Dual Monitor Issue

Hey, I recently bought a 2nd monitor for my computer. At first everything ran just fine. I restarted my computer and when it came back on, my 2nd monitor got set to my main display, and my original monitor could no longer be set to its "recommended" resolution.

After reading around the internet, I couldn't find any good answers to this problem. I decided to just let the updates go on windows (normally i just don't bother with them) and after I installed them, everything was fine. No settings were randomly changing, the original monitor was set at its recommended resolution ect.

Today I was working on my friends computer so I had mine unplugged and when I went to start mine up after replugging everything back in, the original problem started again. My new 2nd monitor was set to my main display, and my main monitor wont go past the resolution 1600x900 (recommended is 1680x1050). I tried to figure this out but at last I give up and ask for any help I can get to fix this.

Just a side note, my 2nd monitor is a smaller one and sits at 20" so thats why I prefer it to be secondary monitor. Also if I set my smaller one to main display, the bigger one (I think its 23" but its been awhile since I've bought it so I cant remember the exact size) still is messed up.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to be as detailed as possible in hopes I get nothing but good responses. Thanks in advance for any help that can be given.


Extraordinary Member
Which GPU (Graphic card) do you have, how are they connected (VGA, DVI, HDMI) and which drivers are you using?


Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
I can't live without dual monitors. And while Windows 7 supports multiple monitors, it too occasionally gets confused as to which is primary and which is secondary - though I feel that has much to do with the card's driver and not so much Windows.

That said, since I cannot live without dual monitors, I also cannot live without UltraMon. It is not free - but by far it is the best multimonitor utility out there. With it, you can, among other thing, set, or re-assign primary and secondary monitor assignments.

Display Fusion is awesome and what I use.


Never experienced the confused issue above over here at all, in Windows 7.

Thanks for the few links to help manage the monitors being the primary and secondary. Sadly that is not the main issue here and sorry for making it seem like it was.

My biggest issue is trying to figure out why my primary monitor, the 23" one, can no longer be set to its "recommended" resolution of 1680x1050. Its no longer is capable of being set past 1600x900. Everything worked fine until I plugged in my second monitor. Even if I unplug the new monitor the settings still refuse to work. So I am not sure what changed.

(I can set it to like 1900x1200 but the refresh rates exceed my monitors limits and goes to an all black screen if I try that one)

Hey ya...visit the manufacturers' sites of the monitors. Download and install the drivers for each. Reboot and set the 23" monitor as the main display. Should be straight forward and simple.

Install the latest video card driver too:



Alright, I will try this when I get home to my computer. I know I had tried those solutions before but to no avail, but I will try again and see what comes of it, maybe I missed something my first time through.


Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
Actually, monitor drivers don't do anything but tell Windows the make and model number of the monitor. The graphics card, on the other hand, requires specific drivers to gain full function of the card, and to interface the monitor with the computer. There are a few exceptions - if, for example, the monitor can physically rotate 90° for portrait mode, there may be a specific driver, but usually that can be done with the card's driver too.

Installing the new drivers did not work. I am so up in the air with this issue. Doesn't seem anyone can give me a solution. I have tried multiple forums and to no prevails. =[


Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
What is the model number of the new monitor? And what are the specs of the computer?

Check your refresh rates of each monitor. See what each one's recommended settings are. You may have to change one of them.

OS: Windows Home Preimum 64-Bit
CPU: Intel Core Duo E400 @ 3.00 GHz
Ram: 3GB
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 4650

23" Monitor: LG Flatron w2241T (this is the one with the issue)
20" Monitor: HP S2031


Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
LCD monitors typically ignore refresh rates. Diodes have to be actively turned on and turned off. They do not fade like the phosphors in CRT monitors and so do not need to be refreshed. See What refresh rate should you use with an LCD monitor? | Ed Bott - Windows Expertise

Note as the 22 in the model number designates, the LG2241T is a 22" monitor. Are you sure of the model number? I also note the HP has a native rate of 1600 x 900 so something seems stuck. I think I would power down, connect only the new monitor to the primary position then boot into safe mode and reset the resolution to 1680 x 1050 and reboot and see what happens.

The LG might be a 22" I am sure of the model number, not the size. I couldn't remember. But I tried to unplug the HP and the restart so I could try and set the LG to the resolution 1680x1050 but it is still not an option.

(right click and view image to make it more visible :/)

those are all the options I have available.

Right click the desktop and set the res there instead.

If no go, then use Driver Sweeper in safe mode to rid ATI video.

Reboot and install latest driver.

Phyxion.net | Driver Sweeper | Products | Products


I also noticed that you still don't have the monitor driver installed.


Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
Well I was just about to say everything TorrentG just said but he types faster than me. Note that before you only said you could not set the correct resolution. It is only now we learn that is because it is not listed as an option. As TorrentG also notes, it says "Default VGA Monitor", meaning the system does not know about your specific monitor.

The disc for the monitor doesnt install any drivers, nor do I know where to find them, I have searched but couldn't find it. Once I get find those I will try that, and if it doesnt work I will try the other option you gave.

Yep, like Digerati has said, I don't think the monitor driver is going to make any difference, but it is that "for good measure" thing heh heh.

Visit the manufacturer's site to get the driver. As a side note, don't install drivers from discs ever, even on brand new gear. Always visit the mfg's sites so the latest driver is downloaded and installed, instead.

But yep, the sweep in safe mode and re-install of video driver should do well.

For some reason my computer wont install the driver. It keeps saying it Failed, but doesn't give a reason why.

ATI Display Driver
Final Status: Fail
Version of Item: 8.791.0.0000
Size: 90 Mbytes

Last edited:
Extract the driver to C:\NVIDIA, then close the installer when it's done.

Reboot to safe mode. Open the device manager. Right click on the NVIDIA or StanardVGA line under Display adapters section. Choose Update Driver software.

Browse my computer. Let me pick. Have disk. Browse.

Now go into the extracted folder to the driver sub-folder and double click on nvdisp.inf.

Hit ok then next and it will install.


Run the installer again to get the NVIDIA software installed.


Make sure you've downloaded the right driver from NVDIA's site, too. 32 bit or 64 bit, depending on which Windows you have installed.

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