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Problem after connecting external LCD to my laptop

My laptop has a resolution of 1366 x 768. I connected it to an external LCD monitor which has a resolution of 1280 x 1024. When I did this two things happened.
1. I saw a notification on my laptop that the display settings were not optimal or optimized.
2. The window on my laptop shrank, perhaps to match the LCD's resolution. Now there are two black vertical bars on either side of my laptop "desktop window".

Is there some way I can fix this?

Also, is there some way I can display different things on the two monitors and not have a mirror of the laptop screen on the LCD?

Thanks!

JS

Update: I went into the display settings and changed them from duplicating to extending screen. There is still the problem of the resolution difference when I change it to duplicating as the window on the laptop shrinks again.
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  1. exactly... duplicating is just that - making both the same, IF the resolution is supported on both, if not, then it's the least common denominator of the two
  2. Best answer
    Right click on your desktop and goto "screen resolution". You can change the resolution back to the original there. Also try to connect the external monitor again and set it to a different resolution there.
  3. dingo07 said:
    exactly... duplicating is just that - making both the same, IF the resolution is supported on both, if not, then it's the least common denominator of the two

    Thanks for your response.
  4. noidea_77 said:
    Right click on your desktop and goto "screen resolution". You can change the resolution back to the original there. Also try to connect the external monitor again and set it to a different resolution there.

    That's what I did after posting my update and it worked fine. I didn't even have to reconnect the monitor. Thanks for your response.
  5. Best answer selected by jss2020.
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