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I created a video showing off running Windows Vista with multiple monitors and demonstrate Flip3D when two monitors are in use. I also talk about the ability to choose which monitor Windows Sidebar runs on.
Video: Flip3D with 2 Monitors in Windows Vista
Windows Vista's Display Settings allows you to control both your monitors. You can designate any one of the two monitors as your PC's Primary Display. Using the Identify Monitors button at the top of the Display Settings window you can identify which monitor is 1 and which is monitor 2. When I first connected my second monitor to my PC, it simply mirrored the screen from my first monitor. However, this was not the behavior I wanted. In Display Settings, I clicked on monitor 2 and checked "Extend the desktop to this monitor" to add the second monitor as usable desktop space. With this checked, I was then able to drag apps and use the second monitor's desktop as an extension of my desktop on my Primary Display.
Your PC will save the settings of the apps you drag to the second monitor. For example, I dragged Windows Live Mail over to my second monitor. When I exited Windows Live Mail and then opened it back up - it opened back up on my second monitor. Your PC will preserve - or "remember" - the settings of which monitor that app is opened up on even after rebooting.
So what do I use my second monitor for? I read a lot of RSS feeds and email throughout the day. While working on writing blog posts or editing video content, I keep Windows Live Mail opened up on the second monitor where I can watch and monitor new feeds (and email) as they arrive. I occasionally have Windows Media Center opened up and playing a recorded TV show on the second monitor while I work as well.
If you're running Windows Vista with two monitors, I'd love to hear how you're using both monitors!
You can also check out Nick's post from back in March on a PC running with 4 monitors.
The Dell UltraSharp 2407FP Monitors are Certified for Windows Vista.
Personally i've been using dual monitors for several years now on XP, i always used the second screen just to keep things like msn and widgets opens as well as e-mail.
I've now switched to three screens on Vista with a 7900GS and an FX5200 card, the monitors on the faster card are great but the third on the FX5200 is kinda sluggish with moving windows around. It should be said when i boot into XP all monitors are quick - the aero slows down screen 3.
I now find myself using the second screen for media centre constantly and the third for loads of gadgets open for testing.
I used to have a very workable dual monitor setup by using my laptop as a second monitor for my desktop by using the incredibly cool maxivista software. Unfortunately it doesn't work anymore on Vista, or at least not with Aero Glass... They claim that MS disabled any option to get this to work, which seems a shame, if true. Are there any plans to enable this again at some time in the future? Of all things not working anymore on Vista, that one I miss the most.
My only problem with my dual monitor setup (laptop display and a Dell2007WFP) is that using the laptop as the static display, and the monitor as my primary, everytime the screensaver kicks in, when I resume working, the primary and secondary monitors flip, with the laptop display taking over as primary and the monitor become the secondary.
I guess I'm just not working hard enough ;-)
Hurricane Andrew, I actually have the same monitor running on a different PC. I will hook it up to one of my laptops and see if I get the same issue.
I have the same problem with the default display swapping back to the laptop. Even happens with a lock/unlock. Dell inspiron 9400 and 2007WFP here. Might be something with the dell hardware or the nvidia driver /shrug
I installed the beta version of Ultra Mon (a must have utility for Dual Monitors in Windows). Works okay with Vista...still not as good as the XP version though.
What I have on my two monitors changes constantly. I start with Outlook in one, Visual Studio in the other. After that, anything goes.
Windows trys to remember window/monitor positions but, if I "Switch User", and then switch back, all of my windows move to monitor 1. That's not very nice.
That is a known problem in Vista, I have seen that happening on two different machines... I hope MS finds the bug and sorts it out.
nVidia has certainly been weak with respect to Vista driver support. It wouldn't surprise me if that's where the issue lies.
I'd love to hear the results of your experiment when you get around to it. All I can figure is a driver issue, since the laptop dual boots Vista/XP, and dual monitor support in XP works as it should.
