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Date Created: 2/21/2018   Date Modified: 2/28/2018

+Dual Displays – Color Patches on Wrong Display

Windows 7, 8, and 10 computers are able to handle multiple displays, and those are typically identified correctly when you choose run in Extended Desktop Mode. Customers using multiple or dual displays need to ensure the displays are identified correctly at the Windows system level.  We have had a number of recent X-Rite support cases where the Windows Operating System is not correctly identifying multiple monitors. This Windows OS problem leads to a condition where color patches used by X-Rite profiling software cannot be presented on the expected display.  To ensure that the displays are correctly identified by the Windows OS, do the following:

  1. Right-click on the desktop of the computer and select “Display settings”.
  2. Scroll down and make sure that “Multiple displays” is set to “Extend these displays”.
  3. The displays are displayed as numbered boxes at the top of this window.  Click on “Identify” under the numbered boxes.  Document which display has which number displayed when clicking on “Identify”. 
  4. Now go to Control Panel > Color Management. 
  5. Click on the “Identify monitors” button in the upper right corner of the window.
  6. Does the number on each monitor agree with what the Display settings was displaying?  If they are the same, display profiling should work fine.  If they are not the same, the displays cannot be profiled as they are currently configured.  This will cause the color patches to load on the wrong display.

The Windows OS has to identify the monitors by number the same way in Display Settings and Color Management.  If they are not in agreement, the computer owner will need to see to it that they are in agreement.  One suggestion that has worked for some end users is to uninstall the monitors and reboot.  The monitors will re-enumerate and they may then identify properly. Use these instructions to uninstall/reinstall the monitors:

  1. Close all programs and then go to Control Panel > Device Manager
  2. Click the drop down in front of “Monitors” to show them.  Right-click on each monitor and choose “Uninstall” and then “OK”.
  3. After all monitors have been uninstalled, close Device Manager and shut down the PC.
  4. Start up the PC and then check how the displays are identified in Display Settings and Color Management.  If they are identified the same way…the displays should be able to be profiled.

If uninstalling and reinstalling the monitors fails to resolve the problem, then we would suspect the graphics card.  Check the graphics card make and model by going to Control Panel > Device Manager and then click the drop down in front of “Display adapters”.  It would be advisable to go to the display adapter manufacturer’s web site to download and install the latest driver for your operating system.  After the driver is installed, reboot the PC and check to see if the displays are properly identified in Color Management and Display Settings.

If the Windows Display Settings and Windows Color Management are in conflict with each other by continuing to identify the displays differently, you will not be able to profile the displays with any display profiling product.  If reinstalling the monitors in Device Manager and reinstalling the graphics card driver fail to resolve this issue, the operating system may need to be reinstalled.  Again, this is a Windows OS problem that is creating the inability to use any display profiling solution regardless of the manufacturer.  At this point, it may be wise to contact an IT Specialist to resolve this Windows OS problem.