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I have 3 monitors running on Windows 7. according to windows monitor numbers

  1. Samsung TV(in another room connected via HDMI)
  2. My main Samsung LCD DVI1
  3. Secondary 17" monitor DVI2

 #2 is the only one that's always on. it is set as my main display.

In monitor settings I go in and extend desktop to the TV or my other monitor; whenever I do this, all my applications pop over from #2 to the newly added monitor, whether it's the TV or the 17". This is really annoying especially in the case of the TV because it's in a different room and I can't see the windows anymore. The Winkey+Shit+rightarrow shortcut is nice, but still a pain and doesn't always work (esp w/ programs that have floating toolbars that get moved over but don't always come back)

I'd just mirror my monitor on the TV except they're different resolutions and my main monitor looks dumb getting scaled down to 1920x1200.

Is there any way to stop this from happening?

Any external monitor/sound handling situation that makes things generally more straightforward would be welcome as well (especially if it can easily handle switching my audio output-- right now I have a hsortcut set up with autohotkey).

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I wonder if this will still happen if you defined the Samsung LCD as #1, rather than #2. I don't have a multi-monitor setup to test on, but maybe Windows leaves alone the windows in the primary monitor once a new secondary is connected.

If this doesn't work, maybe you could try to create a script that will reorganize your monitors using the freeware Display Changer, a command-line utility that can configure all the properties of a monitor including its relative position to the primary monitor. You could create a shortcut to a batch file invoking it and assign it a hotkey (as the screen disappears out on you).

A commercial product that can move windows automatically is ZMover ($19.95), but I don't know if it will work in your case.

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I'd thought of your first point. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any way to change the monitor numbers (plus when I connect monitor 3 to monitor 2, often the windows pop over to it) – Damon Jul 16 '12 at 13:43
What is your video card? Changing monitor identities for example for NVIDIA is done thru the NVIDIA Control Panel. See also this article. You could also try Display Changer's "-primary" and "-force" parameters. – harrymc Jul 19 '12 at 7:52
I have an ATI card. I had already looked in their control panel for that and didn't find anything – Damon Jul 19 '12 at 12:52
Does this link help? – harrymc Jul 19 '12 at 13:10

Your best bet would be going with a third party tool like Display Fusion, which is 25$ for the pro version, and offers a lot of tools to work with multiple monitors and window management.

As I personally am not working on Windows anymore, I can't test your particular setting (I don't have 3 monitors) but from the website, it states that it can assign applications to monitors, which should clear your problem.

There is also Ultramon but it is 40$ and doesn't seem to offer much more than DF...

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I no longer work with Windows for multi-monitor setups, either, but I've used Ultramon in the past, and it's a nice product. I don't know if either of those products will do precisely what Damon needs, but both offer a 30 day trial, so I'd try them out and see if either solves the problem. – ND Geek Jul 19 '12 at 15:31
Well, on the website of DisplayFusion, they talk about assigning application to monitor, which should help in his case – Philippe Gilbert Jul 19 '12 at 16:07

Unfortunately, it looks like it’s impossible. The multimonitor support in Windows is very basic and doesn’t remember which monitor you opened the app on. :(

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Mine seems to remember, sometimes, depending on the app. – Simon Sheehan Jul 15 '12 at 16:56
Any citations to this effect? – soandos Jul 15 '12 at 21:37

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