Ok, I have an issue that has been bothering me for a while. I have a Panasonic HDTV as my 2nd monitor. For some reason Vista does not always see it. So I have to go into Display, disable it, then enable it and all is well. Is this a normal issue (my first time using an HDTV as 2nd mon)? I cant think of a better place to ask this than here :) Thanks
Hurricane Andrew and fragility_v2, I plan on doing tests this weekend on both your scenarios. Expect a follow-up post soon!
I think I might need to invest in a dual monitor setup, it is really amazing just how well Flip 3D works in this setup
Thanks for looking into the issue. Lemme give you some more details. The problem occurs almost every time I turn the TV and its already on the HDMI input or if im switching from another input to the HDMI. Im connected via DVI-HDMI cable on a Radeon x700. The HDTV is seen as my primary (1) display with my analog as the secondary (2). I am using the latest ATI drivers. Hope that helps with the troubleshooting!!
fragility_v2 and Hurricane Andrew, can you tell me which versions of Windows Vista you are using? Is it Home Premium? Ultimate?
This is important for testing.
Looks really good. I've used dual monitors for years and find it really hard going back to one, although widescreen notebooks aren't quite as bad!
I have a Dell LCD (3707c) and Vista Ultimate running on a Dell e510 PC with 20" dell LCD. I have a similar issue to Hurricane and Fragility - I run MCE on HDTV and ROW (rest of windows :-)) on Dell girlie-mon (20") and when I boot Vista (with both displays running) the MCE shows up on 20", even though when I exited MCE, it was selected on 2nd monitor.
The desired use case is:
wife sits on couch
wife picks up dell remote and presses power button.
Dell TV turns on
Wife picks up MCE remote and presses green button.
Windows media edition displays on HDTV
Wife listens to music, plays dvds, views pictures of family, and so on.
wife is happy, therefore I am happy.
Similar problems here...I've recently installed Vista Ultimate Edition on my 17" notebook PC with external monitor. Here's the specs:
-Gateway M685-E with docking station
-17" built-in LCD "Generic PnP Monitor" 1680x1050
-19" external ViewSonic VA1912wb "VA1912w Series" 1440x900 on docking station VGA port
-NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 w/128 MB RAM
-External monitor is to the left of my primary display
-Sometimes when I boot the computer, I get a mirrored display at 1440x900. This doesn't happen all the time.
-When I unlock the workstation, Windows thinks that my external monitor is to the right of my primary display. I have to go to "Display Settings" and move things around. Sometimes the windows that were displayed on the external monitor end up positioned off-screen to the right of my primary display. I have to right-click the window in the taskbar, select "Move" and use a combination of Arrow Keys and Mouse to reposition the window where it belongs.
-Some programs are garbled when they are moved from one screen to another. A minimize and restore will fix the problem.
I've seen some of the exact same problems as the other guys listed above, but the ones I specifically mentioned are the ones I'm currently dealing with. I had been using this PC in the same exact setup with Windows XP a little over a month ago with absolutely no problems.
Someone mentioned UltraMon as a tool for moving windows around monitors. I'm bias, but I must add slimKEYS and its slimSIZE plug-in to the list.
I'm also looking for any kind of feedback from people using two or more monitors, about what tools/options they'd like (from the OS or third party tools) for managing/handling application windows.
I'm having issue that was noted above.
I have a lenovo laptop with Vista Business, with a dell monitor attached to the vga port. Everytime i start windows, lock the computer, screensaver... the monitors flip and dont remember my settings. Annoying when i want to leave the computer and lock it but dont because Im avoiding going into settings.
Hope this becomes a windows update
I am also having the frustrating issue described above regarding flipping primary monitor and other settings every time my machine turns off my monitor due to power savings or goes into screen saver mode.
Were you able to replicate this issue? I am searching around the internet for a solution hoping it was not just me, and apparently it's not!
I have Dell D820 laptop and a Dell 30 inch ultrasharp display, running Vista Ultimate.
Thanks for any help you can give!
I actually have a related but different problem. I have HP Pavilion laptop; I use a simple dual display setup with a Samsung LCD (work) & Dell LCD (home).
