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New monitor frustration

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Alright, so I got a new monitor today. I'll just give a brief walkthrough of how I set this up.

1. Plug the new monitor (LG 23" 1920x1080) into the second slot with an HDMI cable (used an HDMI to DVI adapter because my video card doesn't have an HDMI slot). Keep the old monitor (Gateway 1280x768) plugged into the first slot as is (using D-Sub to DVI adapter). Monitors are now "clones" of each other, both running at 1280x768 resolution.
2. Adjust display settings to use dual monitors. Set the LG monitor (the new one) to the correct resolution.
3. Play with refresh rates until both monitors look nice and use all available space.
4. Later, turn off monitors when I leave
5. Come back and turn both monitors on to find that I'm back to the end of step 1. Facepalm. Repeat steps 2-3.
6. Repeat steps 4-5 again. Bash head against wall.
7. Unplug old monitor completely and plug new monitor into first slot. Adjust display settings appropriately.
8. Install a new case fan that I got today. Obviously this involves turning off and unplugging the PC.
9. Plug new monitor back in along with everything else, as in step 7.
10. Turn on PC to find that nothing is displaying on the monitor. Blame dog and kick him out of my room.
11. Turn PC back off. Plug in old monitor to slot 1 and new monitor to slot 2, as in step 1. Boot PC again.
12. Motherboard logo flashes on both monitors. Boot process continues normally, even displaying the normal Vista loading meter on both monitors.
13. Both monitors say there is no signal, failing to display the login screen.
14. Turn off PC and unplug old monitor. Successfully boot without being able to use new monitor.
15. Plug in new monitor to slot 2. Play with display settings. New monitor cannot get a signal and I'm still restricted to just the old one. Call mother and blame her.
16. Send nasty emails to microsoft asking why my monitor can do everything just fine until their OS takes over. :)
17. Post this long, frustrating process on Geeks to Go in hopes that someone will be able to explain why Vista is so terrible at making my new monitor work.

It doesn't help that I can't tell whether Vista thinks the monitor is plugged in or not. In either case, I am able to adjust the display settings the same way, setting a non-existent second monitor to 1920x1080 resolution, even making a dual monitor configuration WITH ONLY ONE MONITOR PLUGGED IN. :)

Any ideas?

Edited by W-Unit, 18 July 2009 - 06:03 AM.

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Alright, so after playing with the settings some more, I got it to work... sort of...

Now when I am doing normal computing stuff the display is fine, but when I first turn on the computer, during the boot process and at the login screen, or whenever I need to do the fun little Windows Vista thing where you click "Allow" or whatever all the time before you do anything dangerous like open a can of beans, for some reason the display goes black for a bit then comes back on with the refresh rate at 59Hz, which results in a fuzzy picture that doesn't use up all the available space on the monitor. After I'm done logging in or pressing Allow, the refresh rate goes back to 60Hz which is the proper setting. This isn't really a huge problem as it doesn't interfere too much, however it forces me to wait about 5 seconds for the monitor to go off and back on every time I need to press Allow or Continue or whatever it is, then wait another 5 seconds for it to go off and back on again when I'm done.
There is no setting anywhere that I can find that would give Vista any reason to think that I ever want to run the monitor at anything but 60Hz. It's interesting that it boots at 59Hz though before it even loads Vista...

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