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Macbook + mini-DVI to video adapter problems!

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My roommate and I both have Macbooks - I got mine in June '06, it's one of the older black 80 gb models and hers is a white 120 gb that she got in August '07. We bought a mini-DVI to video adapter so we could watch DVDs and video files on our TV, but have been having some trouble with it lately. At first, it worked perfectly with her computer, but in the past few weeks has been malfunctioning - when she plugs it in, the default background shows up on the TV screen but nothing else, any windows she has open only show up on the TV if she drags them to the right on her screen until she can't see them on her computer anymore, so we're unable to watch anything fullscreen. Any tips on how to fix this?
Also, the adapter has never worked with my computer - any time I plug mine in, my computer display becomes enlarged and slightly distorted, and on the TV screen is distorted by horizontal lines that move up and down the screen. Any ideas here?
Thanks so much for the help!
The best answer: Hi cbeth,
welcome to macbook forum.
For your friend macbook, try to press F7 back and forth to switch between mirror and expanded mode.
Try to update your macbook hardware firmware and software using software updater and repair permission after that...application/utilities/disk utility/repair permission.
Also reset your PRAM and PMU.
Open your friend system preference / display and try to compare and set yours similar to hers, including resolution, color depth, refresh rate.
Good Luck.