Compression problem on laptop - help?

For the past year or so, our laptop has picked up an increasingly irritating habit. All of a sudden, it began compressing the odd downloaded image. Doesn't matter whether it's a photograph, a model run, a radar image - whatever. Sometimes it compresses them, sometimes it doesn't. I'd say it compresses them an average of 50% of the time.

When compressed, WxTAP radar images appear only in green (!) reflectivity, and model images (RUC, for instance) appear in a variety of striking blues, pinks, purples and greens which make it very hard to concentrate on what you're seeing.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

KR
 
Do you use it primarily with a cell connection? I know with my cell connection there's a program that I need to load again becasue when im useing my cell connection the images are compressed and very low Quality so the page in the browser can load faster. But it came with image accelerator type program so the images will load normally. That might not be your problem i dont know. You may have had a compression program on there and possibly deleted it. I only have what you wrote to go on so this may have nothing to do with your problem.
 
Images

Karen;

Can you clarify what you mean by "compressed"? Is the file size actually being compressed (smaller file size), or are you reffering to the size of the picture on your screen?

If you are speaking about what you "see" in an internet explorer page.. is there an "arrow icon" in the lower right corner of the image when you hover the cursor over the image? The default behavour of IE is to shrink the size if the image so that it will fit easily in the window.. but you can see the full-size image if you need to by clicking on that arrow icon. There are settings that can be changed to correct this behaviour.

I apologize if this is too obvious and you're speaking of something more complex. Is there any commonality in the image types you are using? JPEGS, GIFs etc. What operating system?

There normally is no mechanism to automatically compress files that are downloaded from the internet or via attachments to e-mail; however I agree with some of the other comments in that there may be some damage to the graphics engine components on your laptop. You may need to reinstall/upgrade the drivers for the video card as one possible step.

[EDIT] clarified some points
 
No the images aren't down-sized if that's what you mean - I know that sometimes you have to click the arrows and up-size stuff. It's the RESOLUTION of the images that's all to shot - like the graphics are being compressed.

This happens wherever and however we use the laptop - whether in a hotel room, via the Sprint aircard, or via cellphone (which we never do anymore).

KR
 
1. How do I find out what video card we have?

2. How would I figure out if there were additional/better/fixed drivers out there to download?

KR
 
Hmmm.... If it IS the video card, you might be stuck (unless you're still under warranty). Almost all laptops have a built in graphics card (whether it's dedicated or not), and you can't swap them out - The exception being some Alienware systems (that retail for +$4,000).

Do any other graphics get compressed, besides things on the 'net? Have you tried playing a game or something and noticed the same problem?

To see what video card you have (within Windows XP at least), you can go to "Control Panel" and click on "Display"... You should see something like this:
http://www.waveformpc.com/video_card.JPG

If that doesn't work, then click on the "Advanced" button, and then click on the "Adapter" tab... That should tell you.
 
Do you use it primarily with a cell connection? I know with my cell connection there's a program that I need to load again becasue when im useing my cell connection the images are compressed and very low Quality so the page in the browser can load faster. But it came with image accelerator type program so the images will load normally. That might not be your problem i dont know. You may have had a compression program on there and possibly deleted it. I only have what you wrote to go on so this may have nothing to do with your problem.

Just thought id add one more thing. When i used my wifi card after i installed the drivers for my cell phone modem patch. i noticed after the cell connection was unpluged i still had images that were very course and discolorized. Using the wifi. before i had the cell connection they never were course or grainy. maybe the drivers for the aircard messed something up. For me though a few days after using my cell connection and running on a wifi card the images began to correct them selves and look as though they should. so yes it could be you have a bad driver and you might want to reload some drivers and start from scratch or you video card is shot. i'd try reinstalling things first. you may have missed something.
 
Might be related ??

But over in the UK the cell phone networks compress any file images and the results are just as you described ~ for me my UK radar plots (both JPG and PNG format) are almost 16 colours and that is your lot!

I wonder if the US cell companies are now doing the same ~ but if you also have this fault and are not using a cell / sprint conection then I am baffled too.

Might be time to run a quick spyware check on the laptop perhaps ??
 
Laptop Drivers

1. How do I find out what video card we have?

2. How would I figure out if there were additional/better/fixed drivers out there to download?

Most laptop manufacturers have good websites for this. Go to the site and find your model; usually you have to specify what operating system you have and you'll end up with a list of drivers available. Updated drivers often solve many problems such as this, and are usually easy to install (read instructions carefully though!). Give it a shot and see what you get.
 
Thats very strange, I have a very similar problem with my Toshiba that is a couple years old... Only seems to happen when I am running Delorme Street Atlas and IE at the same time... the problem is most noticeable on wxtap and rap. Not sure what causes it, my assumption is something with the graphics card.

Dan
 
That's interesting - do you really think that Spyware could be the cause of a problem like this??

I would doubt that , but it's worth a try and should be a part of regular maintenance in any case. A decent (and free) spyware checker is AdAware, although there's a few other goodies out there.
 
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