How do I keep my laptop set to Extended Display all the time?
December 5, 2012 6:33 AM   Subscribe

I have a docked laptop hooked up to two monitors. How can I keep those monitors in Extended Display mode every time I boot up?

My employer upgraded my computer to a really nice laptop and docking station, which allows me to use my keyboard, mouse, and most importantly, my big dual monitors. However... every time I reboot the laptop, the display reverts to a duplicate display on both screens instead of Extended Display. The little research I've been able to find so far tells me that this is the Windows default (I'm using Windows 7, by the way). Is there any way to change this so it stays in Extended Display when the laptop is docked? I really don't want to have to change it every morning.
posted by starvingartist to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you using the computer undocked between reboots? The Toshibas and HPs I've used always revert to the previous state on boot if I've used them out of the dock.
posted by scruss at 6:43 AM on December 5, 2012

Response by poster: So far, no, I have not undocked it.

The laptop is a Dell Precision M4700. The dock is an E-Port Plus, if that matters.
posted by starvingartist at 6:45 AM on December 5, 2012

Have you asked Dell about it? There may be something that needs upgrading to improve the situation, or a BIOS setting that might need changing.

I've got a docked Lenovo laptop with two monitors, running w7, and it retains my montor setups just fine across reboots. So it's certainly possible, and not just a w7 issue.
posted by wkearney99 at 7:07 AM on December 5, 2012

Yeah, I've got a Dell on a docking station, with two monitors, it remembers the setting every time I dock, even when I reboot the computer undocked. Plug it in the dock, and boom, all is set up properly. I have no idea where this is set, but it works for all of us here using various Dells.
posted by defcom1 at 7:57 AM on December 5, 2012

I'd see if Dell has an update for your graphics card drivers. Not remembering the previous settings / not being able to detect what displays you have - are related to the graphics card driver. You should be able to download the updates direct from Dell's website, however these might not be updated as often as the manufacturer's drivers.

Looks like the Dell Precision M4700 has either an AMD FirePro or NVIDIA Quadro card in it. Check AMD's or NVIDIA's website for a newer driver as well.
posted by dobi at 8:17 AM on December 5, 2012

I use a Dell laptop running Windows 7 with two different docking stations (only one monitor, but I use the laptop monitor too so it's always in Extended Display mode) and it is usually really good about getting the settings right - like, in one workspace the monitor is to the left of my docking station and in the other it's to the right, so I have the display settings configured differently, but it always figures out what it's supposed to be doing.

It's always done this, so I don't have any advice about how to reconfigure it, but I am sure that what you want is possible.
posted by mskyle at 8:18 AM on December 5, 2012

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