Crappy laptop will play nice with one crappy monitor but not another crappy monitor

bfickybficky Registered User regular
Ugh, can't believe I'm having so much trouble with a silly problem on this terrible computer, but here goes:

I'm trying to hook up my old Acer Aspire 5735 (Vista) laptop up to an external monitor for my kids. My ancient Dell M992 CRT monitor would be fine for this use (it plugs in and mirrors the screen perfectly), but the colors are all messed up, so I'm borrowing an equally ancient Dell CRT from work. The new monitor won't show the laptop's display at all... the monitor screen just shows the "MONITOR IS WORKING CHECK SIGNAL CABLE" error. The Vista laptop recognizes when I plug the new monitor in... it shows up in Device Manager as "Generic PnP Monitor", and in the Intel Graphics and Media Control Panel, it shows up as the Second Display as "Dell M993c" (which so far is the only difference I can see between the two monitors). I also know the new M993c works, as it works perfectly with my main Win7 laptop. It's just something with the combination of the M993c and the Vista computer. Every other combination of laptop + monitor works fine.

I tried to update the drivers (which seems ridiculous when monitors should just be idiot-proof plug and play, right?) for the M993c, and that didn't change anything, but in my troubleshooting after that, I did a system restore on the Vista machine to back before the M993c ever entered my house, so I'll have to reinstall the drivers if that is really the right move at this point.

Again, this is ridiculous, but can anyone help? Maybe I installed the drivers wrong? I'm out of ideas at this point. My only guess is that I didn't actually update the drivers, that there is some bloatware thing on this computer overwriting the normal display settings, or for some reason the M993c is incompatible with this Vista Acer Aspire. Anyone have any ideas on how to convince this computer to play nice with this new monitor? This apparently computer-illiterate PAer and his kids would appreciate it.

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