I had learned to live with the problems above every time I moved in lieu of the productivity gains of Dual display.
Unfortunately, this simple setup stopped working couple of days back. When I connect my external monitor now, it stays blank. I looked in the Application logs and I see DWM log -
"The Desktop Window Manager used an opaque colorization because an analysis of the hardware and configuration indicated that a transparent colorization would perform poorly"
Any idea what is wrong here?
Life is miserable with Laptop as my only workstation and no dual Display:-(
OK i have one hell of a problem
i have vista ulitimate and an x1550 at graphics card. I wanted an upgraded desktop so i ordered another monitor and a dvi to vga converter. after i connect up thr monitors my primary monitor works fine but my secondary monitors doesnt even get a signal ive spent ages trying to sort this out and i have set up the monitors using the display setting but i cant get it to work
Sorry for the typos and if any one has any idea please let me know :)
Sorry to blog again but if any one has any ideas could u let me know via email?
Just purchased ASUS F3sv laptop with Vista Home Premium on it... after each reboot dual monitor settings go off. I need my 19" to be a primary monitor, but laptop screen takes over the leed every time I logon.
Looked at lots of forums... no solution yet
nVidia graphics by chance?
Yepp, 8600M GS
I think it's a good bet that nVidia drivers are to blame. That seems to be the only common tie among the reports I've heard/read about.
I also have the flipping problem (Toshiba Satellite laptop, Samsung monitor, NVIDIA GeForce Go 900 GS, Ultimate).
Someone forgets the relative position of the monitors so you have to reverse direction to move the mouse to the other monitor.
A fix would be most welcome.
I had the same problem until TODAY. Download the latest Vista updates dated July 17 - there is one called nVidia - Video - NVIDIA Quadro NVS110M - and the problem seems to be fixed.
Whoops..maybe spoke too early...it remembers the settings for dual screen but changes my screen resolution to 1280 X 800 pixels every time. Hmmm.....
I am Running Windows Vista Ultimate on a Dell Inspiron 6400 with the ATI X1400 video adapter.
I have a secondary monitor hooked up to a KVM and every time I locke the machine or Put it to sleep, the external display flips back to the right hand side.
The monitor sits on the left hand side, and I would really like it to stay there.
I am using the laptop screen as my primary monitor and would like it to stay that way, but I would like the external moniotor to come back in the same place I left it.
If you have any suggestions, they would be much appreciated.
bendfleming...Yes, since the last MS update on July 17th I've been experiencing either the same problem as you OR it retains the correct monitor set-up but resets the resolution on my secondary monitor to the same as my laptop monitor. A real pain....
Progress not perfection I guess.
Is there a kind soul out there that would be willing to help a newbie with second monitors, get this thing set up. I am running Home Premium on a Asus laptop. I get to see 1 on laptop (primary) and 2 on desktop monitor. Then all I see is the pale green and yellow screen on desktop monitor. Mouse moves about on secondary screen but that is all. I'm assuming I have the wrong settings somewhere along the line. Would appreciate any help you could give me. Would be very benificial for me to have use of scond screen. Thanks.
papatsy, have you tried changing the resolution on your second monitor (2)?
Also: if the mouse moves over to your second monitor - try dragging a window over to the second monitor as well.
The issue described above isn't limited to nVidia drivers - I've had the same issue on two different HP notebooks, both with ATI graphics cards(X600 and X2300)
Running an external monitor with a notebook running Vista is a real pain.
I really enjoyed using the dual monitor option with Windows XP, but I am having problems with Vista. After I switched to make my tv my secondary monitor, I can't figure out how to put it back to having the tv and computer both the same. I'd like to regualy switch between the 2. Any help would be greatly appriciated. Thank you.
Warren G, you want to have your monitor and TV show the same thing correct?
Sometimes I will want the monitor and TV to show the same thing, other times I'll want them to be different. I'd like to know how to switch back and forth. Now my TV and monitor show different things.
