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Certian windows appear fuzzy

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello. I just recently had a failed hard drive on my Asus Q500a. I replaced the drive with a 1TB drive and had to install windows 8.1 from scratch because I couldn't get a backup of my old hard drive since it had so many bad sectors. Anyway, I have downloaded and installed all the drivers from Asus's website and still installer windows look very fuzzy, everything else looks real crisp and clear except certain windows. I have never seen anything like this before and have no idea what to do, I thought I'd post here and see if anyone else might know what to do. Also, notice below that any installer has no display icon in the task bar below. It doesn't matter what installer it is, the same thing, and even other things seem fuzzy. I have even tried different display drivers, no luck. Thanks a lot! I attached a screen shot so you can see what I am talking about.



fuzzy1.png 387k .png file




In the second image look at the writing on the VPN client and in the task bar at the Team Viewer icon, very fuzzy. It shouldn't look like that on a 1080p display, and it didn't before I re-installed.

post #2 of 19
Have you tried configuring Cleartype yet?

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/cleartype-frequently-asked-questions
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post #3 of 19
    Your problem looks like Windows 8.1's mandatory display scaling "feature" to me.  Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for the problem other than to upgrade to Windows 7, where you can request "XP style scaling" to be used globally on all programs.  The problem appears when you set Windows 8.1's screen DPI setting above 120 DPI.  So perhaps you were using 120 DPI (or less) in your previous Windows installation.

    The hard solution?  Manually right-click the EXE file (or desktop shortcut) for every program that is displaying incorrectly, click "Properties", click the "Compatibility" tab, tick "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings", and click [OK].  As hard is this can be (dozens of EXEs to find and manually change), the option is grayed out on 64-bit programs, thus requiring a registry edit to make them display correctly.  You can read more about this issue here.

    Now, I could probably write a simple program that could automate disabling DPI virtualization on each program if you are interested. smile.gif

    I would also recommend going though the ClearType calibration wizard as That Guy suggested. thumb.gif
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post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
+Reps for both. Thanks a lot for the responses. I did the ClearType without any success. The first test I did was on my Cisco VPN client that was looking fuzzy, I did what Techie007 suggested and it worked! Would it be very hard for you to write an app or batch file that could do this to all executables? That would be so great! On another note, I still have the failing hard drive that still has windows 8.1 installed, could I do anything with that? Thanks again.

thumb.gif
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesC8188 View Post

Would it be very hard for you to write an app or batch file that could do this to all executables? That would be so great!

    I just started on it today. thumb.gif
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesC8188 View Post

On another note, I still have the failing hard drive that still has windows 8.1 installed, could I do anything with that? Thanks again.

    While I wouldn't recommend trying to resurrect the old system, I may be able to help you retrieve personal files from it if you're interested.  What condition is the HDD in? (i.e. no spin up/click of death/seems to initialize but doesn't appear in Explorer/appears in Explorer but an error about needing to format or unreadable filesystem appears/appears in Explorer and can be browsed just fine.)  Do you currently have enough HDD space in one place to store a complete copy of the HDD?
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post #6 of 19
It seems like it could be something to do with font smoothing/cleartype.

http://www.wikihow.com/Adjust-Cleartype-Text-in-Windows-8
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post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by FastMHz View Post

It seems like it could be something to do with font smoothing/cleartype.

    The problem is actually the lack of the "XP Style Scaling" option in Windows 8 as I described in my first post.  See the pictures below to understand the problem:


    Program at 96 DPI (100%).  This is normal size.  It will be tiny and hard to read on high-DPI screens.



    Program at 120 DPI (125%).  DPI Virtualization hasn't kicked in yet.  It will when the setting is raised above 120 DPI.



    Program at 144 DPI (150%).  Notice how blurry it is!  This is because Windows Vista/7/8 render the program at 96 DPI and stretch the bitmap out to 144 DPI if XP style scaling isn't enabled.  Windows Vista and 7 have the option.  Windows 8 does not.



    However, I can enable XP style scaling by ticking "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" in the affected program's Windows compatibility options.  Look how crisp it is in comparison to the previous picture.  (If you wouldn't describe the picture as "crisp", your web browser is most likely stretching all the pictures because you're using a high DPI setting.  Try zooming out in your web browser and see if you can make pictures #1, #2, and #4 "crisp").

    In Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced DPI Virtualization.  If a program does not specify that it is "DPI Aware" in a manifest file (usually embedded inside the EXE file), it is a candidate for DPI Virtualization.  The reason this feature was introduced is because not all programs can resize themselves correctly to handle the unexpected size of text areas.  Notice in my last screenshot how unproportionately large the spaces are between the textboxes and the "dbA" text.  A little more and that text would hit the end of the label and wrap around, causing it to disappear entirely.
    The problem with DPI Virtualization is that it lets the program render at 96 DPI, and then stretches the rendered bitmap out to fill the higher resolution area for the user requested DPI.  This causes blurriness, since the resolution isn't really there.  In Windows Vista and 7, DPI Virtualization could be disabled by ticking the "Use XP style scaling" option.  In Windows 8, Microsoft decided to force the issue by removing the option.  That leaves us users stuck with old (but good) programs that can handle our high DPI settings just fine, but don't label themselves as "DPI Aware".
 
