[ubuntu] Display problems on new laptop installation

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http://ubuntuforums.org – I installed Ubuntu 9.10 on my Windows XP laptop. Installation went fine but the problem is that whenever I maximize any window it is larger than the actual screen size. Such that the window size buttons on the top right of a window (minimize, maximize, close) cannot be seen when the window is maximized. I went to System>Preferences>Display to try and change the screen resolution but whenever I try to change to any resolution other than 1600x1200 the display becomes all garbled up. It's as if Ubuntu is displaying everything for a 16" screen when I have a 1 (Hardware)