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Windows 7: Dual monitors acting up

11 Jun 2011   #1
Microsoft MVP

 
Dual monitors acting up

This is a Pentium 4 running ATI Radeon 9550 card with VGA and DVI outputs to Acer LCD monitors set to Extend Desktop. Only BIOS display settings are for AGP card and card aperture at spec 256mb where it's set. Also this is a 9 year old Best Buy premium house build VPR Matrix which has not run dual monitors before.

The dual monitor setup will not stablize, losing the DVI monitor after it suspends, or faiing to start the DVI monitor no matter which is set as Main, drivers updated, using full software or not, resolutions synchronized, etc.

To get the DVI connected monitor to start requires Logging Off and/or Restarting, unplugging one or the other, fiddling with both for awhile. Then it is stable until next suspend or shutdown.

I don't have enough experience with dual monitors to know what else to try.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jun 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Is it possible it is not meant to support dual monitors? Maybe DVI or analog. You could try a DVI>D-sub adapter to see if it would work too.
I have no multi-monitor experience either. Maybe John could help, he has only 6.

It could be fried too, from what I found the 9550 debuted in 2004. If the BIOS has AGP 8X, 4X setting you could flip-flop them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

I wondered if it was for either/or also until it works really good once I can get it going.

The only BIOS settings for display are AGP aperature which is set to card's spec 256mb, and either AGP or PCI card set to AGP.

Yet in the beginning I was able to get dual monitors to work by resetting BIOS to defaults anyway.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jun 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

As I understand it the card should manage dual display and I have never heard of having to do funny things (in the BIOS for example) to make a dual display work so I would tend to think that the card maybe faulty.
Have you tried a third party software like Multi-Monitor Resources at www.realtimesoft.com
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

Thanks. Is there a setting in MultiMonitor that might help restart the secondary monitor after resume?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The answer is no no direct setting but it does have more functions than the windows extended view, so it may be possible that setting up a profile will keep the second monitor working
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

Solved! Here's how:

The Intel Chipset on this old VPR Matrix (Best Buy premium house brand) had 2001 drivers installed by Windows 7, even though there are 2006 updates. Running the Intel Chipset Installation Utility would not install the chipset until I went through each chipset Device in the Device Manager to manually update them from the Intel .inf file in Programs. It would pick up the driver using either Browse or Automatic.

Hoped this may have solved it when the "Processor to AGP Controller" System driver caused the screens to refresh like it does when a Display driver is updated. It now had 2006 instead of 2001 control of the card. Would it stabilize the Dual Monitor setup?

After the requested restart it started up for the first time to both monitors and has remained stable ever since.

This is a lesson in the importance of updating the chipset and if it doesn't auto-update when run from installer persisting to manually install each driver for IDE/SATA, USB and System controller Devices.

Thanks all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Good detective work Greg! This will be helpful to others.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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