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I ran Gentoo for a while on my Compaq Armada m700 but decided to try some other distros out for fun. When running Gentoo, I had the text console running in framebuffer mode, 1024x768, nicely. The text went from screen's edge to screen's edge.
After un-installing Gentoo and putting on other distros (and even Windows 98, just to test), the computer still wants to go into hi-res for text mode, but it doesn't use the whole screen - just 80x25 in the middle. The initial BIOS screen is the familiar 80x25 (large, whole screen) text, but the mode changes and GRUB, LILO, or even Win98 shows up small and in the middle of the screen only. It's like there is a text window, 80x25, in the middle of this much-larger screen. As a matter of fact, all of Windows 98 shows up in a small window in the middle of the screen - the whole GUI.
I guess my question is -- is there somewhere in the boot record or some other section of the drive, untouched by a DOS format or mkfs, that I've managed to put resolution-changing code? How can I erase/change it?
Are you sure that Windows 98 is running in 1024x768?? If not, this could be an explanation.
I remember that some laptops allow you to decide what to do when the screen resolution is set to one smaller then the native resolution of the monitor. Despite the BIOS always runs "full-screen", you will get a "window" of 800x600 in the middle of your 1024x768 LCD monitor if you set that option in... yes... the BIOS.