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Dual Monitor Disaster [Solved/Closed]

NoExpert - Latest answer on Jun 17, 2013 04:50AM
I had dual monitors set up but I lost a monitor. I went to fix the settings back to one monitor, but apparenty I gave the missing monitor primary status. Now I can't login at all, b/c the login isn't showing up on my remaining monitor. I can't access the Start menu or Control Panel to fix this.
Any tips on how to handle this disaster?
I've done dumber stuff, but not lately...
Thanks for any help I can get here.
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moins plus
There's another easier way out.
Right click on the window which is being projected onto the non-existent monitor and select move, now use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move the window, back to your monitor.

theBlaine- Apr 25, 2010 12:35PM
I just had te same issue, thanks fo the fix!
Tom- May 1, 2010 06:29PM
Thanks for the fix ! Just to be clear, I right clicked on the window in the Taskbar, selected 'move' then used the arrows to get it back.
Spammy- May 1, 2010 07:07PM
This also works for any application that thinks it is still on a non-existant monitor.
JDmaX- May 2, 2010 08:09PM
how do u select anything in a winmdow u cant SEE ?
justme- Jun 17, 2013 04:50AM
me too - great tip!!! :-)
moins plus
the Alt+SpaceBar works great...

moins plus
alt+ spacebar + M worked for me.. ty so much.... ppl who still need help thats what u do:

1 press "start" button
2 than press "c"
3 press "alt" + "spacebar" + "m'
4 wait a moment
5 use "left" "right" arrows to trag "control panel" to ur screen
6 open "Appearance and Themes"
7 open "Display"
8 go to "settings"
9 change monitor

u r welcome!!!!

moins plus
Hi, I have had a similar problem. Follow these steps and it should work:

Reboot PC, and presss F8 button repeatedly to enter safe mode menu
Choose Safe Mode with Networking Support
Sign in as usual to PC, as safe mode resets your default settings for display drivers
Right click on Computer, choose Properties and then Device Properties
Locate graphics card on list (will be under display adaptor)
Right click, and "uninstall".
Check to "Delete Software Also"
When completed, choose "Restart Later"
Click on the "Detect Hardware Changes" button in the Device Manager screen
Let the card set up again, then this time restart the pc.
Should be sorted - failing that the only thing to do is a roll-back.

moins plus
Dual monitor disaster - if you haven't solved this problem yet - one idea is to simply plug the good monitor into the other VGA plug.

This will not resolve the issue of the screens that try to come up on the missing monitor - you might have to do some voodoo dance to make this work...
1. Right-click the task item (bottom of the primary screen)
2. If the option to move the screen is not available, click on RESTORE
3. Right-click on the task item (again if you did item 2)
4. Click MOVE to move that screen
5. Using your keyboard arrow-keys, use the up, down, left, and/or right keys to move the screen into view
6. Once you bring the window into view, press the <ENTER> key to undo the MOVE action
7. You should now be able to move the window with your mouse
8. Be sure to close the window while NOT maximized so that Windows will start it up in the visible monitor

moins plus
I used the System Restore to undo the exact same thing. My settings were moved back to two days before and it completely solved my problems. It's the first time I ever used this method and I have to say it saved my bacon.

moins plus

i had this same problem .. but i took me a lil while to understand it.. anyways thank u

my problem was that i had a laptop with broken lcd so i used to plug a crt monitor with it .

i dont know what possesed me to change the settings so i enabled [extend my windows desktop onto this monitor]
after enabling this my monitor blackd out for 5 6 seconds and when the screen came back i cant see taskbar or any icons and even right click menu items were not working but when i plugged another display device i was able to view with the normal settings ..[i searched this trick using a spare monitor]
my laptop is dell latitude d600

soo i followed this trick
i pressed the windows button [next to alt]
then pressed C
Once you get Control Panel open you're ready to start moving the window. Here's the procedure:

