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I have a Dell XPS 8300 on Windows 7 with a NVIDIA GeForce GT 545 graphic card. I also have two Dell St2420L monitors. This computer is almost always on and of course when not in use an screen saver runs. About a month ago i noticed the computer is shutdown. I thought probably Windows installed some updates and shut itself down or maybe a power outage or something. This week when i tried to power the pc on, you would see the 'Windows Starting' screen and then the main monitor would immediatly go into power saving mode ( second montitor was in power saving mode since i pressed the power key on the pc which has always been like that untill i login into windows ).

I though to myself this is likely a bad automated driver/windows update, so i did a factory reset on the pc. Now i don't have the problem of the main monitor going into power save mode after windows login, but i cannnot extend my desktop to the second monitor.

Windows detect both monitors but as soon as i click on the second monitor in the Screen Resolution section of control panel, and select extend my desktop onto this monitor and press apply, it doesn't actually extend. That do you want to keep changes dialog comes up and and if i see yes, it just goes back to "display on monitor 1 only" option. I can select clone my display and both monitors would work in that mode, and i can display on either of the two monitor just fine, but i need the extend option. Any idea? is my graphic card bad or is it a power supply issue possibly?

I have tried switching the DVI cables between the two monitors with no luck. i have also tried connecting one of the monitors with VGA and the other with DVI and that didn't help either.

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  • Did you re-install your video drivers after the factory reset? – malfy Mar 28 '14 at 20:59
  • yes, I downloaded the latest NVIDIA GeForce GT 545 drivers and installed. – Codrguy Mar 28 '14 at 21:00
  • Does the 'secondary' monitor work correctly when set-up as the 'primary'? Also, when you installed the drivers, were both monitors plugged into the video card? – malfy Mar 28 '14 at 21:03
  • yes to both questions. – Codrguy Mar 28 '14 at 21:18
  • I know its typically 'best practice' to install the must recent drivers. But I would try uninstalling the latest NVIDIA driver, and installing the one from dell. dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/product/xps-8300 – malfy Mar 28 '14 at 21:28
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The screen resolution is only part of the set up. Press Win + P to bring up a selection box to choose how to display on multiple monitors. You will probably want to select Extend the desktop to the other monitor.

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I've had a similar issue on my lenovo, And the reason that was happening was because my graphics card was having some issue. Try playing around with your graphics driver, take it out of slot, clean it and put again and try.

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