Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Second screen not working

  1. #1


    Posts : 14
    Widows 8.1

    Second screen not working


    Hello everyone,

    New to the forum. I apologize if this thread has been covered in the past (I'm sure it has), but I haven't found anyone with the exact same problem.

    I am on my work computer, a DELL desktop with Windows 8.1, and I've been using a dual monitor setup for months, both with Windows 8 and 8.1. One monitor is connected via the VGA input, and the other is through a VGA to HDMI adapter. Again, they've been working flawlessly for months. It was a plug 'n play setup that took a minute and never had an issue.

    I came in today and the second screen was blank. In the screen setup menu it recognized it and allowed me to adjust between extending, mirroring, etc. But after I unplugged it and plugged it back in, it no longer recognizes it. It simply cannot find a second monitor plugged in. Both screens work when plugged directly into the VGA port separately but not when plugged in the way they've worked for months.

    Any ideas why it would suddenly change like this?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 35
    Windows 8.1 pro 64 bit


    What happens if you just have one monitor plugged in through the HDMI port? If the system doesn't recognize displays plugged into the HDMI port at all, you should try to test it with a different VGA to HDMI adapter, and if it still doesn't work, I would try removing and reinstalling your video drivers. Failing that, I would suspect a problem with your video card.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 14
    Widows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by drteeth View Post
    What happens if you just have one monitor plugged in through the HDMI port? If the system doesn't recognize displays plugged into the HDMI port at all, you should try to test it with a different VGA to HDMI adapter, and if it still doesn't work, I would try removing and reinstalling your video drivers. Failing that, I would suspect a problem with your video card.
    Thanks for the tip. Both my monitors are VGA. I do not have one here that is HDMI. That's why I have been using the adapter.

    If I have just the one monitor plugged in through the adapter into HDMI, the monitor does not work.

    Maybe it's just the adapter. Do these things have a short life? I would think it should be better than four months. That's why I wondered if an update or some other change that happened to my computer over night kicked it off and now it won't recognize a second screen.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 35
    Windows 8.1 pro 64 bit


    Could you plug the computer into a TV using an HDMI cable? If that works, the HDMI to VGA adapter is bad. Honestly though, I think the likelyhood of an adapter like that suddenly becoming bad is pretty small.

    Does your video card have just the two connections?

    Also, have you tried removing and reinstalling the video driver yet?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 14
    Widows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by drteeth View Post
    Could you plug the computer into a TV using an HDMI cable? If that works, the HDMI to VGA adapter is bad. Honestly though, I think the likelyhood of an adapter like that suddenly becoming bad is pretty small.

    Does your video card have just the two connections?

    Also, have you tried removing and reinstalling the video driver yet?
    I cannot plug the computer into a TV as this is a work computer. My video card does have just the two connectors. I have not tried uninstalling and reinstalling the video driver. I am not a huge computer whiz (although I do get by with decent knowledge) and I don't know enough of what to do, and I don't want to risk screwing this thing up.

    All I know is I really need to have two working screens to do my job efficiently and this is already becoming a hindrance.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 35
    Windows 8.1 pro 64 bit


    In that case, I think you need a technician at this point, or at least someone who can try reinstalling the driver for you.

    Honestly, my guess is that the video card in your computer is flaky, and will need to be replaced.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 14
    Widows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by drteeth View Post
    In that case, I think you need a technician at this point, or at least someone who can try reinstalling the driver for you.

    Honestly, my guess is that the video card in your computer is flaky, and will need to be replaced.
    That would certainly suck since the computer is four months old. I'm hoping it's the $8 adapter. I'll probably try replacing it first. When I checked for a video driver update yesterday there were none. Today there was one, but after updating it still did not work. I have a feeling the adapter is garbage.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 35
    Windows 8.1 pro 64 bit


    It could possibly be the adapter, but...

    I worked in a computer repair shop for a year, and I have seen hardware fail within one month of installation. The good news is that it should be covered by warranty for at least the first year! If it isn't the hdmi/vga adapter, I would just take the machine to whoever sold it and have them make it right.

    Good luck!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Unplug and then re plug all the cables going from the PC though the adapter to the monitor. Just to make sure they are all connected firmly. If you have a second PC to test the adapter on I would. Same make and model would be ideal. That may tell you if its the adapter or the video card. If memory serves me, HDMI doesn't have a analog signal like DVI so your adapter has to actually create the VGA signal. That means it has some electronics in it that could be failing. Your standard adapter like what is used to go from DVI to VGA just has wires in it, so there isn't much to go wrong, it works or it doesn't. Does that PC have a DVI output?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 14
    Widows 8.1


    I tried the adapter on another computer at work and it did not work. Same Dell computer, same age, same OS, etc. I also took it home with me and tried it on a laptop with an HDMI output that I know works (I've had it connected to my TV recently), as well as a VGA connection that is used daily with a second monitor (so I know the graphics card is working) and the computer did not recognize the adapter either. I'm hoping that is the culprit.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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