In Windows Vista, the operating system was designed in such a way that whenever you plug in an external monitor to your computer (naturally, this is mostly done in laptop computers), Vista is supposed to remember your setup and it is then supposed to replicate it each time you plug that monitor in again.
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However, Vista doesn't always do what it was designed to do.
You could blame it on the driver and in some cases you'll actually be right, but in most cases, you can update the video driver as much as you want, and Vista will continue to do what it wants. For example, you might get one behavior when you hibernate the laptop, another when you shut it down, a third one when you put it to sleep, and no consistency!
So, who's responsible for the multiple monitor deal in Vista? Transient Multimon Manager (TMM), which is a feature targeted at improving the user experience of connecting and disconnecting displays, particularly for the mobile user. BTW, it's also the component that's to blame for the 2 second delay in the boot time, when the screen suddenly goes blank on you.
So how do I fix the multiple monitor fiasco and reset the multiple monitor profiles?
Please carefully read the following warning:
This document contains instructions for editing the registry. If you make any error while editing the registry, you can potentially cause Windows to fail or be unable to boot, requiring you to reinstall Windows. Edit the registry at your own risk. Always back up the registry before making any changes. If you do not feel comfortable editing the registry, do not attempt these instructions. Instead, seek the help of a trained computer specialist.
To do so, follow the next steps:
1. Start Registry Editor.
2. Locate the following key in the registry:
3. Right-click the TMM subkey, then, click Delete.
4. Exit Registry Editor.
That should do it. At least for a while... Thank God for Windows 7!
Another fix - UltraMon
Luckily I found UltraMon. UltraMon is a utility for multi-monitor systems, designed to increase productivity and unlock the full potential of multiple monitors. I liked it so much I decided to mention it here on the site.
- Efficiently move windows and maximize windows across the desktop
- Manage more applications with the Smart Taskbar
- Control application positioning with UltraMon Shortcuts
- Multi-monitor support for desktop wallpapers and screen savers
- Mirror your main monitor to secondary monitors for a presentation
For more information, see the author's website:
Realtime Soft UltraMon: