As of a couple of months ago Windows has started detecting a 2nd "generic non PNP monitor" that is supposedly connected to my laptop. I wouldn't mind this but it's causing problems when I actually do try to connect another monitor. I wasn't able to find any info on the matter and was wondering if anyone else has encountered this problem.

I tried uninstalling the ghost monitor from the device manager but windows somehow "detects" it once again after a while.

I have an NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 graphics card with the updated drivers and using windows 7 ultimate.

  • What does win+P do? Jan 20 '11 at 3:27
  • @KronoS Pressing Win+P allows one to use the Windows 7 Multiple monitor dialog to cycle through the different output options (clone, extend, second only, first only).
    – twobob
    Oct 19 '18 at 22:16

This may well be a hardware issue.

The presence of a "non-PNP" VGA monitor is detected by just sensing electrical load on the RGB/HV outputs, so a faulty driver chip or short-circuited board can cause misdetection.

If this is the case, having the video card replaced will fix the problem.

  • 1
    Is there is any alternative solution that this. Mine is a laptop and has same issue.
    – Starx
    Oct 16 '11 at 6:39
  • 1
    But make sure to try @twobob's answer first - it worked flawlessly for me. Jul 21 '16 at 10:55

Choose main display. Ensure it is "1"

Choose "Show Desktop Only on 1" from drop-down. (hit "Apply")

Choose errant display (which is now grey, not blue) Choose "Remove this Display"

Screenshot with remove this display

  • 3
    The problem is that there is no such an option as "Remove this display" in this dropdown for the ghost monitor.
    – thorn
    Mar 17 '16 at 21:09
  • 4
    Remember to hit "Apply" after choosing to "Show Desktop Only on 1". Then the option to "Remove this display" shows up on the list
    – papacito
    Jan 19 '17 at 8:46
  • 1
    I'd been struggling with this for a few hours. Couldn't get the ghost monitor to go away. Would normally have ignored it but once in a while things would open on the ghost. This solved the issue. I tried everything else but the "show desktop only on one" and then the disconnect device option was there. THANK YOU! Jul 5 '18 at 13:47

In device manager uninstall all the monitors in there and uninstall the video card, reboot the machine. Reinstall drivers if applicable (I didn't have to when I had this problem). I remember what a pain it was when I was having this issue.. it took me a while to figure out it was the second "ghost" monitor. I wonder if it is only affects people running windows 7? I have not seen this on XP.

  • 3
    i tried that but it just "re-detects" the ghost monitor after a while...
    – yurib
    Jan 19 '11 at 23:24
  • Damn, sorry that's all I had, it fixed the problem for me. I had like 4 pnp monitors in there too... Jan 20 '11 at 13:26
  • This issue affects all version of windows using that exact control dialog version only
    – twobob
    Jul 9 '18 at 13:36

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