What to expect when you unplug an NVIDIA Surround monitor

Updated 09/29/2021 01:14 PM

What to expect when you unplug an NVIDIA Surround monitor


A monitor configured for NVIDIA® Surround™ technology has different hot-plug behavior than what is normally expected. This article discusses the behavior.

When a monitor that is configured as part of NVIDIA Surround is hot-unplugged (disconnected from the PC while system is running), the driver detects the change in the system but does not notify the OS. Consequently the standard OS mechanisms of modifying the current topology/desktop to match the new set of monitors is not triggered. This behavior is intentional and part of the Surround design. The behavior lets you switch the monitors in Surround mode without having to reconfigure Surround. It also lets you continue playing a game even if part of the Surround desktop is lost (for example, if a cable is accidently disconnected).

Since the driver is aware of the hot-unplug, further changes to the system using the NVIDIA control panel or Microsoft control panel is suppressed. Reconnecting the unplugged monitor(s) should allow for configuring and modifying Surround. If the unplugged monitor was previously showing part of the desktop then that part is no longer visible and can be made accessible when the monitor is reconnected. Other parts of the desktop should not be affected by these events.

This behavior is the same for one or more (but not all) of the Surround monitors. If all the monitors are unplugged then the Surround system notifies the OS of the monitor connectivity change and the OS takes appropriate action based on its policies.

Rebooting a Surround system with missing monitors will result in Surround getting disabled.

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