UGA-2K-A keeps switching back to useless and hated "mirror" mode


#1

Dell Precision M6500 laptop, Vista Ultimate, NVidia Quadro FX 2800M

Plugable UGA-2K-A, just purchased, downloaded latest drivers today 11/20/2011

1900 x 1200 laptop screen + 2 identical 1900 x 1200 external monitors

External monitor #1 on laptop’s built-in VGA port to VGA monitor port

External monitor #2 on UGA-2K-A DVI/DVI

Always want: laptop primary, external monitor #1 extend right, external monitor #2 extend left

Setup worked fine with 1 reboot, got exactly what I wanted, working great…

…walked away for an hour, screen saver was on, logged on again …

…UGA-2K-A monitor was stuck on “mirror”, could not get it to go back to extend no matter what I tried …

…also, “mirror” wasn’t really working: as I browsed www.plugable.com trying to find a solution to my issue, the mirrored desktop was not clicking on the new tabs I was creating …

Finally, rebooted and was able to change back to my desired extended setup with no issues, everything working fine.

Tried a simple log off / log on and a remote desktop connection: in both tests, UGA-2K-A monitor switched to “mirror”, but I was able to switch back to “extended” without a reboot.

I don’t want or care about “mirror” mode at all, ever … but I need my desired extended settings to stick through normal circumstances including log off / log on. What’s going wrong here, and how do I keep “mirror” from happening?


#2

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your patience! We’ll work to help.

We haven’t seen this mix of behaviors before, but generally for a display to switch from extended to mirror (or back), some software on the system has to explicitly make that change. The DisplayLink software never does that on its own.

Quick questions:

  1. You mentioned that when the USB-attached monitor was in “mirror” mode, that “the mirrored desktop was not clicking on the new tabs I was creating”. We’d like to understand that a little more. Was any mouse or window movement updating the USB-attached screen at all? Can you describe the behavior a little more?

  2. We may find a clue in DisplayLink’s logs on the system. Could you run DisplayLink’s support tool and email the .zip file it generates to support@plugable.com? Here’s how: http://plugable.com/support/tools/dis…

From that, we’ll be able to figure out next steps.

Thanks again for your patience while we help figure out what’s happening,
Bernie


#3

I have emailed the support zipfile to support@plugable.com

Here is more on the mirror mode issue(s):

Currently my computer is stuck back in the mirror mode that won’t revert back to extended unless I reboot (I got stuck there this afternoon after a remote desktop session).

Here is what I’m doing (note, everything is happening normally as expected on the laptop’s screen … all my actions are taken on the laptop screen unless stated otherwise):

Open a new IE browser and go to www.plugable.com (mirrored desktop shows up correctly).

Open support.plugable.com in a new tab (mirrored desktop shows new tab correctly, but I haven’t clicked on it yet).

Click on the new tab (mirrored desktop shows the mouse cursor on the tab, but doesn’t go to the new tab - stays on the old tab).

Click back on the first tab - mirrored desktop has the mouse cursor correctly on the first tab, but it goes to the second tab.

Repeat multiple times - each time, the mirrored desktop will go to the previously clicked-on tab instead of the one I’m actually clicking on.

Open a third tab, plugable.com/about, and click on it … mirrored desktop stays on the first tab.

Click back on first tab … mirrored desktop goes to third tab.

Click on second tab … mirrored desktop goes to first tab.

And so on…

More: I’m writing this post in Notepad.exe on my second monitor … when I move the notepad back to the laptop screen it appears on the mirrored display as expected, but when I drag it back off onto the second monitor the window tiles about 50 times on the mirrored display. This tiling doesn’t happen if I drag the IE window similarly.

One more thing in case it helps: I’ve been using the single external monitor, plugged into the laptop’s built-in VGA connection, all day every day for more than a year with no problems or issues whatsoever.


#4

Just an update for others - Steve has provided us great information and logs, and we’re working through possible solutions, including running the Windows Aero troubleshooter.


#5

I ran the Windows Aero troubleshooter early this morning and got a full pass, then changed my display to Aero (with Windows defaults) for the rest of the day (not sure that’s what you wanted me to do, but anyway…)

The Aero MIGHT have made a difference but I’m not sure yet, because I’m not really sure how to reproduce the worst problem (getting stuck in mirror mode with no way out except rebooting). However, I’m very sure Aero made no difference on the simplest issue which is that my settings revert back to “mirror” from “extended” on every reboot and logoff, with no exceptions. Can we work on this issue, which is easily reproducible, while I try to figure out exactly how to reproduce the other issue and whether or not Aero makes a difference?


#6

Hi Steve,

Great - changing the theme to an Aero compatible one should help with the rendering problems.

Agreed, the really interesting mystery is why the change from extend to mirror on reboot/logoff. That isn’t normal, so we need to track down what piece of software is changing (or triggering) that settings change.

To get to a better known baseline, could you uninstall the current DisplayLink drivers (you’re running version 6.0.34689.0; you can uninstall from Windows’ Programs and Features list - uninstall “DisplayLink Core Software”)

And then install slightly older version 5.6 M1 (5.6.31870), which has proven stable and also has more verbose debug logging. Here’s the direct link: http://displaylink.com/support/sla.ph…

Assuming that alone doesn’t help (we wouldn’t expect it to), could you re-generate DisplayLink logs once running 5.6 and email again to support@plugable.com? We’re hoping the more verbose logs will provide some more clues as to what’s causing the switch to mirror.