1. Press Alt+Spacebar to open the control menu in the window's upper-left corner.
2. Press the M key (for Move).
3. Using the arrow keys, move the Control Panel window, "dragging" it from the dark primary screen to the working secondary one. (You'll probably need to drag it to the right.)

moins plus
This procedure is fixing the following problem:
Second Display shows "Out of Range" when Laptop lid is closed or you accidently lost access to the Control Panel as a result of changing display resolution.
This is what happened to me. I setup my older NEC Flat Screen monitor (supports up to 1280 x 1024 resolution) as a secondary display to my laptop with nVIDIA Quardro FX360M video card. My laptop was configured in a way that when the lid was closed it continued to run. NEC monitor was setup as an exact clone of my laptopís display so I could close my laptop and work only with the secondary screen and external keyboard/mouse. When the lid was closed the secondary monitor continued showing the 1280 x 1024 resolution screen. Everything was OK until I changed the resolution to a higher number on my NEC flat screen WHILE THE LID WAS CLOSED! You should realize that there is a difference between changing the resolution while the laptopís lid is open and while itís closed. When the lid is closed the secondary monitor acts as itís the only one available, as with the lid open you would see both monitorsí configurations (this applies to setting the secondary monitor as a clone of the primary one). The worst part is that the system remembers this new resolution for the closed lid situation and it is different from the open lid case.
In my case I lost access to the configuration with the lid closed. The display would turn black with the blinking ďOut of rangeĒ message. NO REBOOT, SAFE MODE, RESTORE CONFIGURATION WORKED FOR ME. I even tried to hookup a newer monitor that I borrowed (which supported this higher resolution and would allow me to get to the display configuration dialog box) and change the resolution back to 1280 x 1024 with the lid closed. It did not work. As soon as I hooked up my NEC monitor and closed the lid it went back to the black screen. The system remembers settings per a particular monitor!
When the lid was open I could see both desktops but my goal was to get back to working with the lid closed and avoid the distraction of a constantly blinking light from under the lid while browsing.
So, before setting up the second monitor, perform the following procedure and write down (on paper) what keys you had to press to get to the Control Panel/Display Resolution
1. Open the Start menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard (the key has a picture of the Windows logo). If your keyboard does not have this key, press Ctrl+Esc.
2. If you could see the Start menu, you would be able to use the arrow keys to select Control Panel on the Start menu and press Enter. (If you do not have a Control Panel option on your menu, you probably have a Settings option or equivalent, which can get you to Control Panel.) But you wonít be able to see the Start menu if you are working blind, so instead press the accelerator key (the key matching the underlined letter on the menu item you want) or the first letter of the menu option. Depending on your settings, you will probably press the C key for Control Panel; for Settings, the S key.
3. You may need to press the key multiple times as Windows cycles through all the options on the Start menu that respond to that key. Remember to write down how many times you had to press the key.

Once you get Control Panel open write down any additional keys you had to press to get there.
Here is my list of clicks that I had to perform while the laptopís lid was closed:
1. Start menu button
2. 12 times letter ďSĒ (to cycle to Settings)
3. Enter (to open Settings)
4. Enter(to open Control Panel)
5. 6 times Arrow down (to get to Display)
6. Enter
7. Shift+Tab (to get the focus up to the tabs on Display Properties dialog box)
8. 4 times Right Arrow (to get to Settings tab)
9. 3 times Tab (to get to the sliding bar for the resolution)
10. 5 times Left Arrow (to lower the resolution Ė this number might be different for you, depending on how high you initial resolution was)
11. 7 times Tab (to get to Apply button)
12. Enter.
It worked for me. Good luck with your situation.

moins plus
What about switching the terminals the monitors are plugged in on?

