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how to set external monitor as primary when option is dimmed

Posted on 2008-10-19
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I know it can be done because I did it when I first purchased monitor!  But I disconnected the notebook (Asus A4000) from the monitor last week and now I can't get it to reconnect.
The monitor will work as extended desktop but the option to make it the primary monitor is not available
Running XP Pro.
Also, I've noticed that the F8 toggle on the keyboard is not activating
And i notice that the drop down box doesnt show the monitor name _ LG225WT.
Have reinstalled the drivers, rebooted a million times etc.
have set the notebook monitor to medium colour quality (i read this is necessary)
device manager and display setting screen shots attached
help!
device-manager.jpg
display-1.jpg
display-2.jpg
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Question by:cherfield
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Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 22751506
With the lid closed and the external monitor and keyboard connected, delete / uninstall each entry under monitors. Restart leaving the lid closed. The monitors will reinstall, but the options may improve.

Chris B
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Expert Comment

by:ddanonimity
ID: 22751512
Try downloading a program such as Radeons catalyst control software (I think). These help you manage your graphics card settings. It appear to help me in the past.

Good luck
DDanonimity
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by:lauchangkwang
ID: 22751669
>> The monitor will work as extended desktop but the option to make it the primary monitor is not available

to make your monitor become primary display, Try to press the "Fn" button + F1 - F12 (depends on your laptop design, mine is "Fn" + F8) (your keyboard there will have a picture looks like 2 monitors between F1 to F12) ...... just press both buttons together, it will try to switch the display to laptop, then monitor, then back to laptop everytime you press the "Fn" + F8 (example) ......

Hope this help ....
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22751861
The solution with lid down did not help as I couldnt see what was happening on the notebook screen.  the desktop extension didn't help as the item open on notebook screen.
I did delete all the monitors though - this may now have caused issues below.
The Fn8 button on the notebook (which should toggle between monitors) is not working at all.  The Fn 7 (turn screen on and off ) but not the switching between screens
I downloaded Radeon calalyst but it said there were no compatible drivers to match.
what now!
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 22752521
What is the "Logmein Mirror Driver" that is crossed out? Have you tried removing this and also the "Plug 'n Play monitor" that doesn't seem to work? Have the system re-detect the hardware, perhaps that helps.
/RID
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22754212
thanks rid
i uninstalled logmein and plug n play and rebooted - no go
have attached screen shots of what happens.
note the shot where i select the monitor type as LG and save but it doesnt keep the setting

display-3.jpg
device-manager-2.jpg
doesnt-keep-monitor-type-as-LG.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:lauchangkwang
ID: 22755359
First, make sure all the cables is plug & the VGA cable is connected to the notebook from the monitor.
then, make sure the power button on the monitor is turn on and can see the light nearby the monitor on / off button .........

after that, untick the "Extend my windows desktop onto this monitor", restart. after restart, right click the 2nd monitor and select "Attached" ....... try lower down the screen resolution to the same as monitor 1 (1024 x 768) ......see whether it helps ......

>> The Fn8 button on the notebook (which should toggle between monitors) is not working at all.  The Fn 7 (turn screen on and off ) but not the switching between screens

well, i don't think there is a function to turn On and Off the screen, it might be trying to display in second monitor but just your monitor doesn't show out properly, make sure you turn the monitor on with the power .......  
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by:cherfield
ID: 22755443
thanks for your comments
the monitor is actually connected and is working as an extended desktop.
the problem is that i can't make it the primary monitor.  i have tried unticking the "extend desktop" but the still don't have the option to make external monitor the primary one.
will try the resolution suggestion now.
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22765098
had no success with the resolution suggestion
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by:lauchangkwang
ID: 22777047
>> the monitor is actually connected and is working as an extended desktop.

so you mean NOW the monitor is working FINE with extended desktop ?? just that it cannot to be a primary monitor ??
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by:cherfield
ID: 22782077
so you mean NOW the monitor is working FINE with extended desktop ?? just that it cannot to be a primary monitor ??
Since I came back from my trip (taking the laptop with me) and then setup the external monitor again, the monitor works as extended desktop.  i just cannot set it as the primary monitor. Therefore my desktop is on the laptop and when i open items they open on the laptop and i have drag over.  As i said in my first comment, I know this can be done on my laptop and with this monitor as it was working before i went on my trip and unplugged it the external monitor - i just can't get it to work as a primary monitor now.  the option is dimmed and none of the suggestions has worked
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Expert Comment

by:lauchangkwang
ID: 22798774
Is there any software used to control your Display installed in your PC ?? You can just look around in your PC and try to change the setting if there is a software installed ......
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by:cherfield
ID: 22806453
"Is there any software used to control your Display installed in your PC ?? You can just look around in your PC and try to change the setting if there is a software installed ......"

