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How can I prevent Windows 7 setup from enabling Large Fonts (120 dpi)


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Here is the issue I am having, and it only happens on my notebook (Dell Studio XPS 1640 with ATI Radeon HD 4670 and a 1080p screen.)

Whenever I install Windows 7, during the "Completing Installation" phase, it detects the video card and successfully installs the drivers (like it should).

But then Windows automatically switches to 120 dpi font-size ("Large Fonts") upon the first post-install boot-up.

Now, this shouldn't be an issue if it could properly be reversed.

After logging in, etc, and switching back to 96 dpi font-size ("Normal" font size) and restarting, etc, not all elements of my desktop revert to 96 dpi. In particular, text elements in (some) dialog boxes still appear like they would in "Large Fonts" mode, but the graphical elements would be sized for "Normal" fonts! So, there are incidents of overlapping text and graphics, text spilling outside the border of the dialog-box, etc.

I even googled for and found registry keys to modify to get these elements back to their natural state, but nothing worked.

I even tried installing while plugged in to an external display (my 1080p TV) and the same thing happened.

What DID work was plugging in an external display with lower resolution (1366x768 and 1280x1024 both work) while installing and Windows will NOT automatically enable 120 dpi fonts.

Now, I install Windows 7 on computers at work on almost a daily basis and we use 1920x1080 and 1920x1200 screens 90% of the time and this has never happened. My understanding is that Windows detects a notebook or a mobility graphics chipset is being used and figures that 1080p will strain your eyes on a (probably) small LCD screen, so it does you a favor by automatically enlarging the font-size. Windows' heart may be in the right place, but this results in a corruption of UI fonts that cannot be corrected.

And we are actually approaching a time where it will be difficult to find low-res screens to pull off the trick I mentioned earlier, so I hope I won't be condemned since I *only* purchase laptops with 1080p or higher-res screens.

Any input on how to fix this would be greatly appreciated, or (possibly) alternatively, how I can force Windows to install in Standard VGA mode or bypass installing any video driver whatsoever.


Edited by waqqas31
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Well, I found a way to fix the problem AFTER-the-fact (not the preventative solution I am seeking above). But for the benefit of anyone experiencing the same symptoms, here is the solution:

1. Set Windows to use Normal (96 dpi) fonts the normal way (search for "font size"). Restart.

2. Make a "Fix_DPI.reg" text file with the following contents and then run it.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontDPI]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontDPI]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts]
"MS Sans Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24"="SSERIFE.FON"
"MS Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24"="SERIFE.FON"
"Courier 10,12,15"="COURE.FON"

3. Restart and you're done.

For a full explanation, see these links:




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