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Cuplicating instead of spaning dual monitor display

I have one user runing XP pro on a laptop with an external monitor.  From time to time the video will change from span to duplicate.  Thanks to our security, I have to log him off, set him as a local admin and adjust, then remove permissions.

Any idea what might be causing the behavior?
1 Solution
Driver issue?  Check to make sure you have the latest driver download foir your video card.

"...From time to time the video will change from span to duplicate..."  Does this behaviour coincide with any software running on the pc?  What does event viewer say when this error occurs?
It must come down to how windows sees the connection between the two monitors.
What type of video card do you have?
Multi head?
The default way to have a secondary monitor off a single video card. And using clone mode.
One being primary and one secondary
Spanned is to have the same display stretched across two screens,
Wilki explains it nicely,
current multi-head video cards are able to "span" a single frame buffer across two monitors.
The result is one large rectangular desktop space, of double either the horizontal or vertical resolution.
(For example, when two 1024x768 displays are used, they can have a combined virtual resolution of either 2048x768 or 1024x1536.)
Both monitors operate at the same resolution and depth settings, and usually the same refresh rate. This mode requires very minimal operating system support, as the total display area is a simple rectangle

So it may just be that windows cannot perform some functions in an enviroment
that is not default.

ultramon is great software when using multiple monitors. It allows task bar
there is a difference if system boots in clone mode then driver continues to use it, if you plug monitor and configure it later it will catch up whenever re-plugged in live system.
there might be bios option allowing to change boot screen to one or all, choose one builtin lvds lcd.
Turn power save off on the monitor. It probably goes into power save and then isn't the correct resolution for the extended monitor and so go to duplicate.
regosnellAuthor Commented:
Adjusted power settings back to never and it's been good all day long.


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