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Dual monitor set up, can only use one monitor at a time

Hi, first time posting, I desperately need some help!

Basically, I have a dual monitor set up, however, only one monitor will display at a time, the other will just show colours. If I switch the way the monitors are connected, the other monitor will have the correct display while the one that was working before will just be colours, meaning that both monitors are working. I'm not sure if there's a way to fix this, or how this happened (It gradually started doing this a few weeks ago, went from a see-through purple screen to just opaque colours, I didn't have time or money to fix it.), should I just buy a new GPU or can I fix my current one? Any help will be appreciated and I can supply more details, thanks!

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  1. Need to know what kind of computer/graphics card and how the monitors are connected. Generally on low end stuff you can't use HDMI and DVI simultaneously, but can use HDMI OR DVI along with Displayport and VGA
  2. Mark RM said:
    Need to know what kind of computer/graphics card and how the monitors are connected. Generally on low end stuff you can't use HDMI and DVI simultaneously, but can use HDMI OR DVI along with Displayport and VGA


    Its a custom built PC, do you want full specs or just the graphics card? The GPU is a Radeon
    R9 280X and at the moment the monitors are connected using a HDMI cable in one, and a VGA in the other, which uses a DVI adaptor to connect to the graphics card.

    I've had this computer for about 2 years now, it only started doing this recently and its been connected the same way the entire time. Thanks.
  3. well you're right that should do it just fine, doubt it's GPU. Have you tried using the windows display preference to "extend these displays" or used the crimson panel to check the display settings? was there a recent AMD driver update that might have set things back to some unknown display variable? I mean that blue background looks like it's just a portion of a larger windows desktop somewhere... can you still move your mouse entirely off the screen in any direction (up down left or right) ?
  4. Mark RM said:
    well you're right that should do it just fine, doubt it's GPU. Have you tried using the windows display preference to "extend these displays" or used the crimson panel to check the display settings? was there a recent AMD driver update that might have set things back to some unknown display variable? I mean that blue background looks like it's just a portion of a larger windows desktop somewhere... can you still move your mouse entirely off the screen in any direction (up down left or right) ?


    It is on extend displays currently, and has been for a long time. I have also checked crimson, however the settings don't seem to make a difference. I do have the most recent driver installed for my graphics card, i'm not sure if I started having these problems when that was installed however. I can move my mouse across both displays yes. I can faintly see the desktop background so it recognises that there is a second monitor connected. Here's a better picture of what its doing at the moment. (I swapped the position of my monitors around because I prefer it this way round, sorry for any confusion).

  5. OK I take that back... that does look like a GPU problem. Specifically it looks like a bad Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) or something similar. Is the one with the crappy output connected via VGA?
  6. Mark RM said:
    OK I take that back... that does look like a GPU problem. Specifically it looks like a bad Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) or something similar. Is the one with the crappy output connected via VGA?


    Yeah it is currently. However if I set the display settings to duplicate rather than extend, the one connected via HDMI does the same thing whereas the one connected by VGA works correctly.
  7. A couple things come to mind to try; boost the idle 2D memory clock with an OC tool or flash the card with an upgraded BIOS that will likely do the same.

    http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/2531/atiflash-2-71
    http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/

    If you need help, just ask. I just believe that if the problem is solvable it requires more advanced steps since the alternative is getting a different card.

    I personally can't think of anything else except a hardware failure. A change in drivers and the way it accesses or power manages the card with the current BIOS may have caused the issue, I can't be certain, but trying a different BIOS can't kill us (if it's done right with the correct BIOS)
  8. Mark RM said:
    A couple things come to mind to try; boost the idle 2D memory clock with an OC tool or flash the card with an upgraded BIOS that will likely do the same.

    http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/2531/atiflash-2-71
    http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/

    If you need help, just ask. I just believe that if the problem is solvable it requires more advanced steps since the alternative is getting a different card.

    I personally can't think of anything else except a hardware failure. A change in drivers and the way it accesses or power manages the card with the current BIOS may have caused the issue, I can't be certain, but trying a different BIOS can't kill us (if it's done right with the correct BIOS)


    Okay so how do I go about using these? I've downloaded the first one, I'm not sure which one to download for the second one as there are like 11 options when I narrow it down to my card. Thanks for the help!
  9. I can't narrow it down, you have never told me any of your system specs. I need the exact model of your card and the OS you run it under.
  10. Mark RM said:
    I can't narrow it down, you have never told me any of your system specs. I need the exact model of your card and the OS you run it under.


    GPU: MSI Radeon R9 280X Gaming 3G AMD Graphics Card
    OS: Windows 8.1 64bit

    Other Specs (Just in case):
    Motherboard: Asus M5A99X EVO R2.0
    RAM: Kingston 16GB HyperX Fury Black Series
    CPU: AMD FX8-8350 Black Edition
    PSU: Corsair 750 Watt CXM Hybrid Modular
  11. can you use GPUZ and get the current BIOS off of it so we can compare character traits to one I'll suggest?
  12. Mark RM said:
    can you use GPUZ and get the current BIOS off of it so we can compare character traits to one I'll suggest?


    Here you go!
  13. Figures, your current ROM is a catchall ROM that supports all the major memory vendors. Most ROMS's are dedicated to a specific memory vendor (ie: Hynix or Elpida etc). We might have to just roll the dice a little unless you have the part number off your card.

    Techpowerup is down right now, I'll post a separate response once they are up.
  14. Best answer
    I'd try this one.. It's closest to yours but was obviously released later to fix a few bugs but still has support for all the memory vendors they used on that card.
    http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/152305/msi-r9280x-3072-131226

    How do you do this? Well luckily there are great tutorials
    http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/amd-ati-flashing-guide.212849/

    It is safe if you're patient and wait for things to finish, follow the guide. I've even flashed video cards that had no working output, it can be done blind.

    I basically think if it's not doing what you want it to do, it's worth a shot to try a newer ROM
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