Windows 7 does not fill monitor screen

I just bought a new machine with windows 7 home premium. I'm using an HP2710 monitor being connected via HDMI. On start up the bios screen fills the entire monitor, but when windows 7 comes up, there is a 1" black border on the sides and a 1/2" border top and bottom.

I suspect this is a windows adjustment, which I'm not able to find. Suggestions?


Senior Member
I'm assuming the black border is not the plastic bezel around the screen? :)
Verify that the screen resolution selected in Windows matches the native resolution of the monitor. See if the monitor has built-in adjustments for horizontal and vertical width (typically a menu you access from a button or touch sensor on the monitor).

The HP2710m does not have vertical or horizontal settings. Appears to be all automatic. I did do a reset to factory improvement. I strongly suspect this is a windows issue since the bio screen fills the screen on startup.

" screen resolution selected in Windows matches the native resolution of the monitor." <<<<what does this mean?


Senior Member
On an LED or LCD monitor, like yours, all of the pixels (picture elements, the tiny dots of light that appear as an image from a distance), are physical spots on the screen that are turned on or off to create the image. A given amount of image information always occupies a fixed amount of space on the screen. The monitor can be used to display an image that uses all of the pixels (the native resolution), or fewer to display images in various other standard formats or aspect ratios (relationship between the height and width of the image). For example, it can be set to act like an older monitor that had less resolution.

A software driver maps the image to the available pixels on the screen. If you set it to act like an old monitor that had only, say, 800x600 pixels, a rectangle of that many pixels in the middle of the screen would be used and the rest of the screen would remain blank. The Windows desktop is a blank canvas, not a fixed-size image, that should be able to use all of the available pixels.

The drivers that support your specific monitor are loaded after the initial BIOS-driven images. What you are seeing pretty much has to be either a setting or a bad/incorrect or corrupted driver.

You would see the border you describe if the resolution is set to a format that uses less than all of the available pixels. Right click on a blank portion (no icons), of the desktop and select Screen Resolution. This opens a Control Panel window for the display. Verify that the Display listed is your monitor. If it shows a different monitor or a generic monitor, that is likely the source of the problem. Load the driver that came on a CD with the monitor or update/reload the driver from Windows if you can find your exact monitor listed (or go to the HP web site and download and install the latest driver).

If the right monitor is displayed, go to the drop down menu for the resolutions supported by your monitor. The highest resolution listed should match the advertized specs for your monitor and that is the one you want selected.

If your monitor was correctly listed, and the highest resolution matches the specs and was selected, I would try loading a different (correct) driver. For example, if Windows used a built-in driver, download the correct driver from the HP web site or use the driver CD that came with the monitor. When you install it, if you get a message that a newer driver is already installed, install the replacement anyway. If that doesn't fix the problem, you can always roll it back to the previous driver or update it to the latest.

If none of that fixes the problem, I can think of one other possibility. Your computer may have some form of video enhancement software loaded (by enhancement, I mean anything that is supposed to improve video quality, make your viewing experience better, give you more control over settings, etc.), or a video game. Temporarily disable anything of that nature, reboot, and see if the problem goes away.

Actually, in terms of sequence, I would start with ensuring that the correct monitor is listed and the correct resolution is selected. I would test disabling any video enhancement software or video games before replacing the video driver.

Best advise heard so far Fixer1234. Boarders still present. I checked with HP for the latest driver, downloaded it. Also, I let windows check for latest version which I have. Monitor is listed by name and showing the highest resolution of 1920x1080. Next would be to check video enhancements. Im not aware of any. Where would they be found?


Senior Member
Video games are a common source of display problems, but if you are seeing the borders immediately upon booting up, it is not likely that unless the video game loaded a "permanent" driver or you are such a hard core gamer that you have the computer bootup in game mode. If the problem is any form of driver other than the required display driver, it would not be loaded in safe mode (actually, even the monitor-specific driver would not be loaded in safe mode). Bootup in safe mode and verify the the full screen is being used (reboot and hold down the F8 key). If that checks out, the problem is software. If there are any video games installed, that would be my first suspect.

You can try to spot candidate software using MSCONFIG. That lets you control what gets automatically loaded when you bootup. Click the Windows Start button (lower left corner), and type msconfig in the search or run window and hit enter.

On the General tab, pick Selective Startup. On the Startup tab, anything with a checkmark is loaded at bootup. Look for items that look like video games, video enhancers, graphics enhancers, etc. You may need to look up items on the Internet to see what they are. Ignore anything where the manufacturer is Microsoft. Uncheck suspect items (make a list of what you uncheck so you know what to put back later). Click Apply. On the Services tab, select Hide all Microsoft services. Again, the checked services are the ones loaded at bootup. Use the same process. If you accidentally uncheck something critical and the computer doesn't work right, reboot in "safe mode with command prompt", run msconfig, and put the item back or select Normal Startup on the General tab, click OK, and reboot. To see the changes, you always need to reboot after changing anything in msconfig because all it does is define the bootup process, not change anything already loaded.

