Question Apps move from main monitor to secondary after sleep - Windows 10 ver 20H2

ultrarunner100

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I have a three monitor setup.
My monitors are as follows:
Asus Tuf Gaming VG series on DP set as the main monitor
NEC EA244WMi on DP set as #2
Samsung SyncMaster on HDMI set as #3

I have Windows set up to turn off the monitors after 20 minutes of inactivity, but never to sleep.
So the problem is that the main monitor - Asus Tuf Gaming on Display Port - takes a bit longer to come on after having been shut down than the other two.
So all the apps that were open on the main screen move to the 2nd one.

Is there any way - other than physically shutting off the two secondary monitors before leaving the PC - to prevent this from happening?
I read something about editing the registry. If that works, I am comfortable with it, as I have worked with the registry before.

I suppose I could just prevent Windows from shutting down the monitors, and hitting the power buttons on each one myself; making sure that I turn off the main screen last, and power it back on first, but that is a bit of a pain, since I don't always know when I will walk away from my screens.

Thanks for your help
Ultrarunner
 
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ultrarunner100

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You can't have two monitors, both set as #2. Typo?
Yes. It was a typo. The Samsung is #3.
I did some reading, and opened the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers.
I found many entries there, each with a different config.
I deleted all but the one that has all 3 monitors, then rebooted.
I didn't break anything, but I cannot say it fixed the problem either.

Now, the next morning - after powering up from a cold shut down, I find that there are 3 additional entries under Configuration.
Also, under GraphicsDrivers\Connectivity, there are no less than 16 entries!
I have not yet done anything under that key.
I will do a partition backup before messing with the registry again.

What i believe is happening is that each time Windows boots, it takes inventory of the connected hardware, and creates a new entry in the registry.
I am seeing multiple entries for graphics under configuration because of the different sequence each monitor powers up at.
Sometimes the NEC will be recognized first, and other times Samsung will. But Asus (main monitor) is always recognized last, as it takes the longest to come up and send its info to Windows.
If I could somhow build a delay into the two other monitors, or maybe a registry entry that forces the Asus to always be the primary - regardless of what sequence the monitors are recognized.

In the meantime, I am trying to get into the habit of closing all apps before leaving the PC. But sometimes that is not very convenient either.

Oh, and let me also mention that I am having trouble with my audio devices as well. Same sort of thing.
I have a Behringer UMC202HD USB AI which I have set to be my default audio device for input and output.
But sometimes on bootup, the sound is coming from one of the monitors instead.
I have disabled all three monitors sound, but I'm not sure whether this has corrected the situation or not. What appears to be working now, may not work anymore when I reboot the system next time.
I have always blamed the Behringer drivers, but now I'm thinking it's yet another Windows issue.
It's like Microsoft is playing with me - trying to aggravate me.
Maybe I should try booting into Ubuntu. I have a dual-boot system with Ubuntu 20.04 and Windows 10, booting into Grub menu first.
I wonder whether all of this would still happen if I changed the boot to Windows in the UEFI.
 

Darkbreeze

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I'll be honest. This is a fundamental problem with Windows, and one that hasn't been fixed or even addressed by them. The ONLY viable solution I've found, and there are STILL some issues that remain to be worked out in later revisions because Windows still wants to do a few things that will really piss you off, is Displayfusion.

I've been using the free version for about a year now, and will likely upgrade to the paid version sooner or later, but it's about the best solution I've found for many of the multi monitor problems that plague Windows.

 

ultrarunner100

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Hey; Thanks for the memory bump!
I used DisplayFusion several years ago when I wanted to have the ability to display a different picture as wallpaper on each monitor.
I don't remember why I stopped using it, but I'll download it and give it another go.
 

ultrarunner100

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Well, that didn't work. Maybe there is a method to get DF to force windows to always open on the same monitor where they were before sleep/monitor shutdown, but I found the plethora of settings in DF to be too daunting for my current state of mind.
It looks like you can set events/triggers, but all of this is far too complex for what I want to do.
I am just going to close all windows before walking away from the computer, or just move the windows around when I return and bring the monitors out of sleep.
I'm curious to find whether Ubuntu will do the same thing. Gonna try that now.
 

ultrarunner100

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Ubuntu 20.04 is the winner!
Opened Firefox on the main screen.
Set monitors to blank after 1min.
Waited the 1min, then for all monitors to show 'no signal' message. Waited another 5 seconds after that, then moved mouse to wake the monitors.
Logged back in, and Firefox is still open on the MAIN screen!

