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Selecting Primary/Secondary display

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by bxf, Apr 20, 2005.

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  1. bxf

    bxf Thread Starter

    Aug 6, 2004
    My humble laptop has an Intel Extreme integrated graphics chip. Since I don’t do any 3D, this serves me fine. It has multiple monitor support that enables me to use either the laptop’s LCD screen or an external monitor, OR both together in CLONE mode (i.e. identical display on both), or in EXTENDED mode, where each monitor can be set to attributes appropriate for itself (e.g. one can use different resolutions for each monitor), and one can travel from one monitor to the other.

    In EXTENDED mode, there are Primary and Secondary monitors. Functionally, the only difference I see between Primary and Secondary is that the Primary has the taskbar, and when you start an application, its window automatically goes to the Primary (usually), from where, if you wish, you can drag it to the Secondary and work from there. It is possible to move the taskbar to the Secondary, but the window of a started application will still start in the Primary.

    The Intel driver/interface has provisions that are suppose to enable one to choose which monitor is to be the Primary, and which (the remaining one, of course) is to be the Secondary. However, for reasons unknown to me and Intel support, in my configuration the only choice I get for Primary is the laptop’s LCD, and hence the external monitor implicitly becomes Secondary. Almost always.

    One would think that there is something inherent in my hardware configuration that makes it impossible to use the external monitor as Primary, but, once in a rare while, quite unexpectedly, I find that the choice pulldowns do contain entries for both monitors, and I am able to choose my external to be Primary. I have no way of knowing exactly when this happens. All I know is that if I happen to go to the graphics interface at some point in time, I suddenly see that I have both choices in the Primary Monitor pulldown. I believe, but have no evidence, that this phenomenon is caused by some video applications.

    There appear to be some restrictions and/or controls on monitor switching, etc., when playing video with various players, and that makes me think that some video application is manipulating “something somewhere”, so that it is possible for me to select my monitors as I desire.

    So, the question: what is this “something somewhere”?

    (All drivers are current level)

    Thanks for any clues.

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