Sorry, but I don't know what sort of software I'm looking for.  There was a CD that came with the LG monitor that had forteManager software on it but it appears only to set the colours on the screen
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by:Netman66
ID: 22812179
Normally, FN + F5 or FN + F4 will toggle the displays.

You cannot have the external monitor as the primary and the "real" LCD as and extended desktop.  You can have the external as the ONLY monitor, or as an extended desktop.

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by:Merete
ID: 22812586
You can't make a secondary monitor your default monitor on ATI as it is not connected directly to your video card  (onboard ) but rather is connected via the display settings on the default monitor.>>>my desktop is on the laptop and when i open items they open on the laptop and i have drag over.<< that is correct.
ok to reverse this
Looking in your device manager you have three monitors all different.
Get rid of the plug and play monitor. And LG225WT.
You should have in the device manager 3 Default monitors only.
I'm on my desktop but have taken some snaps of my Acer laptop and brought them over here
take a look snap one:
Same Multiple monitors on ATI
multiple.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 22812614
Snap two shows my device manager 3 default Monitors
Device-manager.jpg
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by:Merete
ID: 22812630
Snap 3
shows in display settings advanced >>monitors>> 2 default monitors

my-laptop2.jpg
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by:Merete
ID: 22812647
And finally snap 4
Display >settings >advanced>displays.
Which monitor is selected here?
Should be Panel for the laptop curently


my-laptop3.jpg
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22819057
Hi Merete
i went to device manager and uninstall AL monitors - see screen shot no. 1 attached
then i rebooted my laptop (eternal monitor plugged in) and it reinstalled them as per screen shot no 2
i opened display settings - screen shot 3.  still no chanced to select as primary monitor


devince-mng-no-monitors.jpg
devince-mng-after-reboot.jpg
display-settings---still-dimmed.jpg
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22819077
Also attached - display settings with monitor 1 highlighted
display-settings---monitor-1.jpg
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by:Merete
ID: 22819796
Hi cherfield, do you know if it has always shown that in device manager?
It maybe how you have connected this external monitor.
One is plug and play so what connections do you have on the rear of your laptop to get plug and play?

To remove all them I would first of course unplug everything. It will not uninstall otherwise.
In the display properties advanced Displays put it on Panel unplug your external monitor.
Something has taken over one default monitor with plug and play
Go back to device manager and disable all three. that'll break the asociation.
Uninstall the other two so that you see only one default monitor disabled
Reboot and see what happens with no other monitor connected and display set as single Panel.
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22820497
Hi Merete
"do you know if it has always shown that in device manager" - sorry, iI don't know what showed before.
Monitor is connected via 15pin D-sub monitor port ( i got that description from the user manual !). That's all that is connected.  
"Uninstall the other two so that you see only one default monitor disabled
Reboot and see what happens with no other monitor connected and display set as single Panel."
not sure what you mean to do here - are you wanting to test what it does WITHOUT external monitor??
Also, just to confirm - there is only ONE external monitor plugged into the laptop. not sure why 3 monitors would show.  
can you please give me instructions on what to do now?  thx
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by:Merete
ID: 22828295
Yes,
 I would like to see the outcome in device manager displays after you follow those steps I posted.
When hardware has installed incorrectly you'll get a problem with the default.
repeating>>
(1)
In the display properties advanced Displays put it on Panel
(2)
 unplug your external monitor and any connectors.
(3)
Go back to device manager and disable all three. that'll break the asociation.
(4)
Uninstall the other two,
so that you see only one default monitor disabled
(5)
Reboot and see what happens .
Check device manager after windows loads and check it  has no other displays other than your Laptop display which may appear as found as new hardware re-install,
you should also see the default monitor disabled as well.
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22828524
In the display properties advanced Displays put it on Panel - sorry this is not terminology i understand. My Asus laptop doesnt use that term.  can you please clarify.

