But make sure you back up your important files. Those willing to schlep out to a Microsoft store will find technicians who can help with this for a possible fee.

Did you get a new computer or gadget and need some tech help? Ask your question, sign up for the Tech+ newsletter and see past Tech+ answers at dpo.st/mailbag. If you’re emailing your question, please add “Mailbag” to the subject line.

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