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External monitors don't work and crash Windows


Active Member
Here are the steps I do:

1. I boot up the surface and login and am on my desktop
2. I plug in a mini display to hdmi cable which is connected to my monitor
3. random black squares appear on the desktop on the external display
4. the external and internal display both go black
5. everything stays black until I unplug the monitor cable
6. windows hello pops up in the internal display and I've been completely logged out (as a side note, windows hello is disabled inside windows.....)

I have created a video to show you the effect:

out2 - Streamable

some more notes:

1. I am not using a surface dock, nor do I ever use one. The dock you might see in the video is my brothers as I wanted to see if the issue happens with the dock too, and it would seem it doesnt matter if I have a dock, if the dock is plugged in, if I'm using the surface directly or the port on the dock

2. I have tried multiple monitors and adaptors and the bug happens every time so I believe it's not a bad cable, adaptor, or monitor

3. for some reason, VGA works, and DVI, HDMI, displayport all don't work, this makes me believe


Well-Known Member
The video won't load for me.

Not that it should make a difference, but why do you plug in the monitor after boot up? I sometimes get strange scaling that way. You're much better off plugging it in before booting!


New Member
Just used my new SP4 by doing exactly what you did macmee, and things worked perfectly. Ran the external display for about 5 straight hours using a power point slideshow, and had no glitches. I don't believe this is a genetic issue; check the cable and/or reload Windows. I'm using Windows 10 Pro.