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by:lauchangkwang
ID: 22830692
>> My Asus laptop doesnt use that term

I assume you are using XP, download the "Catalyst Software Suite" for ATI 9700:
http://game.amd.com/us-en/drivers_catalyst.aspx?p=xp/radeonx-xp

{Catalyst Software Suite is a software used for configure the setting of Graphic Card in ATI }

If you are using other OS, select from here:
http://ati.amd.com/support/driver.html
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22836362
" assume you are using XP, download the "Catalyst Software Suite" for ATI 9700:
i downloaded this software and installed it but it didnt finish installing - came up with a message saying that it didnt find a driver compatible. not sure what to do now
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 22836494
Hi Hicherfield when well meaning experts offer a new idea to try consider it first do you need to do this?
Did you install any drivers recently?
You shouldnt have started a new direction with installing new drivers that was needed unless you changed some drivers recently.
Did you uninstall the monitors as I suggested?
Even if our settings slightly differ just make sure all the devices for your display are disabled then uninstall two leave the one default display but disabled. Unplug this external monitor and any adapters.
What will happen when you reboot windows will determin that there is no displays now and should re-install your laptop only.
That's what we want.
then we can take the next step to get the other default monitor enabled again.
Does your ATI support TV out?

Please post a snapshot of your displays rightclick the desktop properties settings advanced displays.

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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22838216
Goodness this is complicated!
I am currently away from my office so cannot test test your last suggestion.  i will return tomrorrow and try again.
Does your ATI support TV out? - i don't know the answer to this.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 22838313
Hello cherfield, it's not really complicated, just take it slow.
As I see it you have a driver conflict, see your first snap it shows two display drivers,
ATI Mobility driver << that's correct one, below that
Logmein mirror driver<< disabled but what's that for?
This is where your problem probably started. Your first comments>>
 I disconnected the notebook (Asus A4000) from the monitor last week and now I can't get it to reconnect.<< that's actually not quite right, it does connect fine as your using it as a secondary monitor.
Then:
The monitor will work as extended desktop<< that's standard and correct using the
>> but the option to make it the primary monitor is not available<< and you say you did before?
and then you mentioned>
Have reinstalled the drivers, rebooted a million times etc.

To remove them and make things right again " unplug the secondary monitor " and any USB devices first.
Uninstall those two drivers under display in device manager
ATI Mobility driver and
Logmein mirror driver  just rightclick them and uninstall.
Then reboot.
Let windows find your default display drivers for the ati.
Then shutdown or power off
 plug in the secondary monitor and bootup again
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22847005
Hi Merete
Externall monitor NOT plugged in
Unistalled ALL monitors - see shot 1 device manager
turned off laptop completely
turned on laptop and took screen shot 2 - 3 monitor devices showing
what next?

all-monitors-uninstalled.jpg
after-reboot-no-monitor-attached.jpg
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by:Merete
ID: 22847672
Perfecto, or should be :P close enough I'd say. Dont know why you get a plug and play monitor.
Could you snap shot the advanced  only screen
 r/click the desktop properties advanced.

