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Dual Monitors - I know you've seen many of these, but I'm in desperate need of help...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 23, 2013 2:34:02 AM

Okay guys, my hopes are running out on this one. I run dual displays on my new Windows 7 PC. After about a month a problem started occuring... My computer constantly decides to shut down my second monitor upon startup, with no way of retrieving it. In specific, as soon as the black screen with the "Press DEL to enter setup" message appears, 1 second later (when the windows loading process starts i presume) the monitor turns black automatically, and I wait till there is signal on my main display (when im asked to log into a user). And from there on only 1 monitor displays something. Now let me clarify that, both monitors are detected. The second one just sleeps, goes black, indefinitely and forcibly. It is still turned on and detected however.

At first, this could be resolved with a simple restart. And it did. After a couple of times that stopped working, the monitor wouldn't come back. Then it needed a complete shut down and turn on again. That stopped working as well after 1 try. After searching the internet for solutions, I tried forcing my 2nd monitor to "wake up" by choosing the "duplicate displays" option. Again, it worked once, the next day there is no way to bring my monitor back. Then again I tried to force it through the "Show desktop on display 2" option. You know the drill by now, it worked only once, then the next day that no longer worked. I'm starting to get desperate. I have now ran out of ways to force my second monitor to wake up. I have no clue what's happening. It's as if Windows 7 is interfering with it, and constantly patches up my "solutions" to force it to wake up. What am I supposed to do with this? If you help me get through with this once and for all you're the god of technology.

Additional information:
-All my display drivers are up-to-date, for both monitors.
-Same goes for my Graphics Card drivers.
-Graphics Card: nVidia GTX 660
-Monitor 1 (Primary, working properly): Samsung Syncmaster T22A300
-Monitor 2 (The one that windows forces into black as soon as startup screen appears for a second): Acer AL1716
-OS: Windows 7
-Monitor 1 is connected to my GPU with an HDMI connection. Monitor 2 is VGA only since it's an older model, connected again to my GPU with a vga to dvi adapter. Both cables have been cross tested and are fine. Monitors have been tested separately as well and are fine.

Additional details describing the problem:
I mentioned trying to "force" my 2nd display to show up by using "duplicate displays" or "show desktop on display 2" options. When I do that the non-working display, works for 2-3 seconds with the first option (then goes black again indefinitely), and works for a split second with the other option, then returns to black forever. I don't know if this means anything, I thought that maybe it might hold some value.

tl;dr
Used to run 2 displays setup fine. Gradually started losing control of my 2nd monitor. Now it immediately goes to black when my computer startsup with no way of regaining it.
September 23, 2013 2:52:43 AM

What card do you have? As a starter I would simply try to do a fresh re installation of the GPU driver. Start by completely remove your current driver and re-install the most recent driver.
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September 23, 2013 2:57:04 AM

Mahisse said:
What card do you have? As a starter I would simply try to do a fresh re installation of the GPU driver. Start by completely remove your current driver and re-install the most recent driver.

I already included that in my post. I appreciate putting the time into trying to offer assistance to me with no return but if you are willing to help please read all of my post as the problem is very specific and I already tried tons of the generally suggested solutions after researching many forums. Yes, I did try reinstalling my GPU's drivers. Even though it's already up to date. The first time I did this, I regained my 2nd monitor. Then it no longer worked.
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a b C Monitor
September 23, 2013 3:00:47 AM

If you try a different OS, e.g. Ubuntu, does that work? That will help separate hardware vs software issues.
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September 23, 2013 3:05:03 AM

Someone Somewhere said:
If you try a different OS, e.g. Ubuntu, does that work? That will help separate hardware vs software issues.


Let me add that the first time this started to occur was after I installed a set of Windows 7 automatic updates on the 19th of September. So let us assume that it is a software problem, for the sake of the fact that I can't afford to test different Operating Systems. Naturally of course after I concluded that this started to happen right after the updates, I did uninstall all of the for-mentioned updates one by one. That solved the problem until my next reboot. Which is ominous because every solution i find is deemed useless by the next time I turn on my computer.
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a b C Monitor
September 23, 2013 3:40:04 AM

Ubuntu is free...

Have you uninstalled the drivers fully by going into safe mode, then using Driver Sweeper? Windows is notoriously useless at completely removing programs.
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September 23, 2013 4:03:09 AM

omonoiatis9 said:
Mahisse said:
What card do you have? As a starter I would simply try to do a fresh re installation of the GPU driver. Start by completely remove your current driver and re-install the most recent driver.

