Free Windows Primary/Secondary Monitor Quick Switch - AVS Forum

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Home Theater Computers

TheCatcher's Avatar TheCatcher
09:37 PM Liked: 10
post #1 of 10
09-08-2009 | Posts: 33
Joined: Jun 2002
I recently upgraded my HTPC with better hardware, Vista (using the term upgrade loosely), and a secondary monitor.

After the upgrade, I ran into a problem with Vista and secondary monitors...

If video is running on the theater screen, and the theater screen is set to the primary monitor. I was unable to switch my secondary monitor to the primary monitor without pausing the video on the theater screen to access the primary monitor's desktop.

So I wrote a small program to quickly change a secondary monitor to the primary monitor, without having to access the current primary monitor's desktop.

Make Primary Monitor

When you install the program, you copy the desktop shortcut to all of your secondary monitors. Then anytime you want to promote a secondary monitor to a primary monitor, just double click the shortcut on the secondary monitor, the screens will blink, and that secondary monitor will become the primary monitor.

I may be the only one that had this problem, but for me, this has been a real nice addition to my HTPC.

I put up a web page with a download link and instructions...

http://www.syaeger.com/PCUtils/
goofytek's Avatar goofytek
10:21 PM Liked: 10
post #2 of 10
09-09-2009 | Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 2007
OH MY GOD THANK YOU!!!!

I hotkeyed it to one of the free keys on my keyboard (was a Media Center Key). Now i just move the mouse to the screen i want to be main and click the hotkey!

Thanks alot again!
whiteboy714's Avatar whiteboy714
10:51 PM Liked: 16
post #3 of 10
09-09-2009 | Posts: 4,602
Joined: Feb 2009
Yes thanks this is very cool. I use it all the time thanks a lot!!!
TheCatcher's Avatar TheCatcher
10:03 PM Liked: 10
post #4 of 10
09-11-2009 | Posts: 33
Joined: Jun 2002
Right after I got this working, I started thinking, if I wanted this bad enough to write it, others probably want it also. So I went ahead and did the installer for it.

I'm glad you guys are enjoying it.

My home email server crashed yesterday. So if you have any problems with Make Primary Monitor, or think of any features it needs. If you can't get to me via e-mail, post the problems or requests in this thread and I will look into them.

I'm really curious to know if it works on a multi-monitor XP machine, and if it handles more than 2 monitors without scrambling their relative locations (I am pretty sure it works for both of these cases). I suspect it won't work on Win98 (but I doubt if there are many people running HTPCs on Win98).
Kamgusta's Avatar Kamgusta
08:46 AM Liked: 10
post #5 of 10
12-17-2009 | Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2007
Thanks, you are my hero
I was searching for something like this for.. hmm... years??
Miles ahead than doing buggy hotkeys with UltraMon
Smitty2k1's Avatar Smitty2k1
02:20 PM Liked: 12
post #6 of 10
12-17-2009 | Posts: 1,038
Joined: May 2005
I guess this is a bit OT but I bet someone in here knows the answer:
I have dual monitors on my desktop PC. I love them, however when gaming, dual monitors is actually a pain. In Half Life/Steam games at least the secondary monitor sits there useless, and I can't alt+tab to swap monitors/windows otherwise my game crashes. In addition, my FPS drops a good amount since my video card is trying to push twice the pixels. Playing Half Life/Steam games in a window DESTROYS my FPS.

Ok long story short every time I launch a game I disable the secondary monitor. Is there anyway to assign a hotkey to do that? And then to re-enable it after I finish playing?
goofytek's Avatar goofytek
09:57 AM Liked: 10
post #7 of 10
01-10-2010 | Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty2k1 View Post

I guess this is a bit OT but I bet someone in here knows the answer:
I have dual monitors on my desktop PC. I love them, however when gaming, dual monitors is actually a pain. In Half Life/Steam games at least the secondary monitor sits there useless, and I can't alt+tab to swap monitors/windows otherwise my game crashes. In addition, my FPS drops a good amount since my video card is trying to push twice the pixels. Playing Half Life/Steam games in a window DESTROYS my FPS.

Ok long story short every time I launch a game I disable the secondary monitor. Is there anyway to assign a hotkey to do that? And then to re-enable it after I finish playing?

You know, I have the same problem sometimes. Not really much with gaming, but maybe like watching late night movies on one screen, and I want the 2nd display to go to sleep. When watching Anime/Movies on one screen, i think it keeps both monitors active. For now I guess i have to manually turn off the unused screen for now.
walford's Avatar walford
12:15 PM Liked: 12
post #8 of 10
01-10-2010 | Posts: 16,789
Joined: May 2003
With Extended desktop I found it very convenient to just drag and drop copies of many of the Icons on my Primary desktop to the secondary desoncary desktop so I could start applications from either desktop.
tman314's Avatar tman314
02:46 PM Liked: 10
post #9 of 10
08-25-2010 | Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2010
Apologies for the necro but has anyone gotten this working for Windows XP? I tried it and it said "The graphics mode is not supported." I'm wondering if it's a setting I could change or if it's a limitation of the program/my laptop. Thanks.
TheCatcher's Avatar TheCatcher
09:22 AM Liked: 10
post #10 of 10
12-09-2010 | Posts: 33
Joined: Jun 2002
It works fine with Windows XP. But some graphics card drivers don't allow the secondary monitor to be promoted to the primary monitor.

If the option to make the secondary monitor the primary monitor isn't available, in the Display Control Manager. Then MakePrimaryMonitor will not be able to make the secondary the primary monitor either.

I changed the error message in the latest version of MakePrimaryMonitor. If the video card driver doesn't support promoting the secondary monitor to the primary monitor, the error message will say that.
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