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Windows 7: Lockout with multiple monitors & wrong resolution?!

13 Feb 2014   #1
SPJ

Win7x64
 
 
Lockout with multiple monitors & wrong resolution?!

I've managed to paint myself into a corner and have to ask for help :-o

My setup is a laptop with a high-res external lcd (connected via d-sub vga cable). I set up the *external* lcd as *primary* display and extended it to the *internal* display.

The problem now is that my new/other *external* lcd has less resolution than the original one. This means that when I connect it and press "Detect" it only shows "resolution not supported". The catch is that I cannot change the resolution because all windows and controls have moved to the primary, but dead display and my laptop only shows a blank screen with only the wallpaper!

Any ideas on how to get out of this trap?
Thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Feb 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Can you use the Laptop FN key to re-enable display on its own screen? On my Lenovo laptop this key is F10.

What happens when you unplug the external display?

Can you rightclick on the laptop desktop to get the normal Display options?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2014   #3
SPJ

Win7x64
 
 

...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Feb 2014   #4
SPJ

Win7x64
 
 

> Can you use the Laptop FN key to re-enable display on its own screen?
No can do because the laptop keyboard is defective, I'm using an external usb keyboard.

> What happens when you unplug the external display?
Nothing, the laptop monitor keeps being the blank secondary display until I reboot

> Can you rightclick on the laptop desktop to get the normal Display options?
No, because the display options window is already open since I had to press "Detect" to activate the external monitor ... meaning it's now on the inaccessible external monitor which is set to primary. I cannot even login after starting the OS with both monitors plugged because the login screen is also on the external primary.

The other obvious options would be:
* plug in the high-res external lcd again and lower the resolution
* do some registry changes (the external monitor res is bound to be somewhere)
* use some 3rd party app to move the display settings window to the secondary montor.

The point is: This sitation is really ridiculous, surely I cannot be the only one having experienced this with an OS as popular as Windows. I'm definitely no win newbie but I couldn't research & don't see any built-in way to solve this... I didn't try safe mode with vga yet though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2014   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

Safe mode or f8 System Recovery Options to System Restore.

Check in BIOS setup for related settings.

What happens if you reboot with everything unplugged except power
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2014   #6
SPJ

Win7x64
 
 

> What happens if you reboot with everything unplugged except power
The laptop boots up and the laptop screen is the primary display ... when I plug in the secondary lcd nothing happens until I press "detect" in display option ... which is when the primary with the "display options" window immediately switches to the dead monitor, preventing me to change the resolution :-p

I'll try safe mode next, I'm currently not @work with the external lcd and cannot try right now. Still, even being forced to reboot into safe mode to solve this is very strange (if it works at all and the second monitor is detected in safe/vga mode)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Lockout with multiple monitors & wrong resolution?!





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