Last reply by 06-30-2021 Unsolved
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2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Display 2 not active

I have a Dell Inspiron 5593 (service tag [removed], express service code [removed]) running Windows 10, with an NVIDIA GeForce MX230.

In my home I have 3 televisions, 2 of which I am able to plug my laptop in to (via HDMI cable) and I can use those TV's as second monitors to do the usual things (extend, duplicate etc.). But when I plug it in to the 3rd TV (the one I really want to be able to plug it in to), while the laptop recognises there is a second monitor, it says "Display 2 not active" and the TV display shows no input source.

So I figure it must be the TV, except that it works perfectly with my old Windows 7 laptop, as well as my work laptop (Win 10).

So the laptop is outputting to 2 TV's just fine, and the TV is perfectly capable of displaying the output from 2 other laptops, but it seems the unique combination of my Dell laptop and this particular TV doesn't work.

I have tried updating the drivers for the graphics card, both OEM from Dell and from NVIDIA directly - made no difference. I've tried every HDMI input on the TV - no difference, and I've tried different HDMI cables, including those that have worked perfectly well with other TVs - no difference.

I'm stumped with this one. Any advice gratefully received. Thanks

Replies (4)
7 Plutonium

@pfox1982  You should never post your Service Tag or Express Service Code on a public forum. At a minimum those can be used to file fraudulent ownership transfers against you, which can make it harder for you to get support and such.

In terms of your issue, when discussing differences in behavior it’s often useful to identify differences in equipment. You’ve provided no information around about the TVs that work as opposed to the one that doesn’t, which doesn’t provide a lot to work with. Maybe provide the models of the TVs involved here?

And if this third TV is shown as Display 2 in Windows Display Settings, what happens if you select it and try to force a mode like Duplicate or Extend in the settings below the display diagram?

Lastly, are you aware that the Inspiron 5593 despite being introduced in 2019 and having been advertised as having an HDMI 1.4 port is only capable of 1080p output and that Dell considers this normal in their KB article about it here?


@jphughan Many thanks for your response, and advice re the Service Tag and Express Service Code, much appreciated.


The TV that isn't working with the laptop is a Veltech VEL40SM01UK. One of the working TVs is a Sharp Aquos B40UH7021KB56R. The other is a Panasonic Viera but I can't locate the model number easily; I'll have to revert on that.


With regard to the resolution, having attached my work laptop to the Veltech TV, and extended the display, it is outputting in 1920x1080 and the TV works just fine. I've then attached the Dell to the Sharp TV and it is outputting in 1920x1080 (as expected given the article you reference) and again all is working ok. I'm not that technical but if the laptop is outputting in 1920x1080, and the TV is quite happy displaying in that resolution too - then they should work ok together?


In display settings, attempting to change the mode (extend, duplicate, show only on 2) results in a message that "Display settings can not be saved. Please try a different combination of display settings." The display resolution and display orientation drop down boxes are both blank and nothing can be selected.




@pfox1982  Happy to help, or at least try to.  Based on what you've updated thus far, the only other item I can think that might be worth trying is updating the BIOS.  In terms of methods, have you tried using Intel Graphics Control Panel (or Command Center, depending on driver version) to set up the displays?  It shouldn't make a difference, but then again you shouldn't be having this problem to begin with, so maybe changing a variable that shouldn't matter actually will.  If that doesn't get you anywhere either, then there are definitely cases in the tech world of interoperability issues that affect specific combinations of equipment.  Dell found that its own XPS 13 9350 couldn't send video over USB-C to any of Dell's own USB-C displays (documented here), even though that system works fine with third-party USB-C displays (and Dell's USB-C docks), and Dell's USB-C displays worked with other USB-C systems.  I realize that isn't an especially satisfactory answer, but given that you've already confirmed the other items of your setup work as expected, this may be one of those cases of something that SHOULD work in the tech world not ACTUALLY working.


Hi, we are following up to check if you can share the details requested in our last post, we will make sure you receive the necessary support in order to fix the issue. Do reach out if you need any further assistance. The case will be active for next 24 hours. 

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