AMD HD 5770, Catalyst Control Centre, Server 2008 R2 and black borders

Messing around today in Hyper-V in a dual boot, while running Server 2008 R2 with my Sapphire AMD HD5770 card and had a shunken screen with a black border I could not (easily) get rid of.

Ordinarily under Windows 7 x64 running 1920 x 1080 on a BenQ M2200HD using HDMI all is good, but boot into Server 2008 R2 and things fall apart. Under Server 2008 R2 I have no trouble installing the drivers (currently ver 11.9) and setting the resolution to 1920×1080 but the image never fills the screen, as it is rescaled and I get a 1cm – 1.5cm black border around it.

Some history: I can’t recall when the issue started on Windows 7, but some posts on bogs mention changes at version 10.7, 10.8 or so. I was not too worried under Win 7 as AMD’s Catalyst Control Centre (CCC) has an option “Scaling Options (Digital-Flat Panel)” that allows you to turn scaling on and off as well as set a slider from 15% underscan – 0% overscan. 0% makes it all good again.

Originally the drivers installed ok in Server 2008 R2 and I thought I’d just use CCC to fix it as I did in Windows 7. But CCC doesn’t work at all under Server 2008 R2. AMD don’t seem to support it (they never said it would, so I have little chance of help there either.  I tried a few hacks with compatibility modes, telling the app under Server 2008 R2 that it was under WIndows 7, Windows XP etc, with no joy. So I booted back into Windows 7, loaded up regedit, exported the video keys, changed the settings in CCC, exported again. Using the nice free compare tool in Notepad++ I easily found the spots where the checkbox and slider change the settings in registry.

But sadly where CCC failed in Server 2008 R2, the registry hack failed too.

The next clue I had was (and I cannot recall where I saw the hint – I’ll try and find again), a note on a forum saying AMD default their HDMI video outputs to assume HDMI = TV … doh!

So for now, when I want to use Server 2008 R2 (I dual boot Windows 7, Windows 8, and Server 2008 R2 using the now common VHD trick) is simply swap out the HDMI plug and use a DVI cable to the monitor – a nasty fix, as I prefer HDMI for audio under Windows 7 .. anyway it works for now, hopefully I’ll get a “real” fix later.

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