[Solved] Having problems setting up dual monitors

Saturday, November 14, 2009 by ama02 | Discussion: Personal Computing

I had been using a Samsung SyncMaster 213T with my older Vista (32-bit) desktop and nVidia GeForce 7600 graphics card (DVI port) with no problems. So my old system (mobo) decided to finally die, and I got a new desktop system and a new Samsung SyncMaster 2494HM widescreen to go with. The desktop is from Dell, running i7-920 and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, and nVidia GTX 260, which has two DVI ports. 

I hooked up the 24" monitor as the primary and the 21" as the secondary. After installing the driver for the 24" monitor, Windows recognizes the model etc. My 21" still shows 'Generic PnP Monitor' and won't let me install the included driver (it's old from 2005) and says the driver (from MS) is up to date. However, I am not getting anything on the secondary monitor, it's just black with the floating "Check Sync Cable". I have tried disconnecting and reconnecting the DVI cable from both the graphic card and the back of the monitor, but no change. Also, when I go into properties, it shows two screens, so I click on the secondary one and it's listed as SyncMaster, but the properties for that monitor still show Generic PnP.

I emailed Samsung for help, maybe a semi-new-ish driver, but they replied to check with the PC vendor.   Am I doing something wrong with the connections? Any help would be appreciated. I know my 21" LCD is still in good or excellent condition. For now I have that one turned off. Even then, I took a PrntScrn screenshot of my main desktop, and pasted it into Paint....it actually shows both desktops together (duplicate wallpaper) and I noticed my cursor disappears off into the blackness when I move it to the right edge of the main screen. lol, weird. help!

Reply #1 Saturday, November 14, 2009 2:17 AM

I know you said you disconnected/reconnected the cable without any luck - could the cable itself be bad?  I wouldn't worry about the drivers so much - windows PnP drivers should be plenty enough for most displays.

Reply #2 Saturday, November 14, 2009 2:28 AM

Are you set for Dualview in the nVidia Control Panel?

If not, your 21" might be receiving a signal that is out of its range. You fail to mention the resolution the secondary is set at.


Reply #3 Saturday, November 14, 2009 2:32 AM

Ah, good point - a monitor won't display if its getting a signal for a higher resolution than it supports.

Reply #4 Saturday, November 14, 2009 2:34 AM

Thanks for the quick reply! The DVI cable is the same one I was using with that monitor just a week ago, before I got my new system. But I suppose it could have gone bad during the switch. I didn't touch the monitor end of the cable, left it plugged in there, and only unscrewed/unplugged the computer end. I could check with Radio Shack to see if they have those...we don't have much for tech stores here.

oops sorry, missed the other reply!  The secondary monitor (21") is set to 1600 x 1200 in the screen properties.  I thought that the two monitor images on the screen resolution window meant that it was in dual monitor mode? Where do I look to confirm this?

Reply #5 Saturday, November 14, 2009 2:44 AM

Here's a screenshot of the nVidia control panel...it looks like it is set up as dual monitors.



Reply #6 Saturday, November 14, 2009 2:46 AM

I think it means that it detects two monitors, but when you click on each one you can set the resolution.  the second monitor is off unless you flag it as "attached."  Other than that, I'm not really sure what could be going on. =\ 

EDIT: I'm looking at the properties screen, not the driver window. 

Reply #7 Saturday, November 14, 2009 2:49 AM

The moving off the screen makes it sound like it definitely should be getting a signal.  Try setting minimal color quality and resolutions for it, otherwise a bad cable is what I'd guess.

Reply #8 Saturday, November 14, 2009 2:55 AM

Like I mentioned before, the nVidia Control Panel.

Since you are running that monitor at its max res, make sure the refresh rate is not set too high.

You can check the cable by switching them around. If you switch them and the same thing happens, it is not the cable. If your primary monitor goes blank, it is the cable. That is assuming that both cables are DVI at both ends, and you are not using an adapter.

Reply #9 Saturday, November 14, 2009 3:21 AM

Thanks guys, I'll try swapping the cables tomorrow and report back. I appreciate the help!

Reply #10 Saturday, November 14, 2009 9:19 AM

I work in Walmart's Homeoffice IT and setting up dual monitors is a bit tricky. It is not likely your cable, most likely it is onboard video driver is still active in windows. Here's what I do to get dual monitors to work.

1. Download the latest drivers to the local hard drive. 2. Make sure the BIOS onboard video option is set to Auto or you might need to set it to Disabled. Try Auto first. 3. Install the card 4. Reboot the pc and hit F8 and select "VGA Mode" to boot into windows. 5. Install the Video Card drivers, do NOT reboot 6. Go to control panel in windows and Disable the onboard video do not uninstall the onboard drivers 7. Now reboot the pc.

When your pc has rebooted into windows your new video card drivers may automatically setup your monitors as Primary and the other Extended which is what most people want. Of course once configured you can make the necessary changes.

I'd be interested in your results.



Reply #11 Saturday, November 14, 2009 9:44 AM


6. Go to Device Manager in windows and Disable the onboard video do not uninstall the onboard drivers 

Reply #12 Saturday, November 14, 2009 3:05 PM

Thanks Mark for the suggestions! I was searchng online for the specs of the 213T, came across that model (still for sale) through Amazon. There was a link to the pdf manual, so I opened it and read through it.

I *just* figured out the problem and fixed it! I opened the pdf manual for the monitor, which had a Troubleshoot table. First thing on the list was "No images on the screen.", the checklist for that included "Can you see "No Connection, Check Signal Cable" on the screen?" and one of the suggested solutions was "(Connected using the DVI cable)  If you still see an (error) message on the screen when the monitor is connected properly, check to see if the monitor status is set to analogue. Press Source button to have the monitor double-check the input signal source." So I turned on the secondary monitor (and got the floating check signal cable icon) and found the Source button and pressed it. Screen went blank for a couple seconds, then the image of my desktop came on! I was able to see my cursor on that screen and move windows from the primary screen over to it and back. yay!

Thanks so much everyone for helping to troubleshoot this thing! That's what I really love about this Wincustomize community...you all are the best!

I guess I can now confirm the saying:  RTFM!

Reply #13 Saturday, November 14, 2009 4:53 PM


Reply #14 Saturday, November 14, 2009 5:05 PM

Awesome!  And I'm glad you stepped in Mark, I was way out of my league.  

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