NoExpert- Jul 29, 2008 03:24PM
Bingo. Thanks! That's exactly what my son did, very calmly, when he came by to see me one day.

muffinz- Oct 10, 2008 11:33PM
Thanks for that. I was trying to hook my plasma up to the comp but then programs only appeared in the taskbar, switch the monitor over to the other connection and bingo, life was good again.
as3- Feb 25, 2010 03:10AM
great man.. . i was just stuck with it.. and only change in terminals solved my soluton..
moins plus
for future reference for people with your problem you should post how you "Got it!"

moins plus
I had recently tried to set up duel-monitors on my vista and ended up with the background image on my laptop, but no desktop. I'm guessing the second monitor was primary but something didn't work in the syncing and I didn't have either monitor to work with. I got it to open in safe mode but didn't have any luck changing the settings.

After reading through this thread I started spelunking:
-I went into "safe mode with networking"
-right-clicked on "computer"
-chose properties
-I then went into the "device manager"
-chose the "display" drop-down
-right-clicked on the NVIDIA option
-I chose "disable" and tried restarting the computer again.
It worked.

I don't know if this is a great solution since I have no idea why it did that but for now all I know is I've got a working laptop again.

ej- Sep 6, 2009 07:21PM
thanx heaps for that, i SOME HOW managed to set my laptop to not the default moniter, same as you i had backgrund image but no icons/taskbar etc etc. i followed your instructions and it seams to be fixed!!
df- Apr 4, 2010 07:01PM
err or just switch monitor cables around
moins plus
Your office network is currently wired in a physical bus topology. Because of the age of the cable, how it is routed, and physical wear and damage over time, cable plant failures are occurring almost daily. You have been authorized to buy the equipment necessary to rewire the office, including new NICs (if necessary) and connection devices. In two months, the office is expanding into additional adjoining floor space. This is a temporary move until new offices can be made ready for move- in, which is expected to happen in six or seven months. Only a few employees will be moving into the extra space, and you want to minimize the cost and effort needed to give these employees network access.

Describe the general steps you would need to take in two months to support the employees moving into the additional space.

moins plus
@ Aviral thanks for your tip. I had my laptop on dual display at home and couldn't get it to see a program when I went back to single display on the road. It was on what seemed like a ghost display and your trick worked smashingly well.


moins plus
Thanks!!! The F5 Key has saved me hours of frustration.

moins plus
just hit F5 repetedly when you boot the computer, it will give you a menu, select safe mode and continue.
you will be able to change the settings back in safe mode. F5 is standard with all computers for boot menu.
hope this helps, man that other guy went on a BIT!!!

Sly-Delvecchio- Dec 4, 2009 08:34AM
You mean F8, not F5.
moins plus
Try booting up in safe mode, then change the display settings when you are in.

moins plus
did you fix this i am having the same issue?

moins plus
i had a simalar problem but the alt space bar trick did the job ty

monika- Apr 17, 2011 04:45PM
you have saved my life!
moins plus
I'm not getting it. My computer is set up for multiple monitors and I can't find where to change it. I've been on the ATI site/help section & Display settings under Control Panel. Neither allows me the option to change the setting. If I go to ATI site it looks like I only have 1 monitor, but under Display Settings my computer shows two "(Multiple Monitors) ATI Mobility Radeon X1400". I'm using a laptop and the screen on the laptop as my monitor.

My reason for wanting to change to 1 monitor setting is b/c my screen fonts are so small that it's really hard to see. I changed the fonts to large or largest wherever I can but when online the web content on some sites is super small. What can I do to correct this situation? Thanks in advance for your help!

moins plus
Im abit confussed! Ive been told to hit so many F keys!!!. Heres my problem, think its the same as no experts? I have a Nvidia 8800 gts, I changed the dual monitor option to (either) be default monitor on Both, and , or extend both displays to be my desktop? ANYWAY!!! both of my outputs on my Graphics card are BLACK! no screen at all. I get the start up and can gointo the Bios, but no where can I find start in safe mode? IS it the F5 key????????????? I have XP. The last time this happend to me it was just and extension of my desktop and I had to go blind onto the left "desktop" which was not there, and drag and drop the Display box onto theMonitor that worked! NOW im hooped as both dont work!!! I think I set them both as Default and extend to both monitors?? ANYWAY.... on either output on my graphics card i have no monitor!!! HELPPPPP MEEEEEE....

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