The fastest approach is to identify a small group of candidates and disable them all. Reboot and see if that group contained the culprit. If so, restore the candidates one at a time until the problem recurs. When you find the culprit, just leave it disabled or uninstall the program. If that group didn't contain the culprit, add another group of candidates.

Another method you can try is using the Task Manager. Right click on a blank area of the tray at the bottom of the screen and select Task Manager. The offender will be on the Processes or Services tab. On the services tab, you only need to be concerned with ones whose status is Running. Click on the Status heading and that will select it as the sort order. Clicking it again will change the direction of the sort if you want to move all of the running services to the top or bottom of the list.

Using the Task Manager is immediate, you don't have to reboot. These are things actively running on your computer. If you mess up and the computer hangs or crashes, just reboot. What you disable is not remembered. It is the opposite of msconfig--any changes affect only that session. The goal is just to identify the culprit so you can disable it in the bootup or uninstall it.

The shortcoming of this method is that not everything can be disabled. A program can be causing problems but it or a replacement must be there for the computer to work. If you disable something and the computer stops working, you don't know whether or not it is the cause of your symptoms. Unfortunately, the problem you are experiencing is likely to be something that is performing a critical function. You will luck out if it is something like a game that is just "riding on top" and can be stopped without hanging your system. Don't be surprised if your attempt to stop something produces a warning message that the system may become unstable. If it is a candidate that you need to test, just do it. The computer may hang or crash but it won't blow up. Just reboot.

On the processes tab, look at the descriptions and look stuff up online if you are not sure. Click on the Image Name heading to select it as the sort order. Otherwise, the items will continuously bounce around as their resource usage changes and it will be hard to select what you want. To stop an item, right click on it and select End Process Tree, which will stop the item and anything else associated with it. On the Services tab, right click the item and select Stop Service.

You can get a little insight into items by cross checking. On the Processes tab, one of the right click options is Go to Services. On the Services tab, there is a right click option Go to Process. These will show you what is associated with what. Also, on the Services tab, there is a Services button at the bottom. This will open a window that provides much more information and explanation for each item and even allows you to change how each service starts.

These approaches are for starting "blind". If you have any video games loaded on the computer. I would start with them. Look specifically for the program names or publishers in msconfig or Task Manager.

One other thing to look for: your computer probably has some chips and software for handling graphics. Open the Device Manager (Control Panel, Hardware and Sound, Device Manager or Control Panel, System and Security, System, Device Manager; there are probably lots of other routes). Click on the arrowhead to expand Display Adapters. Right click on your display adapter and select Update Driver Software. This is another case where if all else fails, try downloading the driver directly from the manufacturer's web site and install it even if your system says the one you have is newer or up-to-date. If doing so produces new problems, you can roll it back to the previous driver: when you right click on the display adapter in Device Manager, choose Properties. On the Driver tab, select Roll Back Driver.

If none of this works, go to Lowes and purchase a large hammer...

Before I use that hammer, I thought I might try switching from HDMI to the old VGA connect. No more borders. Any advantage to using an HDMI connect over the VGA? ....otherwise i think the issue is solved. Using an HDMI connection was reason I bought this new machine with such a port.

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Senior Member
At your monitor's resolution, both VGA and HDMI can handle the signal. The digital signal with HDMI will be sharper than the analog signal of VGA. The screen image is created as a digital image. With HDMI, that is what is sent to the screen, pixel for pixel. For VGA, the image must be translated to the analog format and then translated back. You lose some precision and color accuracy in the process. Properly functioning HDMI should not give you a border.

When you have the border, is the image shrunken and you see everything that is supposed to be there, or is it missing part of the image around the edges? If part of the image is missing, it could be a bad cable or damaged connector (or less likely, a defective port). If everything is there but the image has been shrunken to occupy a smaller space, that would indicate a driver problem (software). If you bought it for the HDMI, you ought to be able to use it. Don't give up, yet, and settle.

The full image was there, no missing parts. I was reading this is a scalier problem in CCC in the graphics driver which is on the mother board. Have to find that somehow

Sounds like this is a known issue. Since it is probably OEM versions of hardware and drivers, check with the computer manufacturer tech support. If the display adapter is a major brand that is also sold retail, their tech support may also be able to help. You can identify it in the Device Manager (see earlier reply). The computer manufacturer has responsibility to make it right or make you whole since they charged you for a feature that doesn't work.

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