Now power off and plug in the secondary monitor reboot.
it should take the default monitor number two
then under the display click on number 2 screen does it state 2 ( Multiple Monitors) on Mobility
Colour Low 8 bit
Under number 2
Extend my windows desktop onto this monitor should be unticked, if you tick this your desktop will move to number two.
 Be careful doing this as you will have to look on this number 2 monitor to do everything on number one.
I got caught out with this and had to look on my TV to get my desktop back onto number 1
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22847842
here are the shots of advanced
have given you all 5 tabs under advanced
will now follow the rest of instructions and get back to you
thanks
advanced-1.jpg
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22847847
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22847964
Getting VERY frustrated!
Followed instructions but this is still not what i want to happen. primary monitor option is still dimmed and can't be selected - see screen shots.
i can (but always could) extend the desktop from laptop onto the external monitor ie the wallpaper shows on both the laptop and the extenal monitor but all the shortcuts are still on the laptop.  i can drag the shortcuts to the external monitor but that's not the same thing as having the external monitor set as "primary" which is what i had before.  if i leave it as "extended", everytime i open a new document or whatever, it opens on the laptop and i have to drag it across.  This is not what i had previously.  that arrangment had the screen on the laptop black and the external monitor as the primary monitor.  
I've noticed that when i press Fn F8, the laptop does not toggle between the external monitor on and off (which the book says it should and i am SURE it used to).  perhaps this is related.to the problem
shot-1.jpg
shot-2.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 22848002
Looking at your snap advanced-1.jpg (53 KB)
puzzling.
Looks like your video card is not installed right missing a lot of stuff.
this is the difference between our ati cards.
my card on my laptop is a Mobile radeon 9200 yours Mobile Radeon 9700
snapshot of the advanced
mine is on the left. yours right side

our-advanced.jpg
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22848039
so now what?
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by:Merete
ID: 22848303
ok, are you running xp home or xp pro?
XP home will need to use safemode to re-install the drivers.
Looks like all this came about because you had default monitor 2 set to be default one and it became confused after you removed the external monitor and plugged it back in again.
The default monitor for number 1 became like a plug and play.
If you wish to change default monitors please set it back to default one your Laptop so that when you disconnect this external monitor your desktop is back on monitor 1 no probs.

These drivers are part of your mainboard drivers do you have the setup disc or a recovery disc you can use?
If not check here
http://support.asus.com/default.aspx?SLanguage=en-us
otherwise try these if you dont have the setup disc drivers.
http://www.amd.com/us-en/SupportDrivers/ProcessorSupport/0,,15218_15219,00.html
http://ati.amd.com/products/mobilityradeon9700/index.html

Any system restore points you can roll back to?
Could roll the system back, dont like your chances with rolling the video card drivers back if you have installed many times.

But this time before you re-install them power off
unplug the external monitor any and all usb devices printers etc so there is no chance of cross install or conflict, disconnet from the internet and stop your anti virus.
The reason is so that when the new drivers are installed correctly.

Start your laptop in VGA mode tap F8 a few times then in advanced options look down the list to start in VGA
 then uninstall the video drivers but have the new drivers ready.
Or your setup disc in the drive.
Reboot
Install manual you choose the drivers when rebooting and windows find new hardware navigate to your setup disc or select the drivers from the list offered. Hopefully the original.
Once you have the right drivers installed and it loks like have the full features back
 then plug in the external monitor and reboot windows should then correctly identiy fthis monitor as number 2.
Good Luck hope that resolves it.
Merete
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 22848357
One idea grab monitor two and drag it over monitor one from the display properties.
Make two the default one again
maybe it could be that simple
that is if it monitor two hasnt taken over the control of one completely.
Sounds like  you're just looking at your desktop on your laptop screen but under monitor two which thinks it's monitor one.
Wouldexplain all the missing bits.
Otherwise it's the long way back as per above.
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22855185
Hi Merete
need some clarifitcation please (plus answering some of your questions)
running XP pro
have 2 setup/recovery discs
"But this time before you re-install them power off" - can you explain what i am to do at this point ? am i uninstalling ALL the monitors again (as you advised earlier) before shutting down OR are you talking about uninstalling the drivers (which i understand i do through display on device manager)
"then uninstall the video drivers but have the new drivers ready. " you also speak of drivers in the plural but i have only one showing - the ATI Radeon 9700.  this is my confusion.  help!
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22855608
ok.  did all that and i now have the same sort of screen as you in advanced settings. see attached
BUT i still don't have the ability to set the external monitor as primary monitor
Extend desktop is ticked and the laptop wallpaper shows on the external monitor but it is not a duplicate of the desktop (ie there are shortcuts or task bar on there).  i can drag shortcuts to it and some items open on it automatically.
back to you.

