Extending Desktop To Monitor With Dvi Cord

I have a desktop with a vga and a dvi port. My current monitor is plugged into the vga. I want to plug a 2nd monitor into the dvi so that i can extend the desktop. 2nd monitor is turned on. The dell red/green/blue/white "self test feature check" is meanding around the screen. However, when i plug the dvi cord in, my primary monitor immediately displays a "connection lost" on the screen, so i can't do anything further. I have also tried unplugging the vga to my primary monitor while leaving the dvi plugged into the 2nd monitor - that does nothing either. Finally, i have tried shutting down the comp and starting it up with both the vga and dvi plugged in. In this case, i see the pre-boot stuff on my primary monitor, and i even see the initial windows startup icon. However, the screen loses connection again before i see the login to windows screen. I then have to unplug the dvi cord to see that screen.

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