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Dual Montior Problem: Periodic Blank Screen


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#1
Synchrotron

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Hello all,

Not sure weather this belongs in the Hardware or Windows 7 section but here goes. I'm having issues with running a dual monitor setup, in that it works fine some of the time but periodically one of the monitors' screen will be blank. This screen briefly flashes the display when turned on but then goes blank. I know it works as it always shows the boot screens, and as such it seems like it could be a driver or resolution issue. I've tried identifying the graphics card as:

Posted Image

and updating from the website but apparently to no avail. I also did an internet search which suggested unplugging and plugging it back in, but again to no avail. It's strange as sometimes it will work perfectly fine, whereas others it will remain blank. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, and I thank you in advance for your time.

Kind regards.
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#2
Digerati

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First, try swapping the two monitors to see if the problem stays with the original monitor, or if the 2nd monitor does the same thing. That is, move cable 1 to monitor 2 and cable 2 to monitor 1. If the problem moves with the monitor, then you know you have a monitor issue. If monitor 2 does the same thing on cable 1, then you know you have a problem with your card, or driver or something on the computer side.

And of course, the obvious - all cables are tight and secure, your system is free of heat trapping dust, and your temps are all fine.

When one of the screens does go blank, how do you restore the image?
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#3
Synchrotron

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Thanks for the swift response. Unfortunately they offer differing connections, i.e. DVI and VGA so I cannot swap them. I've tried unplugging for a while and plugging back in, or else changing the settings from extend desktop display to duplicate the displays and back in order to restore the image.
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#4
Digerati

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Then you may need to borrow another monitor from someone else to make sure it is not the monitor cutting out.

Also, though not for this problem, I run a dual monitor setup, and for years have relied on UltraMon – not free, but worth it.
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#5
Synchrotron

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I connected it with a VGA cable, and it still didn't show any picture. It must be the monitor itself that has decided to cut out.
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#6
Digerati

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That's too bad. I might suggest you budget for a new card, one that supports dual digital (either HDMI or DVI, or one of each) then ensure your new monitor, or monitors supports a digital input.

Then, once you get your dual monitor setup again, check out UltraMon multi–monitor utility. It is not free, but worth it. Others have suggested the free DisplayFusion, but I have no experience with it.
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#7
Synchrotron

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Thanks for the advice. I'll certainly look into UltraMon.

Looking to purchase a new monitor, and currently looking into:

Samsung SyncMaster E2220
Philips 222EL2SB
Benq V2220
BenQ G2222HDL
Philips 220E1SB

and will probably plunge for the Samsung.

Don't think I can afford a new graphics card too, just yet.
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#8
Digerati

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Well, I just happen to have two Samsung SyncMaster 2220wm-has monitors and am very happy with them. But then I have liked Samsung monitors for years. I look for monitors with stands that have height adjustments. Most don't. I like to adjust my monitor to my height, not my chair (or neck) to my monitor's height.
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#9
Synchrotron

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Are they vastly different to the E2220 model, or is it just the added height adjustment?

Though that is a good point with regards to height.

Edited by Synchrotron, 08 July 2011 - 01:07 PM.

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#10
Digerati

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The specs are very similar.

Mine were not exactly what I wanted, however. My desk has a hutch so height mattered. And my plan was to buy two for a dual monitor setup, so I wanted monitors with very thin bezels so the touching edges would not be huge. I specifically did not want built in speakers because (1) monitor speakers are lousy, (2) I would not use them so they would add to the costs, (3) monitor speakers typically take up a lot of space, (4) built-in speakers in multi-monitor setups is awkward. Do you put the left channel on the left monitor and the right channel on the right monitor? One monitor with sound the other without? A moot point as I have external surround sound speakers.

I found the 2220WM-HAS and it had height, tilt, swivel and very thin side bezels, and a gorgeous display :unsure: and speakers :). But the speakers are tiny and at the bottom - important as that kept the side bezels thin. The price was right so I bought them even thought they had speakers I would likely never use and have no regrets - and I don't even notice there are speakers since they are only 1/2 inch tall, but in the same line as all the monitor controls, so they don't stand out.

Unless you are just unlucky and get a bad one (even Rolls Royce has recalls) I am sure you will be happy.
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#11
Synchrotron

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Went ahead and ordered the E2220, arrives on Tuesday.
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#12
Synchrotron

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Monitor arrived yesterday, it's pretty nice....

However, everything worked fine yesterday. Samsung E2220 was connected via Dvi cable and the original Samsung 920NW was connected via VGA.

When I turned it on today, the Samsung E2220 screen went blank. It flashes digital, analog for a while and then comes up with:

"Check Signal Cable. Analog"

It seems as if it should be detecting Digital, but instead it's suggesting Analog. Any ideas?

Edited by Synchrotron, 13 July 2011 - 06:12 AM.

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#13
Synchrotron

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I now uninstalled the driver file SMEX2220 from samsung's download centre that I had installed yesterday, and it booted up and recognised that it was digital and loaded correctly with both screen's functioning again.

What on earth is going on!?

Edited by Synchrotron, 13 July 2011 - 06:20 AM.

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#14
Digerati

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I suspect it is the special driver and Windows and your graphics solution hardware getting confused as to which is the primary monitor. You might want to check your Display driver's settings.
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