Some 3D apps freeze when launched on my secondary monitor. The app window appears, but the 3D scene is never shown, and the app title bar says "(Not Responding)".

I've had this computer for years, but first noticed this problem with Sketchup just a few months ago, but did not understand until recently that it was related to using a non-primary screen.

Applications with this problem:

  • Sketchup
  • MeshLab
  • H3DViewer
  • Qt Designer, if you add a QOpenGLWidget to a window design
  • PyQt5 apps I write using QOpenGLWidget

Applications that are OK on both monitors:

  • Blender

Things I tried:

  • Update graphics drivers: did not help
  • Switch primary monitor in display settings: changes which monitor exhibits the problem. Apps launched on the non-primary monitor freeze.
  • Reboot computer: does not help
  • Change display settings so both monitors have the same refresh rate: Does not help
  • Reset settings in nvidia control panel: Does not help.
  • Log in as a different user: Does not help
  • Uninstall Oculus Rift driver: Does not help

My OS is Windows 10, 64-bit, auto-upgraded from Windows 7 in 2016. I use two monitors in extended desktop mode: Asus VH236H and Acer GD245HQ. Graphics board is nvidia GTX 970.

What else should I try?

  • Does it use Open GL? Quite often manufacturers save money by only implementing full OGL support on the primary monitor. [I work support for an online game which suffers the same thing] – Tetsujin Sep 21 '17 at 7:47
  • @Tetsujin yes some of these definitely use OpenGL. By "manufacturers" you mean video card manufacturers? – Christopher Bruns Sep 21 '17 at 15:29
  • Yes, just because the NVidia chipset can do it doesn't mean the actual card maker included it. I'd see if you can find out from the maker. – Tetsujin Sep 21 '17 at 15:41
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    For SketchUp there exists a check program called SketchUp Checkup. Run it from the secondary monitor and see if it gives any error. – harrymc Sep 23 '17 at 17:08
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    Does it help if you unplug the cable on the back of the monitor and plug it back in? What ports are you using for connecting to the monitors and what are their resolutions? Does it happen when booting in Safe mode? Check also the Event Viewer for error messages. – harrymc Sep 24 '17 at 9:28

You have isolated this from being a monitor failure. It is unlikely that it is a driver failure either, as you change monitors (this means you are changing drivers too). This comes down to two possibilities, either it must be the video card, or it must be the OS. The fastest way to test which it is, is to get another video card and try it. I'd recommend a different brand too (try an ATI 480 or 580) if you have a friend with one. Yes you could use any of the 1k series of NVidia's too (1070, 1080, etc).

If you change cards and the problem goes away, the answer is the card. If you change cards and the problem persists, you are looking at an issue with the OS.

Use the event viewer to help narrow down failures. Look at the viewer before you try using a 3-D program. Then cause the error, go back and see what it says.

To use event viewer:

  1. Right-click or tap and hold the Start icon. Choose Event Viewer.
  2. On the left, choose Event Viewer, Custom Views, Administrative Events.
  3. DON'T PANIC (hitchikers guide to the galaxy)

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