Question about dual monitors and dual screen mode

I have two monitors, a 1920x1200 LCD and a 1280x1024 secondary LCD plugged into the back of my laptop.

In every directX game I play, if I start it in fullscreen on my first monitor, whatever I have on my second monitor repositions itself strangely - jumping halfway off the screen, half the screen can no longer be scrolled to, etc, etc. It’s like there’s some sort of resize going on there.

Has anyone seen this? Do you know of a fix, other than not running directx in full screen?

More than you probably wanted to know:

At any rate, what’s going on is that the two displays are sized to whatever you specified for the game resolution. So if you’ve set your primary to 1024x768, then both will be set to 1024x768. I’m not sure what happens if you set your primary to a size greater than the secondary can support.

Unless the game is designed for dual displays, then the secondary monitor is effectively useless.

This is what happens on my system.

I have a Radeon X800 with a Sony 19” running at 1280x960 as the primary display and a Sony 17” running at 1024x768 as a secondary display. All my games start ok and use the primary display. The secondary display remains untouched and still shows all active windows that I have dragged there. I have ATITool, Eudora, DUMeter, and TeamSpeak running in the secondary display.

The only game I currently own that is multi-monitor aware is X2 The Threat.


Hmm, if you’re willing to screw around with positioning the windows on your second monitor, when it “jumps” you can end up with the target window full size and there. For all the good it does; it’s a single page that freaks out when you alt-tab. Oh well.

Yeah, dual mon doesn’t work real well on gaming rigs - which is the reason I haven’t bothered with it at home.


When I play a game, I don’t really care what’s on the second monitor.

I used to run dual monitors on to monitor IMs while playing a game. It worked for me but I had identical vid cards, identical monitors, and identical resolutions/refresh settings. When I kicked on a directx game both montiors would change resolution but the second monitor was still visible and the (now resized) IM windows on the second window were still readable. With some games I could even get away with pausing and alt-tabbing to reply to an IM.

If I have my game configured to run at the same resoution as my primary desktop, it works perfectly - if the game runs a lesser resolution, I get the sideways shifting on the second monitor, but it doesn’t normally bother me too much.

The multi monitor support in X2 was cool, but only in the sense that multiple monitors are probably cool in an F-22 or something.

X2 was still far too much like learning to fly a fighter jet than playing a game.

True multi monitor support will have to wait for the Nintendo DS!