Warren G, go to your Display Settings. With two monitors connected, you should see a Monitor 1 and a Monitor 2. To make Monitor 2 monitor show the *same thing* as Monitor 1, uncheck "Extend the desktop onto this monitor". If you want them not to show the same thing, check that check box. This should work.
Is there a way to swap monitors while playing a game? I typically have a full screen game on the primary and charts on the secondary. I can't just slide the mouse over to the other display in this case, but I don't want to minimize the game either. Thanks for any help!
There is a bit of a snafoo with Media Centre on dual monitors - if you maximise its window on the secondary monitor, it constrains the mouse pointer to this monitor making it impossible to do anything else on the primary monitor. To work round this I have to use it in windowed mode with the window carefully sized to hide the title bar.
I use a primary monitor on DVI and a secondary monitor on VGA with a splitter echoing this to my home cinema projector. For this reason, I have to run the secondary monitor at 1024x768 while the primary is at 1280x1024, which actually works fine. One problem I had was that I often switch the monitors off when using the projector. On turning them back on again, the drive to the DVI monitor would not resume requiring some ingenuity to recover! However on upgrading from Radeon X800 to HD2600XT, this problem has gone away.
It would be good if you could right-click on a monitor and have an option to bring everything to that monitor. A general problem with apps is that if you close them on the secondary monitor they save this position and then there is no way to get them back again if you no longer have access to that monitor.
Can someone help me I need to run the same programes on both monitors. I am running a HP dv9000 lap top with vista home prem. with a nivdia 256mb card . The 2nd screen is a LG 42"lcd tv with 720p .
I've been running two monitors on windows for as long as I can remember. I didn't see it as a big deal. Running vista has not changed that, but it did emphasize a batch of problems with nvidia drivers (They seem to be improving incrementally as time goes by). I'm looking to ditch the second monitor soon and go for the biggest single flat screen with decent performance that I can afford. Funny how things seem to go in cycles...
I'm having a problem with when I switch back to single monitor.
I use dual monitor on my laptop when at home, and of course on the road I only have one. There are certain applications that, if I do not move them back to the primary monitor (laptop screen) before exiting, will remain on the now absent second monitor. There must be some key combination or Windows solution to get my programs where I can use them. If when I quit they were not maximized, sometimes making them full screen I can at least use them. But a couple are not this way.
I ran 4 monitors (well 3 and an over head projector)on XP using 2 cards; both were Nvidia packaged under different names (Sparkle and PNY) It took a bit of mucking around but I could eventually get all 4 monitors working OK, as mentioned above it was down to the Nvidia drivers not getting along with each other I guess(2 different boards, a 6200 AGP and a 8400 GS PCI Express). I've upgraded (I use the term loosely) to Vista Ultimate and again the boards have given me trouble, I down loaded the new Vista drivers but I still have a problem that when the screen fades; as like when a dialog box pops up, I get small black lines come up on both the monitors that are connected to 6200; it looks just like the memory has corrupted. You also don't see much of the dialog box either until you run the mouse over it and then you can just make out the accept and cancel buttons, if I remove the drivers for the 8400 the 6200 performs correctly. I wish Nvidia would test their drivers under all fitment scenarios before they release them and make sure they're not going to fight each other.
found the solution for backflipping screen in dual monitor mode: I have a lenovo laptop and there's a Intel Graphics media accelerator running (icon in systray). If I change the graphics output options there from "Notebook + Digital Display" to "Digital Display + Notebook" it doesn't change my settings after relogon anymore. I read in another thread that there's a similar tool for NVidia as well. These settings "win" over the windows settings.
@LizMarr: after going back to single monitor mode, right click the app in your taskbar, select "move" and then simply use right or left arrow key (depending on where you place you second monitor...) to move the window back to your laptop monitor.
Hope that helps
I'm running Dell desktop Inspiron with Radeon(dvi and vga)video card. I had the same problem with similar Nvidia card. I have a dual monitor setup using Vista. Everything works well for a while and then screens flicker and applications get distorted. My task bars disappear and the start menu can't be viewed. I need to log off via control alt delete and then reboot all my applications. It seems to happen more when the system is idle for a short while. It probably happens 3-4 times daily. I ran the same applications on a dual screen setup on older computer with Xp and did not have any problems.
