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Welcome to the ResChanger page! ResChanger was written for Windows 95 and Windows NT4 or above and works in much the same way QuickRes from the Microsoft PowerToys does, except that ResChanger also runs on Windows NT4/Windows 2000, whereas QuickRes does not. In addtion, ResChanger optionally can change screen settings only temporarily, without moving icons on the desktop. This is something that QuickRes can't and it really is a royal pain in the ass if you have lots of icons on a large desktop and you for some reason have to run your system with a much smaller resolution: "Oouch, all my icons have moved to different locations since I switched to 640x480 with QuickRes!" - Not the case with ResChanger!
Dowload ResChanger version built on 04/09/00

Downloads thus far:     2893
Size:186991 bytes
MD5 Checksum:6b6017619e7988e6f6ec6da897982391

What is it?

ResChanger is a small utility that enables you to switch display settings (the combination of horizontal resolution, vertical resolution, color depth and refresh rate) dynamically from the system tray. The system tray is the neat, small window within the taskbar of the shell of Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 that contains such useful things as a clock or an icon for the sound adapter card if there is one installed. The system tray on my computer with ResChanger running looks like this:

A right click on ResChanger's icon will invoke a context menu with all display settings your graphics adapter card is capable of. By selecting a menu item, the screen resolution and color depth are switched, either temporarily or on a permanent basis. The temporary switch is very useful if you want to play a game at a certain resolution and afterwards you want to switch back to your normal screen resolution. Another example of use for developers like me could be testing the behaviour of applications or the look of web sites at different screen resolutions.
     One of the greatest features of ResChanger is that when switching your screen's resolution temporarily, the icons on your desktop won't move, so you don't need to move them back to their previous locations when restoring your old setting.
     On Windows NT, ResChanger will allow you to switch to all the myriads of screen resolutions that only differ in their vertical refresh rate, but to keep things simple, an administrator can select a subset of safe display settings the users will be able to use.

Feature List:

    Automatic install and uninstall feature.
    Runs on both Windows 9x and Windows NT4/Windows 2000.
    German or English user interface which can be changed at runtime on the fly. Comprehensive help file support in both German and English.
    Test mode with configurable test duration.
    Switching to new display settings can be either temporarily or permanent.
    On Windows NT/Windows 2000 a subset of all available settings can be defined by an administrator so only safe settings can be choosen by the user. ResChanger detects if it is running in a Terminal Services Environment in a non-console session and then silently quits.

Why I wrote this cool program...

...well, simply because I found it annoying that the free QuickRes utility from the PowerToys didn't work on Windows NT and I needed such a utility for testing the behaviour of my applications under different display settings. Later I found, that Microsoft ships another utility with the name QuickRes with the Windows NT Server Resource Kit, for which they charge you money, and I was annoyed again. So I decided to roll my own little QuickRes-like application and provide it to others for free.

What was technically challenging in writing this program?

Uuh, ooh,... nothing, no, really! Anybody can do that, everything is pretty well documented. The only nifty thing about ResChanger is its self-extracting setup program, which is based on an article from the August 1999 Windows Developer's Journal issue. I adapted that articles code and made it more reusable and stable. Actually, the setup program is nothing more than a reusable stub of 7168 bytes that is appended with a big chunk of binary data that consists of the compressed files that make up the final installation. At runtime the stub first checks for the right version of the operating system and for administrative privileges of the user executing the setup if running on Windows NT. Because the stub knows about its own size (from a DWORD custom resource that is always the stubs real size), it can extract all files to a temporary folder on the user's harddisk where then a .inf file is executed that contains all the necessary information about the setup process and the uninstall process. In case the file was truncated during the download, the stub issues an error and quits.
     If you are interested in the source code and the binaries for this kind of reusable setup with an overhead of only 7168 bytes, drop me note. Maybe I will even publish it some day on this site. If you are concerned that appending a few bytes to a working executable is a bit dirty - don't worry: The folks at Microsoft do it the same way.
Last Updated on Sunday, 28 April 2002 19:50