Cannot configure desktop layout with a monitor above other monitors

  rossputin 14:00 01 Dec 2014

Background: I've been having quite a few BSODs lately, mostly but not always 7F, and sometimes my system restarts without BSOD. Either one can be (but isn't always) preceded by horizontal lines on the two monitors connected to on-board (motherboard) video, but never to the monitors connected to the extra video card. The system does NOT crash or reboot automatically when I boot into BIOS and leave it there for 36 hours straight (tried that twice.) This problem persists after a complete reinstallation of Windows and a BIOS update. I have tested the memory thoroughly. I suspect motherboard problem but am not expert enough to be sure.

As of today I have a new problem.

I have my monitors in a sort of upside-down T configuration...three across at desk level and one above the center one of those, for a total of four.

Suddenly, Windows (7 Home Premium) reset my configuration to put them all in a line and set my main desktop to display 1 instead of display 2. (I mean Windows thinks they're in a horizontal line even though they're not.)

When the layouts are configured in a straight line, I can change the main display to another monitor, but if I try to put any of the monitors above the others within the display manager, not only will it reset the layout to a straight line in about 3 seconds, but it also then resets the main display to be display #1.

This occurs whether I make the changes through the Windows display manager or through the AMD Catalyst system (which I've only tried to use for layout, not for which desktop is the main. Also in Catalyst, the monitors are identified with different numbers than they are in Windows.)

I have found that the system will accept any order of monitors in a straight line, but won't accept a configuration in which any monitor is placed above another monitor. For example, I disabled the monitor which was above the others and then tried setting each of the others as if it was higher than the rest, sometimes just above where it actually is and sometimes above another monitor, and the system always reset them to a straight line.

I have tried (1) system restore to previous time, (2) cleaning registry, and (3) uninstallation of both video cards from device manager followed by complete new installation of drivers (via AMD Catalyst software) but the problem persists.

Again, I suspect a hardware issue here but can't really prove it. I'm considering buying a replacement motherboard but hesitant in case that's not the issue. I would be grateful for any insights or suggestions on what else to try.

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