HAs anyone got a solution for the problem with dual screen on laptops?
Should have been everything told:
nvidia AND ati
vista ultimate, business, home premium
I have updated my Win and graphics, still Vista always shifts my screen to the right...
How come it works with some people? do they use graphics other than ati and nvidia? (didn't know there really where any ;-) )
Please hang onto this problem! And maybe take the time to send me a mail then. Thx :)
I continued searching, finding this:
Maybe it helps? Sounds as if this "TMM (Microsoft
Transient Multi-Monitor Manager)" (who came up with this name...) sabotages the settings...?
Yes, jsg, that helps. Check out this blog for an easy explanation: http://netsaber.wordpress.com/2007/06/01/vista-display-problems-solved-2/#comment-1017
I am running a Dell Inspiron 9400 with ATI X1400 video w/ vista home basic- with 2 Optiquest Q9 monitors- these are setup as external monitors, I can only get one to display even though setting have been changed to display 2.
Is there a work around or fix for this?
I've been having a problem forever, using dual monitors with an HP m9040n Elite desktop machine running Vista Home Premium. It has an NVIDIA 8400GS graphics card.
The back of the PC has one DVI jack, and one HDMI jack. The main 22" Chimei monitor uses the DVI, and the second monitor is a 19" Xerox XG-71D using an HDMI to DVI converter.
This monitor set up used to work intermittently on a custom-built Win 64-bit Home Premium system using dual DVI jacks, but on this new PC the second monitor works maybe 5% of the time, even though the desktop IS extended onto both monitors and the computer recognizes this. It's as though the monitor is receiving no signal, and so puts itself to sleep.
I've tested the HDMI jack with the 22" main monitor and I know that the converter works, it's just having an issue with the Xerox monitor (monitor purchased new in 2005).
I've searched high and low for a solution for this, does anyone know what might be happening or how to solve the problem?
As a web developer and graphic designer I would LOVE to figure this out without having to drop more money on another monitor.
Thanks very much!
I wish I could get Windows Vista to correct dual monitor with me again. I use a 22" wide screen monitor with another 17" monitor as dual monitor setup within Windows Vista. Previously, these two monitors have been working together without any issue with the 22" as primary with a 1280x1028 resolution and the 17" as secondary with 1080x768 resolution. All of a sudden, I decide to go downstairs and wash my car, come back to my computer when I'm done and turn it on to find my 17" being the primary monitor and the 22" not receiving any signal within Vista. When I reboot the computer, the 22" shows all the CPU loading information like POST, and the Microsoft Windows loading screen but once Vista actually loads after that, it shuts off and the 17" takes over.
After several hours of swearing and yelling at my computer, I had completely erased every trace of nVidia drivers from my machine. I reinstall drivers and manage to get the 22" as primary and 17" as secondary again, but with a problem: the 17" can scale up to the high resolution my primary used to use, and the primary now can only scale to what the 17" used to use - 1024x768. Nothing I do will allow my 22" to choose 1280x1024 like it always used to. At the moment, my computer is just sitting there left on, with a million display configuration screens on. Maybe if I leave it alone, while I play with my laptop, it'll fix itself the same way it broke itself... mysteriously... while it was powered off...
I hate Vista.
Like Warren I too have a prob getting my TV to display my laptop screen. I want to show ppts on the TV screen but cant get any display. Have Compaq with Vista Basic and NVIDIA. It works ok on another monitor but cant get it to work on my TV (SONY VEGA). Appreciate any advice!
I have a problem using dual monitors on Windows Vista Ultimate, using a Toshiba Satellite A100-847 - GeFoce Go 7600 display card and an external monitor (at the moment IIYama ProLite B1902S - have also used another IIYama monitor but had the same problem).
The thing is: I set up the external monitor and after a while both displays start flickering. They both go black and come back again. It does this a couple of times then it works fine. This happens at different time intervals, it can be after 10 mins or 30 mins ... but I usually get this more than 2 times an hour.
