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Multi Monitor Madness Moronity
March 30, 2012 3:10 AM   Subscribe

Argh - Wrong Monitor (Secondary) displayed at start-up; can't therefore access any settings! How can I reset?

I'm very hopeful I am just 'having a moment' here, but fearful I am not...

Windows XP, Dual Monitor set up on AOpen system stock-NVidia MB graphics.

So I blew the dust off an old system and went to set it up again; the twin monitors both show BIOS / Splash screen / Windows booting logos, then when windows starts, one monitor shows 'no input' and goes blank.

Fiddling with settings, to try and remember how to get it to work and so on, I tried changing the 'use as main monitor' option, amongst others - and whoops, I now have two monitors one of which shows nothing, the other now showing the *secondary* monitor screen.

So, I cannot right-click for properties, as it (presumably) is appearing on the 'other' unseen, screen.

I cannot see anything other than the desktop image, and am stumped as to how to get any further.

Trying the 'other' graphics output results in nothing at all; I've tried restarting in safe mode, but then there is no option available regarding settings in the graphics options; I've checked the BIOS for anything remotely related to graphical output of any nature and there is nothing relevant.

Google just buries me under the dearth of initial difficulties, and I can't seem to make my issue specific enough to generate an answer to my problem.

Can anyone suggest a solution that doesn't involve a hammer please?
posted by DrtyBlvd to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Open the properties as you described, take your best estimate of where that window would appear, send your mouse to where the top bar of the window would be, and try to drag it over.

Hopefully someone else has a better solution, but I've had some success doing this (albeit I just didn't want to turn on my second monitor).
posted by sarae at 3:16 AM on March 30, 2012


Wait, it works by input, though (doesn't it?) So couldn't you just switch the cord that supplies the broken monitor to supply the working monitor?
posted by sarae at 3:38 AM on March 30, 2012


Open the properties as you described, take your best estimate of where that window would appear, send your mouse to where the top bar of the window would be, and try to drag it over.

You should be able move the window between monitors using the keyboard. Type (one after the other):
Alt
Space
m
Arrow keys to move the window right or left.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:48 AM on March 30, 2012


If swapping cables around doesn't help (unplugging the broken monitor and rebooting should mean it is no longer detected and windows goes back to one monitor), then you can grab the window even though you can't see it.

Right click the desktop you can see and choose properties, then press exactly these keys:
  • Hold down the alt key
  • Tap space
  • Release the alt key
  • Tap M
  • Tap the left cursor key (left arrow)

  • The properties window is now attached to your mouse cursor so wiggle it around until you see it then left click to drop it.

    Other options: booting to safe mode and then removing the display driver, vnc or terminal services into it or just install another operating system anyway 'cos who uses XP these days.
    posted by samj at 3:49 AM on March 30, 2012


    Perfect, thank you VERY much - That one is getting engraved on the back of a casing or two.
    posted by DrtyBlvd at 4:21 AM on March 30, 2012


    You should be able move the window between monitors using the keyboard. Type (one after the other):
    Alt
    Space
    m
    Arrow keys to move the window right or left.


    Additionally, after just one press of your arrow keys you can move the mouse around in your working monitor and the window will "snap" over to it. Beats sitting forever on the arrow keys.
    posted by RikiTikiTavi at 5:33 AM on March 30, 2012


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