One interesting note is that the monitor ID's (the numbers 1-3) is different with respect to Windows.

Now, if only I didn't have so much time and money invested in Windows apps, or I would switch to Ubuntu full time.

Edit: Woops... spoke too soon.
2nd time and the open Firefox window moved from the main (center) monitor to the left one.
It really appears that the problem is the sequence in which each monitor powers back up after sleep.
So I guess there's really nothing I can do. Just have to live with it.
Or, just manually power off the two side monitors, leaving only the main (center) one on when walking away.
Normally, I will lock the screen before leaving; this way, the monitor blanks much more quickly than the 20 minutes I have it set to.
 
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I have a similar issue. with a LG OLED TV.
My best observation is that after some period of no input to the device it will power off on it's own.
Perhaps 20 minutes.
If I power the device back on using the remote first, all will wake normally.
I can find no setting on the tv to keep it from fully powering down when I use sleep.
I do have the windows power options set to never power off a monitor.
Try swapping the DP connections. A graphics card has a built in priority as to which monitors are activated first.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Try swapping the DP connections. A graphics card has a built in priority as to which monitors are activated first.
This. As he said, graphics cards prefer to start in a particular order, but it's still a problem that needs to get addressed by MS devs. They can surely work out the code to ensure that upon power up nothing moves from the screen number it was displayed on prior to sleeping. I doubt we'll see it happen anytime soon though because we've been bitching about this in both the fast and slow rings for a long time and it has always fallen on deaf ears.
 

ultrarunner100

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It appears that a window open on the main monitor (on left-most DP looking at the rear of the box) always moves to the monitor plugged into HDMI.
I have the main (#1) and left (#2) on DP while the right (#3) is on HDMI.
I wonder what would happen if I were to buy a DP to HDMI cable and have all 3 on DP.
That said, I already have a DP to DVI-D cable, and the #3 monitor does have DVI-D input, so I will try that.

Another thought would be to write a script that could move the windows. Is this possible with Windows?
 

ultrarunner100

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Usually displayport will take priority over HDMI outputs. It does on all my graphics cards.
That's interesting...
Yesterday I ran a test with MS Word:
I opened three instances; one on each monitor. Then I wrote the monitor # on each document, and saved each.
When I allowed the screens to blank (but PC continued to run), the document on the main (#1 on DP) monitor moved to the right (#3 on HDMI) monitor, while the one on the left (#2 on DP) monitor remained there.

Sometime over the next couple of days I will experiment with plugging monitors into different ports. I have a Display Port to DVI-D cable I want to try on the #3 monitor.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Yes, if you have multiple DP ports, one of them will also take priority over the others, and it's usually not in the order you'd think based on the physical layout of the output ports on the card. Often it's not the first DP or HDMI in physical order, but one more randomly in the middle somewhere. Try the #2 DP as the primary and see if that changes anything for you, but again, even doing that likely won't resolve all the multi monitor problems. I still have problems to this day with some applications randomly moving to my fourth screen (TV) even though it's off and wasn't where that application was last residing. And so far, even after talking with folks who specialize in the area of displays, there are no real answers to any of it.
 

ultrarunner100

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I guess there could be a hardware hack that would fool the video card into thinking that the displays are still running when they're not. Perhaps a breakout inserted between the DP and cable with a branch to a DIY circuit that could be switched on when the monitors are off. But that's going to be more trouble than it's worth.
If I just power down the two 'satellite' monitors, leaving the main screen running while I power down the computer, then make sure that is the only one that is powered up before I power up the computer, Windows will have no choice but to leave the windows on the main screen. Of course that doesn't help if I had multiple apps open across multiple screens.
 

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