I've tried a few drivers for the graphics card - from the Toshiba support site, from Nvidia and even the drier that Windows update suggests. I still have this problem.
I might mention that I use Virtual PC a lot too (virtual machine with Win XP Pro), but the problem appears all the time.
Sorry if this is too long, I just wanted to describe the situation in detail. Hope there is someone who can help
I am testing Service Pack 1 for Vista for my company and I've got an issue with my dual monitor setup that wasn't there before SP1. I use a doceked Lenovo z61m thinkpad and a separate 19" Acer monitor as the primary display when docked. Before SP1 the Acer ran at 1440x900 and extended to my laptop's display which also displayed at 1440x900. Everything was seemless and smooth. After installing SP1, neither display can select 1440x900 as an option. This is true even after removing the old drivers and starting from scratch. I've also tried an old version of the driver, the latest driver from Intel, the latest from Lenovo and a generic windows display driver to no avail. Any idea as to a solution?
Before SP1 I had no problems with my laptop and the external monitor (both Acer). Everything is still installed, no drivers are missing. My laptop is on the left and the monitor on the right and that's I want in my monitor configuration. But after every reboot or locking the laptop, the monitor settings are put on default. That's really annoying. I don't know if someone has the same problem. What ever worked is no guarantee after an update....
RE: Dual display switches positions every time you reboot / lock the computer.
If you're using an nVidia driver, try updating it. I had the same problem, this solved it.
Discovered the solution on the Microsoft Support site from the Vista - Community section.
Great video! I've actually been using a dual-monitor setup via my Dell P3 laptop for years. It's invaluable when building software with Visual Studio.
But today was my first one ever using Vista on my own computer. I have dual 22" LCD monitors and it's beautiful!
There's one thing I'm trying to do though that your video almost helped me resolve but not quite.
Simply, when I'm working on Screen 1, I'd like to have the option to have the Sidebar slideshow gadget display photos full screen on Screen 2.
Your mention in the video of being able to detach any gadget came close but the slideshow won't allow for full-screen display.
Might you know of a way to do this?
Anyone help? I have Vista Home premium. My graphics ATI 2100 supports 3 monitors. I am currently using HDMI to connect to my HD tv. On first install it came up worked as a copy of my desktop (which suited me) , then I lost that and it beacme an extension. (Which I dont want) I can't seem to find how to go back to it being a copy? I've tried uninstall, I've tried removing the cables, etc.. but no.
Any advice please?
PS I recall the first windows.. "not worth the bother" I was told.. "it eats your resources"... nothing changed there then? :)
I uses 2 17 inch Dell monitors which both runs at 1280*1024 in Windows Vista Ultimate. I use one monitor for my primary desktop (emails, docs) and the other one which is right in front of me for browsing and programming related stuff. I have to say that Dual Monitors in Vista has been such an improvement from it's predecessor.
I work as an IT guy for about 170ish users 90% of which use Dual monitors and Vista. Everyone loves the dual monitors and would never be able to go back to using one monitor (myself included).
I use my left monitor for outlook, sidebar gadgets and internet explorer and the right hand monitor for remote controlling servers and computers.
What does seem to be causing an issue at the moment however is every windows update which comes out seems to reset the configuration of the dual monitors and i have to run around to all the peoples desk's who cant remember how to enable them again. What i cant work out though is why it only effects some computers, my computer has been running dual monitors for the longest however has never been effected yet others with similar rights etc have....
I am running a Dell Latitude D830 with Business Premium, and a Dell 1908WFP. I have never had the primary (19" Wide) flip with the secondary (laptop screen). However, if I lock the screen, about 90% of the time when I unlock it, any applications that are on the secondary screen move to the primary. Highly annoying.
I am using dual monitors on vista home premium and want to know if there is a way to take my wall paper and stretch it across both monitors like one continuos monitor? Right now when i change wall paper it appears on each monitor so I have the full picture on each one. Let me know if this is at all possible to do.