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Windows 7: My graphics card is confusing (itself)

25 Oct 2010   #1

Win7 Ultimate x64
My graphics card is confusing (itself)

Pertinent specs:
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
NVidia (PNY) 8800GT video card w/ 2x DVI out
19" LCD monitor (no-name brand) - 4 yrs old - connected from DVI out to VGA in
32" Sony LCD HDTV - 2 yrs old - DVI out to HDMI in
17" Dell CRT monitor - 7+ yrs old - DVI out to VGA in
25" I-Inc iH254 monitor - < 1 wk old - DVI out to DVI in

long story kind of shorter:
19" apparently died Thursday, which wasn't much of a surprise, due to its age and the flickering I'd been experiencing of late. It had worked just fine the previous evening, but it's not like it was a 6-month old monitor going out. Because I needed to get work done by Friday afternoon, I dug out my old 17" and made do. All the while, my 32" TV was plugged in to Port 1 & acting as an extension of my desktop. I utilized this feature Friday afternoon, and had no trouble then.

Saturday afternoon, I had the opportunity to purchase the new 25" monitor (in-store, from Micro Center), since I was desperate for a new one, and it sounded like a pretty good deal. When I got it home, I plugged it in to Port 2, in place of the 17", thinking I should be able to turn it on, and get caught up on lost time. Not quite.

As best I can recollect, I tried rebooting several times, because the screens at boot-up would display on the 25", but then once it was supposed to come to the Windows Login screen, it went completely blank. I rebooted in Safe Mode, which worked, aside from the fact that it was 800x600 resolution. I took that opportunity to install the Windows 7 driver contained on the disc that came with the 25". Then I rebooted normally, only to have the same problem yet again. I happened to turn on my 32" TV, and saw the Windows Login screen displayed there. When I logged in, the new 25" still did nothing. I reinstalled the aforementioned driver, and also opened up NVidia Control Panel to see what was going on. NCP wasn't even detecting the new 25". I attempted to use their Rigorous Display Detection, but that was fruitless as well. So, at this point, Sony TV plugged in to Port #1 appeared to be working fine; Port #2 appeared to be dead. I kept getting the same message on the screen of the 25" that "No Input Signal - Check Video Cable."

At this point, I decided to swap the ports that the monitor & TV were plugged in to. At this point, the 25" came on and allowed me to log all the way in to my desktop without any problem, aside from the fact that NCP was now not recognizing the Sony TV, which was now in Port 2. So I went to bed last night thinking the 2nd port on my graphics card was somehow faulty, though that didn't explain how it would, on occasion, appear to work up until the point where the Login screen should appear.

But all that's probably pointless because of what happened when I just went to turn on the computer this afternoon. I still had the 25" (Port 1) & 32" (Port 2) plugged in, and decided to turn them both on to see what would happen. This time, the 32" TV displays all the boot screen junk, while the 25" remained blank. But, yet again, when it made it to the Login point, both displays were now blank. Rebooted several times, yielding the same result each time. I unplugged the Sony TV altogether, and reintroduced the 17" CRT to Port 2. Yet again, the boot screen junk showed up through Port 2, but then something funny happened--the Windows Login screen appeared on Port 1 - the new 25". When that happened the 17" went blank. When I logged in, then, everything appeared somewhat normal--25" set as the primary display, with the 17" set as the extension thereof; NCP recognizes both displays at their correct resolutions. And so that's where I'm at now. Basically, both DVI ports do work. For some reason, the boot screen stuff shows up through Port 2 (I guess technically it used to happen this way because I used to have my old 19" LCD plugged in to Port 2), but then when I have both displays on, it reverts to Port 1, because NCP tells the computer that Port 1 is the primary.

Lingering questions:
How do I fix this, so that the boot screens and login both show up on Port 1--the new 25"?
Why does the 32" TV suddenly appear not to want to function properly, even though it seemed fine yesterday... and part-way through booting up today? Would that be a problem with the TV or the port?
Whose fault is this: a combination of the new and old monitor, for going from a 1024x768 to 1920x1080 resolution without changing it in the NCP? or some malfunction in the video card that just so happened to coincide with my old monitor dying?

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 My graphics card is confusing (itself)

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