Edited by Techie007 - 1/9/14 at 10:26pm
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post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techie007 View Post

    The problem is actually the lack of the "XP Style Scaling" option in Windows 8 as I described in my first post.  See the pictures below to understand the problem:


    Program at 96 DPI (100%).  This is normal size.  It will be tiny and hard to read on high-DPI screens.



    Program at 120 DPI (125%).  DPI Virtualization hasn't kicked in yet.  It will when the setting is raised above 120 DPI.



    Program at 144 DPI (150%).  Notice how blurry it is!  This is because Windows Vista/7/8 render the program at 96 DPI and stretch the bitmap out to 144 DPI if XP style scaling isn't enabled.  Windows Vista and 7 have the option.  Windows 8 does not.



    However, I can enable XP style scaling by ticking "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" in the affected program's Windows compatibility options.  Look how crisp it is in comparison to the previous picture.  (If you wouldn't describe the picture as "crisp", your web browser is most likely stretching all the pictures because you're using a high DPI setting.  Try zooming out in your web browser and see if you can make pictures #1, #2, and #4 "crisp").

    In Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced DPI Virtualization.  If a program does not specify that it is "DPI Aware" in a manifest file (usually embedded inside the EXE file), it is a candidate for DPI Virtualization.  The reason this feature was introduced is because not all programs can resize themselves correctly to handle the unexpected size of text areas.  Notice in my last screenshot how unproportionately large the spaces are between the textboxes and the "dbA" text.  A little more and that text would hit the end of the label and wrap around, causing it to disappear entirely.
    The problem with DPI Virtualization is that it lets the program render at 96 DPI, and then stretches the rendered bitmap out to fill the higher resolution area for the user requested DPI.  This causes blurriness, since the resolution isn't really there.  In Windows Vista and 7, DPI Virtualization could be disabled by ticking the "Use XP style scaling" option.  In Windows 8, Microsoft decided to force the issue by removing the option.  That leaves us users stuck with old (but good) programs that can handle our high DPI settings just fine, but don't label themselves as "DPI Aware".
 


Ahhh. Your a genius! It's happening even with Windows related stuff aswell. For instance when I open up programs and features, all that stuff is fuzzy. How can you fix the DPI for .msc windows? I went through the clear type a few times with no success. I was able to retrieve all my data off my old HDD, but thank you very much for the offer. I thought having that drive might help with this display issue. I never had this problem when I was running 8.1 on that other HDD. Were you able to write a script to change the DPI for applications? Can that be used on .msc windows? Thanks a ton bud.
post #9 of 19
    Yes, the DPI setting can be fixed on the Microsoft Management Console.  I found that Microsoft hid the Compatibility tab for that program.  But adding the program manually to the registry still works—ha ha! biggrin.gif

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers"
  3. In the right hand pane, right-click in an empty area, and click "New\String Value"
  4. Type "C:\Windows\system32\mmc.exe" for the value's name.
  5. Press [Enter] (or double-click the new entry) to change the value.
  6. Type (without quotes) "HIGHDPIAWARE" for the value, and press [Enter].
  7. Changes should take effect next time you open the Microsoft Management Console.


    Right now, the issue I'm trying to work out on my program is detecting whether a program is High DPI Aware or not.  It involves reading the EXE file in question, parsing the PE structure, and hunting for the manifest resource.  I've got it where I can parse the two first levels on the resource tree (resource type, and resource name).  Then for some reason the code doesn't work on the last level (language/resource data) and starts listing out gibberish.  If someone knows more about parsing the resource tree that would be helpful.  Most of my knowledge on this topic (all gained over the last several days) comes from this article.  The area that I'm having a little trouble with is the Resource Structures section.
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post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techie007 View Post

    Yes, the DPI setting can be fixed on the Microsoft Management Console.  I found that Microsoft hid the Compatibility tab for that program.  But adding the program manually to the registry still works—ha ha! biggrin.gif

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers"
  3. In the right hand pane, right-click in an empty area, and click "New\String Value"
  4. Type "C:\Windows\system32\mmc.exe" for the value's name.
  5. Press [Enter] (or double-click the new entry) to change the value.
  6. Type (without quotes) "HIGHDPIAWARE" for the value, and press [Enter].
  7. Changes should take effect next time you open the Microsoft Management Console.


    Right now, the issue I'm trying to work out on my program is detecting whether a program is High DPI Aware or not.  It involves reading the EXE file in question, parsing the PE structure, and hunting for the manifest resource.  I've got it where I can parse the two first levels on the resource tree (resource type, and resource name).  Then for some reason the code doesn't work on the last level (language/resource data) and starts listing out gibberish.  If someone knows more about parsing the resource tree that would be helpful.  Most of my knowledge on this topic (all gained over the last several days) comes from this article.  The area that I'm having a little trouble with is the Resource Structures section.


Ahh very nice. Your registry tweak worked like a charm. The device manager, devmgmt.msc was very fuzzy and after I applied the registry tweak all is clear as glass! Thanks again. I wish I could help you more on the application but I'm a network guy, not a programmer. I wouldn't do you much good! xD If you'd like any compensation for your work, just shoot me a PM and we can work something out. Thanks again man.
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