Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Windows Update Swaps Dual Monitors

Yes, I’ve been critical of auto updates in the past. I’ve documented numerous problems. While I have always considered them evil, yesterday was the first time I’ve been personally burnt by a simple Microsoft system update.( KB951748: Security Update for DNS Server)

The trouble appeared immediately when I rebooted my dual monitor XP desktop following the Windows update. For some reason my Start button and all the desktop icons were on my 2nd monitor on the right. How this relates to a DNS Server is still a mystery to me. Software is so complex these days you just never know.

Normally the dialog below is be used to specify your primary monitor and the order of any extended monitors. Try as I might, I still wasn’t allowed to change things back so my left hand monitor was primary.

Display Properties for multiple monitors

So, today my only solution short of a system restore was to physically re-arrange the monitors on my desk. No big deal but obviously, something is wrong with this picture.

A side note for other old guys like me. I actually used to have three monitors. While it impressed everyone who entered my office I found it was also responsible for some of my chronic neck and shoulder pain. Two monitors seem to work fine as long as I can keep my primary monitor on the left.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

grrr, same problem, after installing windows updates, two monitors swaps and there is no way to correct this...

5:32 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

(Going thru some of your past posts)
But depending on your Video card connections (2 DVI ports?) why would you not just swap the monitors at the connection.
I had an issue with not getting the right video display to be primary and it was due to which port I plugged into for each monitor.
On my HD 2600 I have to make sure my primary monitor is plugged into the bottom DVI connector.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i encountered the same problem. what i did was to do a right click at my desktop and click on properties > settings > click on the second monitor > uncheck extend my windows desktop onto this monitor to disable my second monitor > apply change > check the option to enable it back again > apply.

it magically brings my start button back to my first monitor, although my desktop icons were all squeezed into the first monitor afterwards, i figured it wasnt a big deal compared to having my start button on the second monitor.

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous. thanks for the tip on the right click properties and uncheck "extend my windows"
it worked. that monitor switch from the update was causing hard to look at...

9:57 AM  

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