monitor-1-laptop-advanced.jpg
monitor-2-external--advanced.jpg
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22855631
more screen shots attached.
i've just noticed that in advanced/tab "displays" i don't have anything showing there now whereas when i first booted up again, i had the same screen as you (where you could should panel and montior and tv"
what is going on!!!!!!!
monitor-1-laptop-advanced-1.jpg
monitor-2-external--advanced.2.jpg
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22855794
Have retraced all previous steps.  here's what happens.
reinstalled driver - have ATI advanced options available
BEFORE plugging monitor in - see attached 2 screen shots
the resolution on the laptop is 1280 x 800 and is good.
Power down. plugged monitor in
desktop is now duplicated on both laptop and external monitor in full ie shortcuts appear on both. resolution says 1280 x 800 but it doesnt fit the laptop screen now (very confusing!)
also attached are the settings on monitor 1 (laptop) AFTER the reboot and WITH external monitor plugged in
if i hit the "identify" button, it shows both as number 1

laptop-settings.jpg
laptop-adv-displays.jpg
after-ext-monitor-plugged-in.jpg
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22855815
hi Merete
GREAT NEWS!  it works!!!!!
just had to re-do (AGAIN) and then change the settings in that panel and monitor screen you first showed me (that i didnt have ) and then adjust resolution and its fixed
thanks for your perseverance!
kind regards
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 22855818
Hello cherfield,  now that looks like the right drivers for this ati.
Now might be a good time to read through  the previous comments, since some of the things you tried earlier failed because you had the wrong drivers installed.
remember when updating drivers remove the external monitor first and then plug it in after the update.

lauchangkwang  Date:10.29.2008
>> My Asus laptop doesnt use that term
I assume you are using XP, download the "Catalyst Software Suite" for ATI 9700:
http://game.amd.com/us-en/drivers_catalyst.aspx?p=xp/radeonx-xp
{Catalyst Software Suite is a software used for configure the setting of Graphic Card in ATI }
If you are using other OS, select from here:
http://ati.amd.com/support/driver.html
-------------------------------------------------------------
Not sure what else to offer since everything is basically working right now.
Untick extend my desktop onto this monitor under number two.
That usualy works only for TV and the s-video out.
Then
Try using lauchangkwang suggestion. Dated the 19th october...
to make your monitor become primary display, Try to press the "Fn" button + F1 - F12 (depends on your laptop design, mine is "Fn" + F8) (your keyboard there will have a picture looks like 2 monitors between F1 to F12) ...... just press both buttons together, it will try to switch the display to laptop, then monitor, then back to laptop everytime you press the "Fn" + F8 (example) ......
--------------------------------------------
to see the  Monitor- Panel- TV  and check which is curently activated
see my image from above open the Displays
http://www.experts-exchange.com/images/71976/my-laptop3.jpg

Snapshot your displays in the advanced please,
the displays tab below overlays open that and snap it
You're doing great by the way.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 22855819
Awsome lol, sorry we posted at the same time.
Great to hear cheers!!
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22855821
Maybe i've hit the wrong box here - i just meant to cloes the question because Merete helped me find the solution.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Merete earned 500 total points
ID: 22855825
So recapping do you understand what happened here?
You were basically looking at your laptop display through default monitor 2
 the reason>
When you changed the default monitor from one to two and then removed the # two
( secondary monitor) which of course the laptop went black and that screwed it all up.
 windows was identifying with default monitor two nolonger there.
Installing the drivers put them onto monitor two as well.
So remember to put the displays back to their correct positions before unplugging this secondary monitor.
You are most welcome always happy to help out !!!!  :)
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Author Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 22855832
Thanks for that - I was going to ask you how to stop this happening again!
I certainly  learned a lot so thanks again for persevering.
cheers
Cheryl
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Author Closing Comment

by:cherfield
ID: 31507545
Thanks again.  Solution was complicated only because i am a beginner in this area and terms like "uninstall video drivers" were foreign to me. Luckily, i'm a bit of a risk taker so i just did what i thought you meant and we got there eventually. i think the system should have an easy option to print the answers so beginners can follow more easily (i ended up pasting into Word but it could be better i think). Anyway, many thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 22855857
Thank you very much Cheryl  I am very happy we resolved it.
Your input was great too without your feedback and details it could have been a lot of guess work.
You'll always have a copy of this question in your profile to refer to anytime you log in to EE.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/M_4637278.html

All the Best
Merete
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