PC can no longer handle 2 monitors

Posted on 2011-04-27
Last Modified: 2013-11-08
    I have a user whose PC has two monitors. Yesterday one of her monitors suddenly no longer had picture (and it was the one that had the Start button and Task Bar, so that meant she couldn’t do any work on her other monitor). I tried to unplug the bad monitor from the PC (so that the remaining monitor would then have everything – the Start button, task bar and desktop icons – on it) but I accidentally unplugged the good monitor. So I plugged that back in and then unplugged the bad monitor, but this caused the good monitor to have no picture as well. I even restarted and still no picture on the good monitor.
     Today her PC has picture on that good monitor. I think the problem is that she has an issue with the PC and not the monitor (I removed the “bad” monitor and plugged it into another PC today and so far it works fine) because when I went into her Display Properties, Settings tab, I noticed it looked odd (see attachment for screenshot).
     Device Manager says everything is OK. The graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS) had an older driver so I updated it (at least I think I did - see page 2 of the attachment to see what I mean), and restarted, but the Settings tab of the Display Properties still looks odd.
Question by:john8217
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Well, I would attempt the following:
    1. If the driver installation issue persists - reformat! I know its time consuming, but how long will it take you to figure out the issue if its some software that keeps bugging the display driver?

    2. If the issue persist after reformat, I would then look toward the graphics card. Does it become too hot/unstable? If not you might want to plug it into another pc, to see if the problem follows the card.

    Note: You could look at the graphics card first, however it happends more often, that theres a software issue, then a hardware issue. Also, if the card has a defect, you would want to reformat anyway if you install a new card.

    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution

    From what I see in the attachments, it looks like an update may have been installed and then defaulted back to the original video card driver.  And from what I have read on the Radeon X1300, it does not support dual monitors.  So my guess, is that you are running dual monitors with the integrated video card and the PCI Radeon X1300 card.  I would just replace the video card first.  Easiest thing to do, Make sure it supports dual monitors.  Install the drivers that come with it.  They cost very cheap these days, instead of having to go through all of that troubleshooting, just get your IT dept to order a card that supports dual monitors.  $20 to $60 will get you a very decent card.  With all due respect, there is no need to reformat.
    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution

    Just install these drivers on her pc and you will again be able to see the info on Display Properties you want :)

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