Had this machine (specs lower down) for about two years. It came with dual AMD FirePro W4100 adapters, into which I plugged four monitors, two into each. As the cards have miniDP ports, and none of my cables had, I had to buy some adapters to use the monitors.
All was working fine until I had to reinstall Windows 7 a few months ago. After that, I would find that sometimes when I restarted, Windows would have rearranged some of my windows from their previous positions. As I have four monitors, this could be annoying, as I have my windows set up in specific places.
This got a bit worse, to the point where I rang Dell, who suggested that it was the miniDP adapters I was using that might be the problem. I bought four new cables, DP->miniDP, DVI-miniDP and VGA->miniDP as appropriate, and used those instead.
Instead of fixing the problem, it has become significantly worse. Now, every single time I lock my machine (fairly regularly, as I work from home and have small children), when I unlock, my windows are all over the place. When I say, I mean all over the place. Some are just on other monitors, some are across two monitors, some are partly off the screen and so on. They are fairly consistent in where they are (although not always), but pretty much every window gets moved.
It's now go to the stage where I can minimise and maximise a window, and have it moved form one monitor to another. At the moment, this only happens with two applications (Chrome and Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio), but it's really annoying.
Anyone able to help? The error message that pops up from time to time (not that often considering this happens every time I lock the screen) is unhelpful. It claims there is a problem with the connection between the computer and the DP display, but this seems unlikely, as why would both DP monitors fail at the same time, how come the problem wasn't fixed (and actually got worse) with new cables, how come all monitors (DP and otherwise) seem to work fine otherwise, and how come the windows are arranged over all monitors, not just the two DP ones?
The notification ends with "For more information" and that's it. No indication of where to go for more information.
I have checked the Windows event logs, and there is nothing in there that seems the slightest bit related.
Anyone able to help? Thanks.
PC: Dell Precision T5810
OS: Windows 7 Pro x64
CPU: Intel E5-1630 V3 @ 3.70GHz, 4 cores, 8 logical processors
Graphics Card(s): 2 x AMD FirePro W4100
Monitor(s) Displays: Asus PB279, Dell U2311H, AOC F22 & Dell E3211H
Screen Resolution: 1 at 2560x1440 and 3 at 1920x1080
Hard Drives: 1Tb Samsung 850 SSD, 1Tb Western Digital WD10EALX HDD, 6Tb Seagate external (USB)
Anyone able to help? My machine is becoming unusable. It's got to the state where some applications will shift position just from being minimised and immediately restored.
Tried plugging all four monitors into one card, same problem. Tried them all in the other card, same problem.
So it doesn't look like it's a fault with either card.
Anyone any ideas?
You need to get "ACTIVE" mini-DP adapter. The new cables you installed are probably "PASSIVE".
Active Adapters ( incorporates a Chip) which converts the signal from the GPU card to the same signal as the Monitor before reaching the monitor, thus making it more compatible than passive that just sends the raw signal from the gpu to the monitor without any processing.
Have you tried to make all the monitors screens the same resolutions and aspect (19:6 or 4:3) ?
This is the latest AMD Professional Driver for the W4100 GPU Card: Workstation .
@fsdough is the expert on Professional GPU cards. He might be able to help with your problem. I am just suggesting basic troubleshooting tips for regular GPU cards.
Thanks for the reply.
The cables I bought were like this one. I got two of those, and to similar ones, one for the DVI and one for the VGA monitor. I can't see anything there to indicate if it's active or passive. Any idea how I tell? Also, I'm a bit puzzled, as the machine was working fine for quite a long time with the adaptors, and then started having problems. It's not like it always gave problems. Surely if the adaptors were the problem, it would have done this right from the beginning? Forgive me if this is a dumb question, I'm not a hardware guy, so could be way wrong here.
I am running all monitors at the native resolution, which is 1 at 2560x1440 and 3 at 1920x1080. Is there any reason to try running them at anything else?
Just installed the latest driver, so will see if that helps.
Thanks again, any further help would be appreciated.
if the cable is adapting from Mini-DP to DP than I don't believe it is necessary to have a Active adapter since the output/input signal is the same.
But going from Mini-DP to HDMI or DVI-D or VGA, it is best to use a Active adapter. This is an example of a Active Mini-DP to VGA from Amazon in UK: CY Active Mini Displayport DP to VGA RGB Female adapter cable: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories
Did the latest w4100 driver work better, same or worse?
Thanks for that. The one you linked looks very much like th eones I was using before I bought the new cables.
Anyway, it's been about an hour and a half since I updated the driver, and so far nothing has moved, even after locking the screen, so I'm quietly hopeful that the update might have fixed it.
I'll keep you posted. Thanks again
Well, after all that, it seems all that was needed was a driver update! All seems to be fine now, even after restarting. Thanks again to elstaci for the help.
OK, spoke to soon
Came back from supper to find my windows all over the place again. Back to the drawing board.
Any other ideas? Thanks again.
Sorry to hear the problem came back but Troubleshooting can put you in a roller coaster type emotional state. Depressed one moment and very happy the next. LoL.
If your computer is not connected to a network (stand alone) try booting into a Clean Startup Windows 7 environment. This will check to see if you have any Non-Microsoft programs that may be causing the problems. This is just for troubleshooting purposes only. Afterwards you can go back to your normal Windows 7.
This may work in a network connected computer. Depending on what the Network allows you to disable.
Also it is very important that your Windows 7 SP1 is totally updated via Windows Update.