We had a bunch of Windows 2008 servers configured by a tech, then racked with and hooked up to an IP KVM. Unforunately, the monitor used during configuration was a widescreen LCD, and now Windows is initialized to a resolution out of range for the KVM as well as the screen onsite.

We found that we can edit HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet... and then reboot the machines. But I'd prefer not to have to make all of them reboot.

Is there a way to restart the video driver or otherwise change the console resolution remotely, without a reboot?

4 Answers 4


You can use ResSwitch from this page: http://www.codeproject.com/KB/tips/resswitch.aspx.

  • This has since been obsoleted by the author. Jan 30, 2012 at 22:00
  • The author of ResSwitch above now recommends this utility: DisplayChanger (free for personal and educational use)
    – mattozan
    Dec 13, 2012 at 23:17

This is a little cheeky but you could do it onsite blindly :D

Here's how you'd do it in windows XP:

  • press escape to clear the login screen
  • ctrl+alt+del to start login
  • alt+u, type username
  • tab, type password, enter
  • wait a few seconds for login
  • windowskey+D to minimize all to desktop
  • Shift+F10 to raise the desktop context menu
  • R to select the display properties
  • Ctrl+Shift+Tab to switch to the Settings tab
  • Alt+S to select the resolution slider control
  • Left several times to change to the lowest resolution
  • Enter to apply settings
  • ZING!

Oh I should add - DON'T DO THIS.

  • That's actually pretty cute. I wonder if the Raritan will send KB input before it's sync'd video.
    – MichaelGG
    May 11, 2009 at 8:41

I've been able to do it using VNC if you can install that via an RDP session, it doesn't require a reboot and you can always uninstall it when done.

  1. Acquire a command line tool, as above.
  2. Connect to the machine via RDP since KVM isn't working, put a batch file that will run the utility in the start up folder (assuming your machines log themselves in automatically)
  3. Reboot.

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