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I'm having a problem with my second monitor being disabled on some boots (seems totally random, but I would estimate it happens 30-40% of the time). When I boot the computer, I get to the Windows login screen and my second monitor is enabled and I can move my mouse around the second monitor. After I log in, I can move my mouse around the second monitor, right-click and get the shell menu, all the good stuff.

However about halfway through loading my startup apps, the second monitor will get disabled. It will move my mouse and any windows I had drug over there onto my primary screen. I figure it must be a certain 3rd party app that's doing this because Windows boots correctly with the second monitor enabled. I'm also very picky about what processes I allow to start at boot, so it shouldn't be that hard to pin down, I just have no idea how to find out which process it is.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to check which process is doing this?

Edit

Computer: HP Compaq Presario 8710p 
GPU: nVidia Quadro NVS 320M 
Driver: 6.14.0011.7470
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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Use msconfig tool to disable your startup processes one by one. It is of course going to be more difficult to find the process because it happens at random... so my first try would be to disable all startup items and check if it is really some app that is causing it. If it still happens with all startup items disabled, look into services.

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It would have been helpful to know more about the hardware and the drivers for both monitors and video card. I have seen this happen with NVidia cards for no reason. It is easily fixed if you go to NVidia's site and download the latest driver. Then after that, never allow windows update to update the NVidia driver. For some reason, I have noticed that Windows update breaks the NVidia driver.

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Look at the services you're running as well as the processes.

This is under Administrative Tools -> Services on XP.

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