Dual monitors going black

I just reformatted my hard drive so I'm sure that has to be the cause for this. I have hybrid graphics with a Nvidia GeForce 9400M G and 2 GeForce GTX 280Ms. I have the hybrid graphics enabled but when I plug in my second monitor both screens go blank. I know the monitor isn't the issue because the whole setup worked fine prior to the reformatting. The drivers for all the cards are up to date as well. Thank you for your time.


Essential Member
Try this: unplug your DVI/VGA cable of second monitor. Then reboot, let it boot all the way then plug DVI/VGA cable back in.

If I boot with the cable in the screens both are black after windows loads, and if I plug it in after booting both screens go black after a second.


Essential Member
Ok, now try just using one monitor in each of the gpu ports. This is to confirm that all the ports are working and each monitor is working.

My fault for the lack of detail, it's my laptop so I only have the one port. Sorry about that.


Noob Whisperer
Since the format and reinstall of the OS, have you had the opportunity to return to your laptop manufacturer's website to check for other driver updates, (bios, chipset, audio, lan, etc) especially keyboard and pointing devices, that you may need to support Windows 7. Most laptops have a keyboard combination involving a function key (Fn) to support the use of external monitors. Perhaps if you would list your particular manufacturer and model number, another member here may have some specific advice regarding that laptop.

I'm using an Alienware m17x, processor: Intel Core2 Duo T9800 2.93GHz. I have a FN button that seems to be for an external monitor but pressing before lugging in my VGA cable and after (when both screens are blank) didn't do anything.

I know the monitor is recieving some kind of signal because the screen goes from "No VGA Cable" to "Auto Adjusting" before the screen turns black. I also know the problem isn't with the monitor because I looked into all the settings and stuff and none of it would've changed since my reformatting.

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