Dual Monitors Cannot Be Recognized at the Same Time

I have a VAIO laptop running Windows 7 with two monitors connected. One monitor is connected through the VGA port, the other is connected to the HDMI port. Both monitors are identical, and the one that is connected to the HDMI port is connected using an HDMI/VGA adaptor. I've been trying to set up my monitors for extended display, however, I'm only able to extend the display with one monitor at a time to the laptop screen (my goal is to extend the display across the two monitors only).
When I go into Control Panel to manage the display options, and I click on "Connect to a projector", clicking on "Disconnect Projector" displays my laptop screen on the left monitor, and clicking on "Projector Only" displays my laptop screen on the right monitor. When I click on Extend, nothing happens -- whichever screen is currently displaying is the only one that displays while the other remains off.
When I click on the monitors that are displayed in the Screen Resolution window, and then click on "Extend these displays", I get an error message that says "Unable to save display settings." It will only let me save my settings if I select "Show desktop only on 1" or "Show desktop only on 2". It will not save my settings if I select "Extend these displays" or "Duplicate these displays".
I've been at this all morning to no avail. Both monitors work as well as both the HDMI and VGA ports, but I can't seem to get both monitors and both ports to work at the same time. Can someone please help me figure out how to display across two monitors at the same time?


Essential Member
I think it's dependent on you GPU and most laptops have the bare minimum in that department. However, there are 3rd party software out there that might provide what you need....

Display Fusion

Ultra Mon

Thanks for your reply. I'm not sure what a GPU does, but I was able to set up my laptop at work using a DVI and a VGA cord with no additional software. Granted it's a different laptop and I'm using HDMI instead of DVI, but I figured the setup shouldn't be too different since I've confirmed that all of the individual pieces work, and the operating system is the same on both.


Essential Member
What may work on one laptop many not necessarily work for another laptop as the hardware components are different.

  1. A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a computer chip that performs rapid mathematical calculations, primarily for the purpose of rendering images. In the early days of computing, the central processing unit (CPU) performed these calculations.
With most low end laptops the GPU is built onto the mobo (mother board) and they're not the best performing. With the latest technology, the GPU is now built on the CPU. So you need to check you laptops user guide or owner manual for exact how to's on connecting external monitors/TV's and what cables are recommended.

For anyone who stumbles across this thread in the future. I found the solution to my problem. I purchased a USB to VGA Display Adapter, and it allows me to display the second screen. So now I have my VGA port hooked up to one monitor and a USB port hooked up to the second monitor with the help of the adapter. This lets me extend my screen across the two monitors or duplicate the same image on both.


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
What an excellent example of solving a problem in a somewhat non-orthodox way! Bravo!

And I do like when someone tells about how the solution was found.

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