The game screen may be distorted or is not centered on the monitor when you play a Microsoft game

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Article ID: 258632 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

When you play any one of the Microsoft games that are listed in the "Applies to" section, you may experience one of the following symptoms:
  • The game screen is not centered on the monitor.
  • The game screen is oversized so that you cannot see all the menu options.
  • The game screen appears completely surrounded by a black border.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, use the following methods in the order that they appear.

Method 1: Adjust your monitor controls

Adjust the controls on the front of your monitor to center the game screen on the monitor. For more information about adjusting your monitor settings, see the documentation that came with your monitor.

If the issue continues to occur, go to the next method.

Method 2: Change the screen resolution in Microsoft Windows

Windows Vista

To resolve this issue, follow the steps in the appropriate section.

The computer is connected to the Internet

View the "Change screen resolution" topic on the following Windows Online Help and Support Web site:
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/

The computer is not connected to the Internet

View the "Change screen resolution" topic in Windows Help and Support on the computer's hard disk by following these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
  2. In the Search Help box or in the Search online Help box, type Change screen resolution, and then click Search Help.
  3. In the list of topics, click Change screen resolution.
  4. Click the link that best describes the problem that you are experiencing.
  5. Follow the suggestions to troubleshoot the problem that you are experiencing.

Microsoft Windows XP

To change the screen resolution in Windows XP, follow these steps.

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Display.
  3. Click the Settings tab.
  4. Move the Desktop Area slider or the Screen Area slider to the 800 x 600 setting.
  5. Click OK.

    Note If you cannot change the resolution setting to 800 x 600, verify that the correct monitor is selected and that the monitor supports a resolution setting of 800 x 600.
After you reset the screen resolution in Windows, set the game to use the same resolution as is currently used in Windows.

If the issue continues to occur, go to the next method.

Method 3: Make sure that the best monitor driver is installed

Note Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.

Windows Vista

  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    the Start button
    , type personalization manager in the Start Search box, and then click Personalization in the Programs list.
  2. Click Display Settings.
  3. Click the Monitor tab.
  4. Click the Driver tab, and then click Properties.
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    User Access Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
  5. Click the Driver tab, and then click Update Driver.
  6. Click Search automatically for updated driver software.
  7. Click Yes, search online this time only, and then follow the instructions on the screen to complete the driver installation. If you are prompted to verify that you want to change the monitor, click Yes.
  8. Test the game.

Other versions of Windows

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Display.
  3. Follow the appropriate steps for your version of Microsoft Windows.

    Microsoft Windows 98

    1. Click to select the Automatically detect Plug & Play monitors check box.
    2. Note the manufacturer and model of your current monitor, and then click Change.
    3. Click Next.
    4. Click Display a list of all the drivers in a specific location, so you can select the driver you want, and then click Next.
    5. Click Show all hardware.

    Windows XP

    1. Click Properties.
    2. Click the Settings tab.
    3. Click Advanced, and then click the Monitor tab.
    4. Click Properties, and then click the Driver tab.
    5. Click Update Driver.
    6. Click Install from a list or specific location (Advanced), and then click Next.
    7. Click Don't search. I will choose the driver to install.
    8. Click to clear the Show compatible hardware check box.
  4. In the Manufacturers box, click the manufacturer of your monitor.
  5. In the Models box, click the model of your monitor, or select a default monitor driver.

    To select a default monitor driver:
    1. In the Manufacturers box, click (Standard monitor types).
    2. In the Model box, click Plug and Play Monitor.

    Note If you are prompted to verify that you want to change the monitor, click Yes.
  6. Click Next, and then follow the instructions on the screen to complete the driver installation. If you are prompted to verify that you want to change the monitor, click Yes.
  7. Test the game.
If the issue continues to occur, go to the next method.

Method 4: Change the Refresh Rate setting in DirectX

To change the default refresh rate setting in Dxdiag for Windows XP, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type dxdiag.exe in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. On the More Help tab, click Override.
  3. Click Override Value, type a refresh rate setting in the text box that is supported by both your video adapter and your monitor, and then click OK. Try one value at a time. Typical values are 60, 62, 72, and 75.
  4. Click Exit.
Click Play to view this streaming media demonstration.
If the issue continues to occur, go to the next method.

Method 5: Download and install the latest video adapter drivers

Contact the manufacturer of the video adapter to obtain and install the latest version of the driver for your video adapter.

For information about how to contact the manufacturer of your video adapter, see the "More Information" section. To see whether applicable driver updates are available, visit the following Microsoft Windows Update Web site:
http://update.microsoft.com
Click Play to view this streaming media demonstration. To identify the name and manufacturer of the video adapter, follow these steps.
  1. Open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. To do this in Windows Vista, click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    the Start button
    , type dxdiag in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.

    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
    To open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool iIn Windows XP and earlier versions, click Start, click Run, type dxdiag, and then click OK.
  2. Click the Display tab.
  3. Under Device, look for Name and Manufacturer. Click Exit.

More information

For information about how to contact the manufacturer of the video adapter, click the appropriate article number in the following list to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
65416 Hardware and software vendor contact information, A-K

60781 Hardware and software vendor contact information, L-P

60782 Hardware and software vendor contact information, Q-Z
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

References

For more information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
263039 How to troubleshoot display issues in Microsoft games
309569 You cannot select the highest monitor graphics modes

Properties

Article ID: 258632 - Last Review: June 19, 2014 - Revision: 25.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X Deluxe Edition
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Halo 2 for Windows Vista
  • Microsoft Links 2003 Championship Edition
  • Microsoft Age of Empires III
  • Microsoft Age of Empires III : The WarChiefs
  • Microsoft Age of Mythology
  • Microsoft Age of Mythology Gold
  • Microsoft Age of Mythology: The Titans
  • Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle for Europe
  • Microsoft Dungeon Siege
  • Microsoft Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna
  • Microsoft Dungeon Siege II
  • Fable: The Lost Chapters PC
  • Microsoft Freelancer
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: Century of Flight
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Gears of War (PC)
  • Microsoft Halo: Combat Evolved for PC
  • Microsoft Impossible Creatures
  • Microsoft Links 2003
  • Microsoft MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries
  • Microsoft RalliSport Challenge PC
  • Microsoft Rise of Nations
  • Microsoft Rise of Nations: Gold Edition
  • Microsoft Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends
  • Microsoft Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots
  • Microsoft Shadowrun (PC)
  • Microsoft Train Simulator
  • Microsoft Viva Pinata (PC)
  • Microsoft Zoo Tycoon 2
  • Microsoft Zoo Tycoon Complete Collection
  • Microsoft Zoo Tycoon: Dinosaur Digs 1.0
  • Microsoft Zoo Tycoon: Marine Mania
  • Microsoft Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure
  • Microsoft Zoo Tycoon 2: Dino Danger
  • Microsoft Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species
  • Microsoft Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania
  • Microsoft Fable III for PC
Keywords: 
dftsdahomeportal kbdisplay kbprb KB258632

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