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Windows 7: Extend Desktop to 2nd Monitor Disabled and Related Issues


26 Jun 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Extend Desktop to 2nd Monitor Disabled and Related Issues

Hello and Good Day!

This issue has been driving me mad for over a week now and after scouring the internet to no avail.

To start, my system is set up as follows:
Windows 7 Home Premium x64
AMD Athlon X4 640 @ 3.4ghz, 4gig RAM
ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 Motherboard
GIGABYTE Radeon HD5770 running two LCD monitors; one via HDMI the 2nd via DVI.
I am running the latest stable drivers from AMD.

The symptoms:
When I power-on the system I get a mirrored display through the boot sequence until I reach the Windows login screen. At this point the second monitor goes to sleep like it isn't getting any input. The primary monitor displays the login screen in 640x480 resolution.

After logging in the desktop resolution will sometimes be set at 640x480 and sometimes in native resolution 1920x1080. It seems to be random but, either way the location of the icons are never where I left them; they're lined up as if they were reset.

When attempting to extend the desktop to my second monitor; it will allow me to select the option in both the AMD control panel and windows resolution window but, when clicking apply the primary monitor flashes but nothing changes (though it will ask me to confirm the settings are correct). The setting at this point shows 'display on monitor 1 only'.
I am able to mirror the two monitors and set the 2nd monitor as primary. Regardless of which monitor is primary, I am unable to change the resolution of the second display.

Solutions I've tried:
Several attempts have been made at uninstalling all AMD software and drivers with their tool and/or driver sweeper via safe mode or normal login (normal login results in a blue screen, no surprise).
After sweeping or uninstalling I've tried several versions of AMD drivers with the same results.

I've also tried sweeping/uninstalling the AMD drivers and replacing the 5770 with an old Nvidia 9500GT running the monitors in the same configuration and installing the latest nvidia drivers software. I thought this was successful as I could extend the desktop after the nvidia driver installation. However, the problem persisted after rebooting the machine.

As both cards resulted in the same problems, it would seem to confirm there is a problem within Windows (or the Motherboard?).

As I've said previously, I've scoured the internet for answers. There are a couple very old similar posts on the AMD forums without any answers. I do not have Windows Live Mesh installed which is a common solution for similar problems.
I'm assuming there is a registry setting someplace that is causing all of this nonsense however I'm at a loss to where it might be (though not afraid to try possible editing solutions).

My next step is to reinstall windows, however I'm running an SSD with secondary storage and spending the hours to get it set up just right again (disabling services, re-pointing user folders, etc) is not at all appealing. I have the 'okay' from the wife to spend some $ on new hardware if I can prove there is a failure someplace.

I am at your mercy. All ideas welcome


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Jun 2013   #2

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Validas View Post
The symptoms:
When I power-on the system I get a mirrored display through the boot sequence until I reach the Windows login screen. At this point the second monitor goes to sleep like it isn't getting any input. The primary monitor displays the login screen in 640x480 resolution.
Have a Radeon 4290 with two LCD panels and experience the same sequence. I think, at that point, the AMD drivers haven't actually been loaded yet.

Quote:
After logging in the desktop resolution will sometimes be set at 640x480 and sometimes in native resolution 1920x1080. It seems to be random but, either way the location of the icons are never where I left them; they're lined up as if they were reset.
Do you have "auto arrange" turned on for the desktop icons, or "align to grid"? That will cause those actions to take place automatically on the next startup.

Quote:
When attempting to extend the desktop to my second monitor; it will allow me to select the option in both the AMD control panel and windows resolution window but, when clicking apply the primary monitor flashes but nothing changes (though it will ask me to confirm the settings are correct). The setting at this point shows 'display on monitor 1 only'.
I am able to mirror the two monitors and set the 2nd monitor as primary. Regardless of which monitor is primary, I am unable to change the resolution of the second display.
Sorry, can't be of much help, here. Discovered that I could get full-screen resolution on both displays without messing around with the confusion of CCC settings, so I left the display driver at the default.

Quote:
As both cards resulted in the same problems, it would seem to confirm there is a problem within Windows (or the Motherboard?).
That could be the case. In my situation, I installed the AMD drivers specifically for the onboard chip, not for the video card version. If you're installing a version from AMD designed for the video card, and you're using an onboard chip, that could present problems.

Quote:
My next step is to reinstall windows, however I'm running an SSD with secondary storage and spending the hours to get it set up just right again (disabling services, re-pointing user folders, etc) is not at all appealing.
BEFORE you do that, read through the tutorial here about doing a Clean Reinstall of Windows 7. That simply reinstalls the OS and should leave your other stuff intact.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate Retail Box (64-bit installed) + Service Pack 1
 
 

First thing I would do is swap out the HDMI cable for a known good one and just try to make sure it works fine by itself and do same with the DVI connected one, try them both alone until working perfectly, before continuing, then try both again.

Sounds like cabling since you tried 2 different cards and I have had flaky HDMI issues between a blu-ray player and HDTV, sometimes booted as 480p instead of 1080p, swapping out cable seems to have fixed it, original cable was cheap but SUPPOSE to handle 1080p np grrrrrrr!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


28 Jun 2013   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hi Mark and Faladu, thanks for the input I truly appreciate it!

Last night I attempted a Repair Install (in-place upgrade) of Windows 7 x64 with SP1. It took about an hour and when everything was finished, nothing had changed..

However! Being the obsessive that I am, I couldn't just sit there and let this problem get the best of me. I checked all my data and programs making sure everything was moved over to a separate storage drive and dove head-first into a clean install.

45 minutes and a few expected restarts later I was looking at a Desktop that defaulted to Extended in all its glory. The problem had been fixed. I even cautiously updated to the latest version of ATi's driver package and things still work properly. I'm still working my way through setting up and tweaking the system to how I like it, but for all purposes... I suppose this problem is resolved.

I still wish I had some idea of why this happened though and if there was a better way to fix it that didn't involve formatting the drive and reinstalling windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2013   #5
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

It could be anything and everything including this,

Quote:
I'm still working my way through setting up and tweaking the system to how I like it
It could very well have been one of the tweaks you did, and short of going back and undoing everything done the only fix is a clean install (if a repair install doesn't work).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Extend Desktop to 2nd Monitor Disabled and Related Issues




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