I already included that in my post. I appreciate putting the time into trying to offer assistance to me with no return but if you are willing to help please read all of my post as the problem is very specific and I already tried tons of the generally suggested solutions after researching many forums. Yes, I did try reinstalling my GPU's drivers. Even though it's already up to date. The first time I did this, I regained my 2nd monitor. Then it no longer worked.


Sorry but I could've sworn you hadn't wrote the additional information at the time I answered your (unedited) post. Anyway... Have you checked the refresh rate on your second monitor? Let's assume it's a 60 Hz. Is the monitor configured to 60 Hz?
Have you tried to lower the resolution to the second monitor?
Have you also tried to roll back a few versions of the drivers?

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September 23, 2013 4:19:19 AM

Mahisse said:
omonoiatis9 said:
Mahisse said:
What card do you have? As a starter I would simply try to do a fresh re installation of the GPU driver. Start by completely remove your current driver and re-install the most recent driver.

I already included that in my post. I appreciate putting the time into trying to offer assistance to me with no return but if you are willing to help please read all of my post as the problem is very specific and I already tried tons of the generally suggested solutions after researching many forums. Yes, I did try reinstalling my GPU's drivers. Even though it's already up to date. The first time I did this, I regained my 2nd monitor. Then it no longer worked.


Sorry but I could've sworn you hadn't wrote the additional information at the time I answered your (unedited) post. Anyway... Have you checked the refresh rate on your second monitor? Let's assume it's a 60 Hz. Is the monitor configured to 60 Hz?
Have you tried to lower the resolution to the second monitor?
Have you also tried to roll back a few versions of the drivers?



You are right, I'm sorry. That's my fault. I immediately edited after my initial post and didn't think of the possibility that someone could have already been viewing it before I began to edit.
Yes, I checked the refresh rate. It's 60Hz, but I tried different refresh rates as well just to see if anything would happen. No luck. Same goes with resolution. I have it on its native resolution but I tried lower ones as well, still no response from the monitor. It remains black (doesn't even blink the desktop image for a second, like some other things I've tried can do). I also did try rolling back my nVidia drivers as well as that monitor's driver. No effect.
I left for about 45 minutes just now, and before going i turned the 2nd monitor off through its power button. When I came back, my primary monitor was sleeping (as intented) and I moved my mouse to awake it, while also powering on my monitor. Voila, my primary monitor worked (as always), and my 2nd monitor too, displayed properly, for 3-4 seconds before going back to black.
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September 23, 2013 5:30:49 AM

Mahisse said:
Hrmm that sounds weird. I would maybe say it's something with the PSU or your card.
Have you tried Nvidia's own 'dual monitor' support?
http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/63


Highly doubt it has anything to do with the card, since as I mentioned it's a new computer and the main screen is always working fine, as well as any and all games that I play on max settings. Also because it only started occuring after a certain OS update. As for the PSU, still doubt it would have something to do with it since it's brand new. However I read somewhere that someone was able to resolve this by unchecking a setting regarding power management in his BIOS settings. Any ideas about that? The article you linked simply specifies how to determine whether a card does support dual monitors or not. Mine does.
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September 23, 2013 6:00:23 AM

omonoiatis9 said:
Mahisse said:
Hrmm that sounds weird. I would maybe say it's something with the PSU or your card.
Have you tried Nvidia's own 'dual monitor' support?
http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/63


Highly doubt it has anything to do with the card, since as I mentioned it's a new computer and the main screen is always working fine, as well as any and all games that I play on max settings. Also because it only started occuring after a certain OS update. As for the PSU, still doubt it would have something to do with it since it's brand new. However I read somewhere that someone was able to resolve this by unchecking a setting regarding power management in his BIOS settings. Any ideas about that? The article you linked simply specifies how to determine whether a card does support dual monitors or not. Mine does.


The link I provided is to "dual monitor support". There is also a "ask a question" section there. It's just FYI. I completely understand if you don't expect to get a sane answer from their support service *not being sarcastic'. What about a BIOS update? Have you checked if you have the recent BIOS version? Sorry I don't know about the specific power management in the BIOS..
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a b C Monitor
September 23, 2013 8:44:01 PM

Can you drive the Samsung screen from VGA? It could be the adapter or VGA output on the card.
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