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Windows 7: Dual monitor problem


12 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Dual monitor problem

Hi everyone, Ive searched the internet high and low and could not find another reference to this problem for the life of me. I recently purchased a second monitor (an acer x203h 20") and attempted to set it up next to my 20" dell. I had the computer on and windows was running. When i plugged the monitor into the second DVI port on my Radeon 5850 it showed a nice big Acer logo then went into power saving mode. Neither windows or catalyst recognized the monitor as being attached.

Ive tried updating and reinstalling the driver for the 5850 and the acer monitor. Ive ruled out a bad monitor because when I plug the Acer into the top DVI port it works. I can get each monitor to work in the top DVI port but not in the bottom DVI port. So im wondering if this is an issue with windows' ability to recognize the second port/monitor or something else?

Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Hello BubbleTrouble Welcome to SF!

Your problem right from the start is plugging in the monitor while the system is running! With the exception of hot swappable items like usb devices you always shut everything down first!

Hopefully you didn't hurt anything there but can simply restart the system and then go into the "Control Panel>Display>Change display settings" and use the "Multiple displays" setting there.


Attached Thumbnails
Dual monitor problem-change-display-settings.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Thats actually what I tried first, per the instructions on the box. Then i was reading somewhere that adding it while windows was running would force it to recognize or something >.> Apparently not haha
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jan 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

When you first plug the second monitor in that goes in on the second connector on the card being the secondary there. When booting up both will see the exact same displayed on both monitors. Here the second monitor will see the new 7 logo screen disappear first and then a few seconds later the primary lcd goes black as well until the desktop appears.

This is what you should be seeing there as well if the monitor is working properly and not stuck in standby. Once the active signal is detected by the new lcd that should kick in.

When hot plugging the new monitor(Acer) in that wasn't good from the start! You could have damaged the card if the monitor turns out to be unharmed. The one way to find out now would be shutting the system down to try each lcd on the other connector to see if the first display(Dell) will work on the second and the new one will come out of standby on the first.

I would try the Dell on the secondary first and immediately shut the system down if nothing comes up right away since that would point to the card having been damaged. If the Acer fails to display on the primary then you either hurt it or got a bad one to start with.

The lesson is never hot plug hardwares with the system powered up! Even with a usb flash drive that is how swappable you see the "safely remove hardwares" icon in the system notification area for clicking that before unplugging. Hopefully you didn't damage either with power being applied at the time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

First, thanks for all the effort you've put into helping me. I really appreciate it.

I just tried what you described. I shut down, plugged the dell into the secondary port, and the acer into the primary. Then i powered up but only the acer showed any signs of life. This is what I had tried first with no success ( only with the dell in the primary and the acer in the secondary). Is this definitive of a damaged card? or is there anything else I can try/ test?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

The first thought would have been simply moving the Dell over to the secondary to test the card with that monitor only to see if that worked there. The separate attempt with the Acer by itself was to see if the monitor was still good when plugged into the primary.

Hot plugging the Acer in while the system was running may have damaged both the card and monitor somehow since live power was active. Since the Dell didn't see anything on the secondary it sounds too much like you did hurt the card! Not good!

The fact that the Acer has life on the primary is a relief as far as the new lcd is concerned. But a new card to run both is now a costly lesson unfortunately. The one last attempt would be shutting down, unplugging the Acer and see if any life is seen one at a time on the secondary with only one plugged in in order to further test the card. But be prepared for the secondary being toast!

When ever addin any new hardware the first thing is making sure the power is off and some will even turn the breaker switch on the supply off as well as unplug the ac cord depending on if the case is being opened up or not.

With usb printers the power is turned off on those before plugging into a usb port and later turned on to allow Windows to detect them. For more sensitive hardwares power off!

The only thing left now before replacing the card is simply turning it off, unplug the Acer from the primary, power up with the Dell to see if you get anything then. Most likely you did actually cook the secondary on the card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I just got it working by using a DVI to VGA adapter to connect the acer to the second dvi port. I have no idea why its working or how its working but its up and running!

Once again thank you very much for all your help and from now on I will always be shutting down before I make any hardware changes!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Evidently the dvi input on the Acer may have been hurt as well if the vga is working well. I hope you do remember to do just that!

There's only certain things like usb printers or flash drives, web cams, and other usb devices you can plug or unplug while live power is being applied. It gets too costly learning the hard way after something cooks on you! Next time you will be careful for sure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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