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Monitor driver question

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 8, 2010 4:09:36 PM

I hope this is the proper forum as I didn't see a monitor specific one. I just installed my new XFX Radeon 5850 and hooked up my new Asus VW246H monitor. However I can't seem to find any Vista 32 drivers for it. I have gone to Asus web site, their forums say no driver is needed and Googleing for it doesn't really seem to give me any reputable web sites in return. The picture is beautiful and such, no dead pixels, everything moves smoothly so far, but is it possible that a nice HDMI monitor will show and work fine as a Generic PnP Monitor under Device manager? The catalyst control center sees the monitor as a VW246 but doesn't give me any controls for it. Any advice or suggestions would be very helpful and appreciated.
a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 4:11:11 PM

Monitor drivers, in my experience, may only really be needed for advanced features, or in the worst case scenario, for power saving features. I would say not to worry about it unless you are experiencing issues.
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April 8, 2010 4:39:45 PM

I guess that just seems odd to me as my previous monitor was the Asus VW222U and it had Vista drivers for it and wasn't HDMI. I would have thought a monitor this nice would have advance features that would require drivers. Oh well. LOL
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November 16, 2012 6:45:55 AM

I know this is an old question, however, in case anyone else has this same question, I thought I'd add my response as well.

As the first response says, monitors are, in general, Plug & Play. You usually don't need a driver.
Please note that, if your monitor has advanced features or additional peripherals built-in, such as a webcam, USB 3.0 ports (USB 2 and earlier needs a driver, but it's part of the operating system), etc., then you DO need drivers. However, you only need them for those extras, not for the monitor yourself!

As for monitors without these extras, even when drivers are provided, they're usually not really "drivers"! :sarcastic: 

Take, for example, Acer monitors, which have drivers available for them. I have an Acer P243W monitor. The driver package consists of the following three files:

P243W.cat
P243W.icm
P243W.inf

The ICM file is the color calibration file. The CAT is the security catalog file that makes this a signed driver. That leaves the INF file. Note that there's no actual DRIVER (.sys) file! The INF file is the setup information file. It contains all sorts of information, usually needed to install a SYS file.

In this case, however, all it's doing is describing the monitor to your system! It includes timings, information about the monitor inputs, registry information, etc. By installing it, you're giving your system all the specifics about your monitor.

That said, you don't NEED to install this "driver" package to have the monitor work correctly!

Also, the person who posted this asked whether or not using just the Generic PnP Monitor is appropriate. The general answer is yes. That said, there are now OTHER default monitor drivers shipped with Windows. (I have Windows 7. Don't expect older versions to have all of these, but I know Vista has some.)

Here's an example of how you would use one, using my Acer P243W as an example...
(Please remember you try this at your own risk! If something does go wrong, and it doesn't look right, you can always Roll Back the driver.)

1. Open the Device Manager, open the Monitor section, and bring up the Properties of monitor device.

2. Go to the driver tab and select Update Driver->Browse my Computer for Driver->Let me pick from a list of device drivers.

3. Untick the checkbox labeled "Show compatible hardware".

4. Under Manufacturer select "(Standard monitor types)".

5. Scroll down the list to the "Digital Flat Panel" devices until you get to the one that matches your monitor. In my case I chose:

Digital Flat Panel (1920x1200 60Hz)

which is the resolution and frequency of the Acer P243W.

6. Click Next and continue until the driver is installed.

This is STILL a generic device driver. However, it's "less" generic! :D 

You're telling the system that you're using a digital flat panel, as well as giving it the resolution and refresh rate!

Finally, I have to reiterate that, but for those monitors with extras, you don't NEED to do any of this! Your monitor IS Plug & Play, and the system reads the info it needs directly from the monitor. Therefore, the explanation above is informational.

I hope this helps clear up the confusion that some (including myself at one point) have about monitor drivers for LCD panels!
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