Dual Monitor Setup Doesn't Work After Win7 to Win8.1 Upgrade

Hello fellow techies! I want to start by saying that this is a HIGHLY advanced problem, and I feel like a complete idiot for not being able to figure it out. I fix computers as a profession, so you should know that I tried all of the"obvious fixes". If this hasn't scared you off, and you feel up the the task, please read ahead!

Customers Computer: Custom ASUS Build from 2011
CPU: AMD Phenom II 1100T (http://products.amd.com/en-gb/DesktopCPUDetail.aspx?id=726)
Mobo: ASUS Crosshair V Formula (http://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/CROSSHAIR_V_FORMULA/)
Video Card: Two MSI R6950 (http://us.msi.com/product/vga/R6950_Twin_Frozr_IIOC.html#hero-overview)
Ram: 16GB of blah blah blah
Monitors: Two ASUS VH238H (https://www.asus.com/us/Monitors_Projectors/VH238H/)

So gents, here is the issue: before upgrading his machine to Win8.1, he was running Windows 7 Ultimate x64 just fine, both monitors worked fantastically. I upgraded the machine for him to Win8.1 Pro, and that is where the issues with Display started. First of all, there is no on-board graphics on his motherboard, so we have to use his cards to do any form of display. Each card has 2 DVI ports, 1 HDMI, and 2 Mini-Display ports on it. I CAN get dual displays if I use 1 HDMI and 1 DVI connection in any layout, but I cannot get a display if I use dual DVI in any layout. If I just use one display on any port, it works great, either monitor. The issue is trying to get dual displays with DVI. Also worth noting, I cannot use dual HDMI's split between the cards either. I have upgraded the firmware for the video cards, as well as the BIOS for the Motherboard just to be safe. Before the upgrade, we would get output on both monitors with no HDD's or other SATA connections active, so the cards and mobo were duplicating the signal just fine, but now it doesn't want to recognize the second monitor.

Below is the testing I have done:
1. Checked multiple different ways to see if Win8.1 is even recognizing the second monitor, it is not.
2. Checked mutiple ways to see if the monitors are in perfect working condition, they are.
3. Checked to see that the Mobo and GPU's are working just fine, they are.
4. Checked multiple cables to make sure that they are not the issue, no change.
5. Tried to cold boot with no bootable devices, still no signal to second monitor.
6. Tried to reinstall Win7 back on the drive, still no second display.
7. Tried EVERY port and layout possible for the ports from GPU, still no second display besides #8 below.
8. Tried 1 HDMI and 1 DVI, success, but the customer wants to use dual DVI.
9. Tried 2 HDMI, 1 in each card, fail.

My conclusion: there is a changed setting in the motherboard or GPU that no longer wants to detect two outputs in the same style ports; this setting was changed by the upgrade to 8.1.

Thoughts? Ideas? I am out of answers guys. I've been building/fixing computers for quite a few years now and I haven't had an issue (that I'm pretty sure is fixable) like this one. Any advise or thoughts are helpful, anything could spark a solution at this point!

- Harrison Whitmarsh
Lincoln Nebraska USA
4 answers Last reply
More about dual monitor setup work win7 win8 upgrade
  1. How did you upgrade to 8.1? Clean install or upgrade wizard? If you used the wizard I would just go ahead and do a clean install of it. that is unusual to be sure. However I have had issues in the past with getting my monitors to work after a new install. Did you go into the CCC and force detect monitors then reboot? that is the only way I have been able to get them to be detected when some weird glitch like that happened to me.

    If force detecting from the CCC doesn't work try to hook it up like he wants then go into the device manager and make it refresh (detect new hardware) to see if it is detected.
  2. SinxarKnights said:
    How did you upgrade to 8.1? Clean install or upgrade wizard? If you used the wizard I would just go ahead and do a clean install of it. that is unusual to be sure. However I have had issues in the past with getting my monitors to work after a new install. Did you go into the CCC and force detect monitors then reboot? that is the only way I have been able to get them to be detected when some weird glitch like that happened to me.

    If force detecting from the CCC doesn't work try to hook it up like he wants then go into the device manager and make it refresh (detect new hardware) to see if it is detected.


    SinxarKnights, thank you for a prompt response!
    The install for Win8.1 was from a disk as a clean install. Note, (this is where things get weird) the first time I installed 8.1 as a clean install the monitors worked JUST FINE. The issues I found though was that the PC could not boot correctly due to multiple HDD's. I pulled all of the HDD's out, left only the main boot drive, changed bios, and it still did not boot correctly. I then clean re-installed again with only that main drive, and now the second monitor won't display. What could have changed from 1 clean install to the next? It just doesn't make sense I think.
    CCC: I have gone into CCC and tried to force detect, and it just won't find it. I have tried different monitors as well, nothing. After that didn't work, and neither did the built-in Win8.1 function, I went into Device Manager, unhid hidden devices, and uninstalled all monitors. After refreshing the list again, it found the lone monitor, and not the second.

    I am not comfortable with Registry (as it is just so damn easy to screw up), but there has got to be a way to look in registry and see if dual DVI is turned off or something. Man, who knows, I am just throwing crap and the wall at this point haha.

    - Harrison Whitmarsh
    Lincoln Nebraska USA
  3. Yea wow I know how you feel as I do the same thing as you do. Very unusual to say the least. Well without having the PC in front of me im out of ideas. If you do figure it out let me know!
  4. SinxarKnights said:
    Yea wow I know how you feel as I do the same thing as you do. Very unusual to say the least. Well without having the PC in front of me im out of ideas. If you do figure it out let me know!


    Well my first thought was "Oh crap I broke something" when the second display didn't come back. I have no idea why it would work the first time, then not the second.

    - Harrison Whitmarsh
    Lincoln Nebraska USA
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