HP 280 G1 MT/Intel HD4600 Dual Monitor DVI Problem Finally Resolved

Personally I’d been fighting this Intel HD 4600 DVI/dual monitor issue for several months now, but at the time I had bigger fish to fry, so I kept putting it off until today. Those poor people on the Intel forums have been complaining about this issue for like three or four years now because “they weren’t able to reproduce the issue”, very sad. Indeed it is a very strange problem. Initially I was convinced it was strictly a driver problem, but now I think it may be some sort of weird driver/OS oddity.

If you’re unfamiliar with the issue, there are multiple threads out there on the Intel forums and several I’ve seen on the HP forums as well. The problem is that after a system reboot, the display on the DVI port is no longer detected and all you get is a black screen. The second monitor is not detected in the operating system whatsoever and the monitor shows no input signal. Right after the initial installation of the display driver, dual monitors would work, but only until the next system reboot. One workaround for this issue was to uninstall/reinstall the display driver and just never reboot the machine again, which totally sucked donkey balls.

For me, like at least three out of sixteen HP 280 G1 MicroTowers running Windows 8.1 were unexplainably affected by this issue. It very well could have been more than that, but not all users with that tower had a dual monitor setup. All of those towers have the Core i5 3+ GHz processors, the HD4600 graphics, and are equipped with a VGA and a DVI-D port.

Just by the way I was able to resolve the issue, I think it may have something to do with the system expecting the DVI port to be the primary display for the computer, but just the VGA port was used at first, and then a second monitor was plugged into the DVI port after the fact, but obviously this is just pure speculation.

Although the steps I had to take to resolve these issued slightly differed between computers and they make absolutely zero sense as to why they would work, here are the basic steps I took to resolve the problem.

  1. Loosen the thumb screws on both the VGA and DVI-D cables on the back of the tower so that you can easily unplug/plug them back in, but don’t unplug anything just yet.
  2. Download the latest Intel display driver and unzip it somewhere easily accessible.
  3. Download the latest Display Driver Uninstaller software here.
  4. Run the DDU software and select the option to uninstall and then shutdown the computer.
  5. Here’s were things were a little different with each computer. With the tower off, completely unplug the VGA cable from the back and boot the tower back up with just the DVI port plugged in. If you’ve got display, go to step 6. If you don’t have display on the DVI port, shut the tower back down, unplug the DVI port, and plug just the VGA port back in, then go to step 6.
  6. Boot the system back up, log back in, and go to Device Manager.
  7. In Device Manager, go to Display Adapters, right click the basic Microsoft display adapter, and click Update Driver.
  8. If you are currently connected to just the DVI port and it’s working, find and select the latest Intel display driver to install, then go to step 9. If you’re currently connected to only the VGA port because the DVI port wasn’t working at all, find and select the latest Intel display driver to install, but once you hit the button to start the process, quickly unplug the VGA cable and plug in the DVI port only. After the driver installs, hopefully you should now have display on your DVI port, go to step 9.
  9. With only the DVI port still plugged in, reboot the system.
  10. Log back in to the system and go to the Control Panel applet to adjust the display resolution.
  11. Plug back in your VGA cable and go to Detect Displays. Hopefully both displays are now detected.
  12. Switch between the different monitors and take turns checking the box “Make this my main display” and hitting Apply.
  13. Make whichever monitor you want the main display and then hit OK.
  14. Now try rebooting the system again, and hopefully this time both monitors remain on.
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