View Full Version : [ubuntu] cannot see the whole desktop - especially the menu bar

January 7th, 2011, 04:53 PM
Hi. I'm new to Ubuntu. I've installed it on a Dell laptop to boot to either Windows or Ubuntu. So far, so good!

I've been using an external monitor because the laptop screen is not viewable. No big deal. And Ubuntu didn't have any problem with the external monitor.

However, while playing around with the monitor settings in Preferences, I evidently chose the wrong resolution. Now, I can't see the menu bar on top of the screen or anything else to be able to change the monitor settings back again. I can right-click on the desktop and bring up a window but I have no "point of reference". Can someone recommend how I can get back?

Also, because my laptop screen is mostly unreadable, when I start the computer, I can only see the far left side of the laptop screen with a dual boot menu list with what looks to be four choices:
1: Ubuntu.... (remaining not readable)
2: Ubuntu.... (remaining not readable, I'm guessing a different mode?)
3: (can't remember this line)
4: Windows

The external monitor does not display during the boot selection.
I can see just enough on the laptop screen to select either OS alright, but it would be nice to know what lines 2 and 3 say. I know, I need to replace my screen ...

I'm hoping that I can learn enough and be comfortable enough using Ubuntu to be able to install it cleanly on my wife's older computer - so she can have some novice tech support - heheh.

Thanks in advance!

January 7th, 2011, 07:02 PM
Press Alt+F2 and in the new dialog type "gnome-display-properties" w/o quotes and press Enter. (You can do this even if you can't see it). Now the Monitors dialog will appear. If you can't see the part where you change resolution, you can move the dialog by Alt + dragging it. Now change the resolution as required.

As for the entries in the boot menu, 2 and 3 are Ubuntu recovery mode and memtest respectively, and it's unlikely a normal user would need to use either of them.

January 7th, 2011, 08:28 PM
That did the trick! Many thanks! Looks like I have a lot to learn. Looking forward to a new OS adventure!:D