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 Post subject: Dual monitor problem
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:45 am 
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Hi all. I recently purchased a Sceptre 22in monitor and tried to have dual monitors with my Dell 17 in as the secondary. It works fine when I connect them, however, whenever I turn off my Sceptre monitor, the computer switches the Sceptre to secondary and my Dell to the primary, also messing up the resolutions for both monitors.

Example:
Sceptre - primary - 1680 x 1050 with Dell - secondary - 1280 x 1024
I turn off the Sceptre with the power button (to save power when I leave my computer on). Then I turn it back on when I get back. And this is what I see:
Dell - primary - (squished 1680 x 1050) with Sceptre - secondary - 1280 x 1024

OR

Sceptre - secondary - 1680 x 1050 with Dell - primary - 1280 x 1024
Turn off Sceptre =>
Dell - secondary - (squished 1680 x 1050) with Sceptre - primary - 1280 x 1024


=/ My Sceptre is connected to my radeon 9800 with the DVI connector and my Dell is connected with the VGA. My computer recognizes both monitors and boots fine, but the problem always comes up when I turn off the Sceptre. =/ Even when I set the Dell as primary and Sceptre as secondary, it still will switch the primary/secondary when I turn off my Sceptre. Even when the monitor automatically turns off due to the power saving feature, it has this problem. The only way I can avoid this is to constantly have my Sceptre on when the computer is on. =/ Any ideas? Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 12:19 pm 
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Location: Helsinki, Finland
The built-in support for multiple monitors is quite poor in Windows. I would recommend trying UltraMon, it's not free but works great.

I tried several multimonitor handling programs about a year ago when I got a second 17" LCD and UltraMon came on top because it looks unobtrusive and has nice configurable keyboard shotcuts for handling windows etc..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:46 pm 
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That's one strange problem. The fact that this happens when you turn off the monitor makes me think that the graphics card is somehow involved. Do you have the latest graphics drivers installed? Is there a setting in the drivers you may have overlooked?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:08 pm 
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Yes, I have Ultramon, and it doesn't help. I also have ATI catalyst fully installed and updated to the latest patch.

This isnt my first time using dual monitors either. I used to have a 17in CRT that i used a VGA-to-DVI adaptor and it worked fine with my 17in LCD. I could turn both off and back on and it's perfectly fine. It's only this Sceptre that I'm having a problem with. =/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:55 am 
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Hello,

Can I suggest a possible workaround? Switch the Primary and Secondary status of your monitors -- or just don't turn off the LCD? The standby power is probably 1-2watts at most.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:03 am 
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Get rid of Ultramon.

Also, consider getting rid of that 9800. ATI cards are horrible at handling things like multiple monitors, multiple cards, or anything else beyond plugging in a monitor and playing games.

If you're looking to keep that card for a while though, you'll probably need to completely remove all drivers for it, and reinstall them. That seems to fix most ATI problems - usually.

I've got a PDF of a step-by-step guide someone made that shows you exactly what to do in the process, so you don't miss anything. I can try and get it to you after I get off work today if you like.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:35 pm 
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Location: UK
Quote:
Also, consider getting rid of that 9800. ATI cards are horrible at handling things like multiple monitors, multiple cards, or anything else beyond plugging in a monitor and playing games.


Is this well known? Seems kinda baseless right now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:45 pm 
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Well, I have already tried switching the primary and secondary around so that my 22in is secondary and 17in is primary but it'll still switch the monitors and resolutions around when I turn off the sceptre. Turning off the Dell doesn't do anything, so I think it has something to do with my computer sensing that the DVI gets turned off and switches over to the VGA input.

I have already tried it with AND without Ultramon, and with installing and reinstalling ATI catalyst to it's latest patch from ATI.com.

My only two solutions now is to either never turn off my Sceptre and leave it on screensaver mode all the time, or give up on dual monitors. And I know that screensaver mode pretty much means my monitor is on all the time, so I'm not able to save any life on the LCD lamp by turning it off. =/ There is no stand-by setting for a monitor. It's either on, screensaver, or power off (from looking at display properties).

And I have to keep this video card for a bit until I buy a new computer. I just want to know if it's my video card's fault or if it's some setting that I need to turn on. I don't want to buy a new computer and find out that I have the same problem. =/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:14 pm 
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Pictures say a thousand words, I guess.

