I've recently added to my computer a graphic card I was given in order to have the ability to use a second screen. I think the card is recognised because if I go to System->Administration-> Nvidia X server Settings (with ubuntu 10.04), it shows GPU-0 and GPU-1. The first one is probably the integrated gpu I had been using until now. This card uses a DMS-59 connector, and I have a DMS-59/2*VGA adapter.

My problem is that the Nvidia X server setting window only finds one display, which it names X screen 0.

When I go to system->preferences->monitor, it says "It appears that your graphics driver does not support the necessary extensions to use this tool. Do you want to use your graphics driver vendor's tool instead?". If I click yes, it brings me to the Nvidia xserver settings window, and if I click no, it also says only one monitor is found (even if I click 'detect').

I double checked that every cable is correctly connected, so I don't understand why ubuntu can't find the second monitor.

I tried the tutorial on this website : http://myprogrammingblog.com/2011/09...ia-video-card/ But at one point I don't get the same output: sudo nvidia-xconfig returns:

Using X configuration file: "/etc/X11/xorg.conf".

VALIDATION ERROR: Data incomplete in file /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Undefined Device "(null)" referenced by Screen "Default Screen".

Backed up file '/etc/X11/xorg.conf' as '/etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup' New X configuration file written to '/etc/X11/xorg.conf'

What could I do to be able to use my second screen, or else make sure what component is faulty and needs to be changed ?


  • 1
    Are you sure all the bits and pieces actually work? Those DMS-59 connectors are notorious for getting loose or bent pins. – Shinrai Apr 30 '12 at 14:12
  • No, I'm not, and it's part of my question. I would like a simple way to figure out if they do work or not, and in case they don't, which exactly so that I can change it. – kbell Apr 30 '12 at 14:16
  • Unfortunately there's no simple way to figure it out unless you have spare parts to swap in and test. – Shinrai Apr 30 '12 at 14:19
  • I don't have spares, the only thing I can do is buy them, but I'd really like to be sure the piece I'm about to buy is the faulty one. Assuming the problem comes from one connector being damaged, as you said, I would at least like to know if the problem comes from the adapter or the card itself. – kbell Apr 30 '12 at 14:29
  • That's the problem, and the reason I said there is not a simple way. If it's not visually damaged, there's absolutely no way to tell where the fault is. You could at least try the whole shebang in another system under another operating system if you want to be sure it's a hardware problem, but that still wouldn't tell you which piece is the problem. The only sure way to test for faulty hardware in a situation is through component swapping. I would say it's a whole lot more likely to be the adapter itself than the port on the card, though. – Shinrai Apr 30 '12 at 14:40

I assume you're on 10.04 for LTS? You should consider upgrading to 12.04. Also, are you using the proprietary drivers? I find they typically work more appropriately than the current iteration of open-source drivers.

  • Yes I will someday update to 12.04 but I doubt my issue is due to that. I tried both proprietary and open source drivers, with no luck. In any case, my graphic card is recognized, but my screen isn't, so I would tend to think my issue is not directly correlated to the drivers of my graphic card. – kbell Apr 30 '12 at 14:24
  • You may want to consider the additional port may be dead. It is rare, but I have seen it occasionally. If the card is not brand new, was it pulled from a system which had two monitors successfully running? If it is brand new, consider replacing it? My experience with nvidia cards in Ubuntu is that it should not be as hard as you are experiencing. – BloodyIron Apr 30 '12 at 14:30
  • No it is not new, but it wasn't being used either. I would tend to think that the card is not completely dead, because ubuntu recognizes it, whereas it doesn't find the second monitor. On the other hand, I have checked that the second monitor works correctly (when put on the integrated gpu connector, in place of the current monitor). – kbell Apr 30 '12 at 14:35
  • I've seen single ports die on cards while not actually impacting the rest of the card. You may want to consider finding some HDD to install Windows 7 on just so you can test behavior in another OS. If it fails there, I'd declare the port dead to the world. – BloodyIron Apr 30 '12 at 14:38

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