Friday, April 20, 2012

Solved: Unable to Save Display Settings

I just bought a new Samsung S27B350 27" LED LCD monitor. It's pretty sweet, now that my desktop is extended across both my monitors. But it took me over an hour to get it to that point.



My graphics card is a double height card (an ATI Radeon 6950), and on the first level, it has a DVI port and an HDMI port, and on the second level, just a DVI port. I had been using the DVI port on the first row for my 24" Asus monitor.

When I got the new monitor, it only came with a VGA to VGA cable, which my graphics card does not support, and the new monitor does not support DVI.

So firstly, I had to go and buy an HDMI cable.

That done, I changed the Asus monitor to use the DVI port on the second row and plugged the Samsung into the HDMI on the first row.

Back in Windows 7 Ultimate, I could select either monitor individually, though the Samsung appeared blurry and the image didn't go to the edge of the screen. When I tried to extend my desktop across both screen, I would get the error: "Unable to Save Display Settings".

Of course, I went straight to Google, and found links such as the following:

These posts, sometimes answered by someone from Microsoft, or at least an MVP, focused on notebook-related problem, requiring an edit of a non-existent key in the registry, or changing resolutions, complaints about Catalyst Control Center or nVidia's equivalent, or just other things that turned out to not be relevant.

Lots of messing around, and frustration led me, in the end to discover what was actually a very simple problem. Considering the number of people who could not resolve this problem using the "standard" way on these posts, I hope the solution to my problem will help others.

In the end, all I needed to do was move the Asus monitor (the original one) back to its original DVI port on the first row on the graphics card. I made a bad assumption, and it took me around an hour to realise it.

Also, just to help out anyone else who has the issue with a new monitor not extending all the way to the edges of the screen, I was able to fix that on one of the settings pages in Catalyst Control Center, where there is a slider for overscan/underscan. It seems like a very CRT-related bit of functionality, but it wasn't set to its maximum of 0, so once I moved it there, the screen was at the right size.

Let me know if this helps you solve your dual monitor / multiple monitor setup problem.

35 comments:

  1. Wow. All the dumb posts I read that did nothing to fix it and I come across your post.

    THANK YOU - worked like a charm on my 6970 as well.

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  2. You are the man! I switched the DVI connector on my 6870 and presto... i now have dual monitors. Thanks a million bro.

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  3. Awesome... thanks! I was worried my dual monitor setup had gone bye-bye forever.

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  4. i'm having the same issue but it's just with a single monitor.. I can't find anything for this error coming for a single monitor.. just installed a new gfx card today.. and it worked at first but now i'm stuck on 1024x768

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  5. LOL !! Just switching the plugs around!!

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  6. Praise ODIN! And praise you!

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  7. lol same here!!! 6950 dvi and hdmi.... switched the port and it worked!!!
    THANK YOU

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  8. i love you with all of my body (including my peepee)

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  9. Dude. Thank you so very much!! 6950 dvi and hdmi problem and I did the switch, BOOM! works.

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  10. Thanks guy, appreciated

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  11. Can't believe it was that simple
    I feel like a dunce

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  12. I'm going to go out there and assume that this wont work. This fix and the possibility getting it to work at all is not possible.

    I have two LCD monitors and one LCD T.v. I can get the t.v. to work via HDMI. I have my main monitor connected via DVI. And my secondary 1280x1024 is connected via VGA>DVI adapter to the only plug that supports such an adapter. It looks like a loosing battle.

    I have an AMD HD6850
    2 DVI(One DVI-I and one DVI-D I think. Haven't taken time to look it up.)
    1 HDMI
    1 Display Port

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  13. I also have 3 monitors and when I try to activate the third one I get the msg, "The display settings could not be saved. Please try a different combination of display settings."

    I have the following configuration.

    #1 on mini display port
    #2 on mini display port
    #3 on dvi
    #3 is my main display

    The weird thing is that when the computer is started, I see video stuff on display #1 and #2. I see The windows 8 logo on #1 and #2. Just before the Start Page is displayed, #1 turns off and #3 gets displayed.

    It almost looks like a Windows 8 problem but that's hard to believe. Would they (MS) add not support 3 monitors?



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  14. Johnsea, it's probably that by default, #1 and #2 are being cloned, but once the drivers kick in properly, you've asked to extend your desktop, and that won't work across #1 and #2.

    That probably comes down to your graphics card, rather than Windows. I think that 3 monitor support isn't typically supported out of the box, despite the number of places you can plug in cables..

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  15. I could not get my win7 machine to save dual monitor settings. Switched cables, looked at registry edits, display profiles, drivers, using graphics software instead of native windows display settings... nothing worked after a reboot until this. I know this sounds crazy but I followed a suggestion that didn't seem like it would make sense but Viola! Worked like a charm. I uninstalled Live Mesh from Windows Live Essentials. They are phasing it out soon anyway going to SkyDrive. Hope this helps somebody!

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  16. I hooked up laptop to one of my 2 monitors for working at home, and when I went back to use my 2nd monitor, it stopped being recognized. Yup! Your solution did the trick! Thanks!

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  17. You sir... deserve a medal for just realising that this was post-worthy.
    Truly helpful, thank you :)

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  18. Thanks David! This has saved me a lot of bother :)

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  19. I had this problem with a Dell Precision m4400 on a docking station and a Dell U3014 monitor. I switched to a different Mini Display port and it showed up right away.

    Thanks!

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  20. I have an AMD Radeon 6870 and this happened to me too. Switching DVI lol, I never would have done it if not for this post so THANKS.

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  21. When I plug into the two different rows on my 6970 I get the error you described. When I plug both displays into the same row it only detects my DVI cable, not my HDMI cable.

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  22. Okay, I had to put them into the same row, then unplug my HDMI and plug it back in THEN it worked....thanks so much!

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  23. Not exactly my situation so it wont work for me, but shocked to hear that 3 monitors is going to be a problem too. Is every added monitor a headache? Sick.

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  24. Oh my goodness!!!! You are a lifesaver. I had been looking up the same sites as you and was about to get frustrated and then saw your post. Thanks so much! So weird how all you have to do is pull out the plugs and put them in a different configuration than you had planned...

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  25. I have 3 monitors. Used to have an adapter that would plug into the HDMI as well as USB and that would convert to DVI which I would then use to plug in my 3rd monitor - used to work like a charm, then it stopped. Went to Frys and the guy said no need for adapter with USB so I got one that goes from HDMI to DVI but now I can only get 2 monitors to work. Doesn't matter which 2 - but only 2 at a time. I keep getting the "Unable to save..." message - PLEASE HELP!!!

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  26. Legeeeeeeeeeeeeend

    Fixed my issue, found your blog post 1/100000 cheers.

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  27. Not sure if you sorted this out or not. I had three monitors working changed something and then when I plugged them back in could only get two to work. What I found was that the monitor that was not working had gone into hibernate mode and therefore system could not start it up to detect it. Pressed the on/off button extended the desktop to the now active monitor and it worked. Hope this may help others.

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  28. Bloody hell thanks!

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  29. Thanks very much! This saved me an hour of trial and error.

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  30. Thanks God such ingenious experimentalists like you still exist in this world...

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  31. I have to say like a lot of people... Had the same issue with a R9280X... and testing with my 6870 Flex... Finally test it's not my PC but the arrangement on the flex... 2 DVI and HDMI ignoring the two Mini DP... Worked!! SOOoooooo relieved. :)

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