Sorry for the frustration, and thanks for your patience!
Bernie


#7

Update: I have been running version 5.1 for 2 days now and it has made no difference, except possibly to have made matters worse since for the first time since switching to Aero I had the issue where the unwanted switch to mirror mode got stuck with no way out except to reboot.

I got your last email outside this thread, thanks for the Ultramon suggestion but as you note this would be a workaround and not a solution so I don’t want to try it at least until all other possibilities are exhausted.

Question: How do I kill your software and restart it? I want to try this to see if it works around the “stuck-in-mirror-until-reboot” scenario, but when I try to kill DisplayLinkUI.exe and/or DisplayLinkUserAgent.exe from Task Manager it won’t allow me to, even when I’ve ripped the USB cable out.

Finally: What’s the next step here? Your email sounded like there are directions to go, but no specifics were given.


#8

Hi Steve,

Thanks for letting us know that moving back to the 5.6 M1 version DisplayLink driver (from the 6.0 version) didn’t help.

Answering your question: The DisplayLink software has a bunch of components (including USB and graphics drivers, and some user-mode pieces). From the Windows Services control panel, you can click Stop or Start on the “DisplayLink Manager” service. This will cause any USB attached displays to go away entirely (and come back when you “start” again). Sometimes that can be useful.

On the main problem of why the system is switching into mirror mode on logoff or power-off: I’m sorry, but I’m afraid we may be stumped.

We can’t find other reports of this particular behavior (if anyone else reading this thread has seen it, please let us know!). And searching web and forums, we haven’t found other instances more broadly among people using DisplayLink drivers.

It may be related to Windows Vista, as that’s a low percentage of systems at this point, but that can’t be the only factor or this would be more widely seen.

We’ve looked at both DisplayLink’s logs and msinfo32 information, and while there is a lot of software running on this machine, we don’t see a likely culprit for what might be changing the display settings to mirror.

And, unfortunately, since this is a software-level issue, you’ll get the same behavior with other brands of USB graphics hardware, so without a solution this would be a blocker for getting to 3 monitors on this Windows Vista system.

I’m sorry for the bad news.

We never want customers stuck with hardware this isn’t working for their setup. Return and full refund within 30 days is fast and handled by Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/css/returns/… and if it’s after that, just email support@plugable.com and we’ll take care of you.

If you did want to keep the adapter, I’d strongly suspect that an upgrade to Windows 7 would resolve the issue – Windows 7 has a lot of improvements over Vista, especially in how multi-monitor is handled.

If you did want to keep trying, the next step we would suggest is to create start a thread on DisplayLink’s forum (http://displaylink.org/forum/) to see if they can find anything we missed. You can attach the same .zip file of logs that you’ve already generated. I still suspect that some software on the system other than the DisplayLink driver, is triggering the switch to mirror mode. But they may be able to identify it.

I’m frustrated that we haven’t been able to identify the cause - you’ve been very patient as we’ve tried to run this down.

Please let us know if we can do anything else at all to help beyond this.

Again, my apologies,
Bernie


#9

We’ve also created a support ticket with DisplayLink, on the chance that they’ll see something that we missed. It’s Ticket #2011112642000028.


#10

Hi Steve,

DisplayLink suggested one possible cause and solution:

Apparently in some driver packages NVidia installs a Windows
service that manages the persistence of NVidia displays and disables any other
displays in the system. This can cause the DisplayLink screen to start in
mirror mode, rather than extend.

The work around is to disable the NVidia service (called nvsvc) and set it to
manual start up. This will prevent it disabling DisplayLink displays.

With this disabled, Windows itself is managing the displays, which is probably better anyway, and won’t cause any issues.


#11

Killing the nvsvc service seems to have done the trick - I’ve tested all the main scenarios and am having no problems now. The best news: It’s working in Windows Classic display mode, so I can get rid of the revolting, insulting, productivity-killing Aero display (worst Microsoft invention since Clippy, in my opinion).

Thanks for the assistance…


#12

Hi Steve, that’s great to know that stopping the nvsvc service did it! Sorry we didn’t come up with this earlier! We didn’t know this either, and it took DisplayLink pointing out that they’ve seen cases where it solved the issue.

Thanks for your patience while things got there!


#13

I’m adding one more post here for the good of the community: If you want to use Windows Classic, in order to get Internet Explorer to function correctly it was necessary to implement a trick mentioned in the DisplayLink knowledgebase: In IE, go to Tools | Interenet Options | Advanced and check the “Use Software Rendering” box.

One more thing: I tried to update my DisplayLink drivers to 6.1.35667 last week and got a terrible issue that slowed down my graphics and eventually caused a blue screen crash … everything is stable with driver version 5.6.31870


#14

Thanks Steve


#15

It amazes me when support people write that they are surprised to see some described behavior for the first time. On EVERY Windows laptop I have used in the last few years, including Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo and HP, using Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 as well as Preview 10, EACH time EACH machine with a perfectly running Extended Display Monitor+Laptop or Laptop+Monitor is rebooted just when you get the Desktop in your control the system changes them to ugly and useless (as Steve correctly called) hated Mirror mode. I do not see an nVidia service running to blame it on in Windows 8.1


#16