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Windows 7: Media Center Multiple Monitor Madness!

25 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7
Media Center Multiple Monitor Madness!

I never seem to get responses in forums, probably because I'm so long-winded; so let me get right to the point: I have an MSI laptop with an HDMI out. Hooked it up to my older plasma TV (used an HDMI/DVI converter); screen comes up, looks great. Now I want to watch a movie, but I can't get my laptop screen to go off! If I disable the laptop screen via the Windows Display dialog or the nVidia control panel, both screens always shut off. I also set closing the lid to "do nothing" in power settings, but when I close the lid the signal to my TV also stops. This should be simpler!

Any help would be so appreciated. I've been searching the web for the past hour with little success...I have no idea how this isn't a huge issue that many people experience...


(Strange thing is that this laptop has an 8200M nVidia card in it, and I had a very similar problem when I had a desktop machine with a 7600 nVidia card in it. In that case, I had a monitor and a TV plugged in. Once I got the TV set to my liking, I'd unplug the monitor to put it away...but the TV signal would go away! Luckily, in that case, I could leave the monitor plugged in but OFF and the TV would still work. With the laptop, I'm not so lucky - I can't even get the screen to turn off, so there's always this secondary annoying glow in the room, not to mention wasting hours of the laptop LCD life!)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #2

Win 7 Pro/ Win 7 Pro/ Snow Leopard/ Win Server 2008 R2

Do this once your TV is connected to your laptop:
1. right click on your desktop
2. select screen resolution
3. at this point, you should see 2 screens in the box. if you don't, be sure you'r TV's cable is plugged in, etc.
4. select "extend these displays" next to multiple displays label
5. click "identify" near the picture of the two displays. note which number comes up on the TV screen
6. select "show desktop only on X" where x is the number that was shown on the TV.

your TV should now be showing your desktop, and your laptop's screen should be dark. however, if you close the laptop's lid, i'm certain the TV will go dark as well. at least you won't have a bright glow from your laptop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7

Thanks, Samm!

First of all, just to clarify, I have no problem extending the screens—that's already done. Your instructions on how to turn off just one screen are exactly what I tried; as I said:
[Whether] I disable the laptop screen via the Windows Display dialog or the nVidia control panel, both screens always shut off.
It seems the same with all my nVidia cards: if I disable (or in the case of my desktop, unplug) the primary display, the secondary display always shuts off too.

Any other suggestions?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Jan 2010   #4

Windows 7

PS - Regarding the thread-move: While I want to mostly use Windows Media Center on the TV, I also use Hulu desktop or Internet Explorer or any other program on the TV. This is decidedly a display/graphics card issue...not a MCE issue...can we move it back? If I promise to change the title?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Media Center Multiple Monitor Madness!

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