I have recently reinstalled Windows XP (home ed - original disk) onto my Dell Latitude 800. Although the laptop works fine now, all of the icons are shown as flatter and broader than they used to be. This problem carries through into the software so photos are squashed and fat - similar to the way a standard tv programme appears if viewed in widescreen mode. I have tryed altering the display settings but this hasn't helped. Am I missing a DELL specific laptop display driver that isn't on the XP disk, or is there a simpler explanation?
Grateful for any help.
Sounds like video scaling is enabled, and it's configured to stretch, and your current video mode isn't set to a native resolution. Usually this can be addressed by updating drivers, you may also have to visit the mfr specific control panel (ATI CC or NV CPL) to adjust display scaling settings, as Windows XP doesn't provide display scaling options of its own.
By default, video cards shouldn't stretch to scale, they should perform blocking (a black border where there are excess pixels) but I'm not familir with the Latitude series laptops, perhaps they report a bogus native resolution to the video card/driver and need a proper driver for the display. Personally, I would try video/display drivers direct from the Dell support web and see if that resolves the issue.