Primary & Secondary Monitor Confusion

I have a multi-boot system running Windows 2000 and Windows XP, and on startup the NT boot loader allows one to select either of the OS’s.

I have a Nvidia card with a Sceptre monitor connected to the SVGA port, and an S-Video port hooked up to my TV. When starting my system, the BIOS information and the NT boot menu are displayed on both the Sceptre monitor and the TV.

I have the Scepter set as the primary monitor, and the TV as the secondary, which I have confirmed by using the identity function.

I recently installed Windows 7, and all went well until I needed to reboot. As normal, the BIOS screen is seen on both my monitor and TV, but once the BCD loader starts, the SVGA port is disabled, blanking out the primary monitor's screen, displaying the boot menu only on the TV.

The BCD boot menu has 2 options to pick from, boot Old Versions, or boot Windows 7. If I select the first option, boot Old Versions, the BCD loader exists handing over control to the NT loader where the SVGA port is re-enabled displaying the menu choices on both the Sceptre monitor and the TV.

What I need to do is somehow set the BCD loader to not disable the SVGA port so I can see its menu on my primary Monitor.

I know this is possible because the NT loader performs perfectly, showing all information on both monitors all of the time. It's only when the BCD loader runs is there a problem which is it disables the SVGA port on the Nvidia card.

Any ideas?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
From my experience W7 bootmgr displays the boot menu on screen 1.
In my case my desktop is extended over 3 screens logically arranged 231 (where 2 is physically a TV in a different room) and 3 is my main (default) highest resolution monitor, 1 being the monitor from my previous PC, temporarily connected to the new PC (for many years now). The taskbar is displayed only on 3 because I have the monitors set to extend rather than duplicate, but when I boot the PC, the menu and the Windows startup logo always appear on the right-hand (old) monitor, before the desktop initializes on the left (3).
This is, I imagine, down to the graphics card connection detection sequence before Windows initializes and determines my monitor preference settings.
I don't have any choice regarding the TV being 2 because it can only connect via the GCU's HDMI port.
I did swap the connections on the other monitors to make my preferred monitor become 1 and see all boot-up activity in one place, but for some unknown reason, the monitor displays were not stable that way round, with intermittent flickering and jumping on one of the monitors, so I reverted to the rock steady configuration mentioned above and put up with the boot changing horses in mid stream.
Unless you can physically change the connections so that your monitor is detected before the TV, I can't think of any way to change the situation in the OS because it's not operational at the time.

The boot sequence is described in overview below, and you can find the nitty-gritty detail for W7 described here

1.After pressing the power button, the PC’s firmware initiates a Power-On Self Test (POST) and loads firmware settings. This pre-boot process ends when a valid system disk is detected.
2.Firmware reads the master boot record (MBR), and then starts Bootmgr.exe. Bootmgr.exe finds and starts the Windows loader (Winload.exe) on the Windows boot partition.
3.Essential drivers required to start the Windows kernel are loaded and the kernel starts to run, loading into memory the system registry hive and additional drivers that are marked as BOOT_START.
4.The kernel passes control to the session manager process (Smss.exe) which initializes the system session, and loads and starts the devices and drivers that are not marked BOOT_START.
5.Winlogon.exe starts, the user logon screen appears, the service control manager starts services, and any Group Policy scripts are run. When the user logs in, Windows creates a session for that user.
6.Explorer.exe starts, the system creates the desktop window manager (DWM) process, which initializes the desktop and displays it.