First: I have both monitors on. Sceptre on DVI and Dell on VGA. Sceptre is primary, Dell secondary. I have ATI catalyst window on the Sceptre and Display properties on the Dell.
Image

Second: I turn off my Sceptre to save power when I leave my computer on:
Image

Last: I turn it back on (doesn't matter how long I leave it off. 1 sec or 1 hour doesn't make a difference). I see the monitors have been switched and the resolution on my dell is squished to a 1680x1050 and my Sceptre is 1280x1024. Notice display properties and ATI control panel are both on different monitors now, as with my desktop icons being switched to the monitor.
Image


I hope this helps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:17 pm 
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I'm assuming the 9800 is AGP? Are you in the U.S.?

If so, try this Matrox card. It's $12, and Matrox's dual head software is the best in the business. It doesn't have DVI, but it should help to eliminate at least some of the variables.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:26 pm 
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Yes, its a Radeon 9800 (not pro) in an AGP slot. 3 years old and in need of an upgrade. lol

I think that Matrox is slower than my card(16mb vs my 128mb, etc etc). =P So I might as well save that $12 for my next video card. =)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:55 pm 
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Byakko wrote:
I think that Matrox is slower than my card(16mb vs my 128mb, etc etc). =P


In all likelihood. But it has the best dual-head driver out there, if you care to look at it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:11 pm 
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Quote:
I think that Matrox is slower than my card(16mb vs my 128mb, etc etc). =P So I might as well save that $12 for my next video card. =)


It seems Byakko's priority is speed before all else. I guess he'll buy a new card and hope it works better.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:28 pm 
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Cannot you reconnect your Sceptre to D-Sub (VGA) output and Dell to DVI?

I've read somewhere (don't take as granted, but anyway) that Radeon (at least 9xxx) cards internally have their first "head" output to DVI and second "head" to VGA, independently of driver settings. If DVI device is missing while booting, then second "head" becomes first only virtually.
Seems that 9800 messes up, when first display is disconnected (turned off) - I think that disconnecting second display (VGA) should behave better.

This caused big problems for BSD/xFree radeon drivers for example (just at times when I first experimented with BSD), when both VGA and TVOut were connected - because TVOut was parallel with DVI and sometimes became the only recognized device. Of course TV (in this context) should not became primary monitor; even Windows Display Setup doesn't allow choose such configuration.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:50 pm 
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qviri wrote:
Byakko wrote:
I think that Matrox is slower than my card(16mb vs my 128mb, etc etc). =P


In all likelihood. But it has the best dual-head driver out there, if you care to look at it.


It might have that...but most people actually like to use their video card for a little more than 2d. Video acceleration, 3d games, 3d rendering, 3d effects/etc. I think matrox comes up very poorly in most non-2d categories sadly. Tell them to rejoin the 3d market and we can talk :D

Also I don't think this Byakko's problem comes up on most ATI or Nvidia cards. Seems rather isolated.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:28 pm 
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Well, I was just suggesting that Byakko might want to consider spending two days' worth of lunch money to see if his problem is caused by his graphics card. Because if it isn't, and he spends a hundred days' worth of lunch money on a computer upgrade only to find the problem still exists, he might not be pleased.

As an aside, Matrox's market is not 3D, which they have smartly realised. As a further aside, Byakko never said he needs 3D capabilities, merely observed that his current card is slower.

I would suggest that he try Arvo's suggestion first, though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:44 pm 
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I can confirm that the 9xxx series seems to have issues with its DVI port. I ran into this issue with an R9250 while trying to run an HDMI TV from the DVI port. This worked fine, so long as the TV was always on before the graphics card. However, turning off the TV would push the output onto the VGA port — even with no monitor connected. This made for some interesting troubleshooting, since it was rarely easy to get the signal back to DVI without restarting. I never did find a solution; I'm now using a 6200LE that has no issues when the TV gets turned off.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:53 pm 
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Uh-huh, I have the exactly same dual-monitor problem as yours with my new Sceptre 22in monitor. I think there are problem with the Sceptre 22in monitor, but not the video card (my video card is ATI X800) because before buying Sceptre 22in monitor, I had upgraded two times monitors (from Sceptre 19in to Benq 20in) with my 40in Sony LCD TV for composing dual-monitor. They were never giving me any problem; everything is normal, smooth, but only the Sceptre 22in.

I already tried any method I could do, now, the situation is better, but not prefect.
Now, the problem will only reappear sometimes when turning off my computer for longer time, and then turn on it. I just need boot to safe mode and delete the secondary driver of ATI, don’t need delete the primary driver of ATI, and then reboot pc, everything will be fine, but I need to reset the dual monitor again. I think it is easily.

After many times I could try, I can give you one suggestion:

Completely delete all ATI driver include ATI catalyst (which is very important because it seems that there is some strange compatible problem between Sceptre 22in and some ATI software), then only download and install the new ATI driver (option 2) which should not include ATI catalyst.


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