I wrote about my dual monitor setup twice before, this being my third, so I decided to merge them all together into one article with the latest information first and the earliest last.
My first problem and the same one I had with setting up my Nephew's monitors is where the adaptor plug-ins on the computer don't match up wih the adaptor plug-ins on the monitor. I have a HP w1707 monitor and a second one that is an Acer AL1760. The hp one has both VGA and DVI plugins while the acer only has VGA. To hook up my hp I came across a wire at a yard sale that had a DVI plugin in one end and a HDMI on the other. The DVI is on my monitor and HDMI on my computer. My second monitor is plugged in with VGA.
Problem number two, maybe not to big of a problem but both monitors have a different resolution. My hp is currently set at 1440 x 900. My Acer is set at 1280 x 1024 and does not support the resolution of the hp. When I play a full screen game like GTA 3 - I have no icons set up on my second Acer monitor but when I play a game all the icons around the left edge of my first monitor end up on the second monitor. The background picture shrinks down on my second monitor as well.
Speaking of pictures, whatever picture I place on the first monitor is mirrored on the second and not stretched out over. Even if I use a picture designed for dual monitors.
Another minor problem, the taskbar doesn't extend over. This was easily fixed with a program called Dual Monitor Taskbar - https://sourceforge.net/projects/dualmonitortb/ . Other third party programs may solve some of the other issues as well. I don't really consider these issues important to bother with most of the time.
original published date: 6:49 AM August 16, 2015
A long time ago I had set up a dual monitor display . That is you use two monitors and set them up so they act as one big monitor. It's possible to set up more than two.
I disabled the setup shortly after and haven't bothered with it for a while until I had to help my nephews set up dual monitors on their computers. This got me interested again in setting up my own. The problem with setting up their systems is the same one I had, the adapter plugins on the video card didn't match the monitors.
First, here's what I have:
My second monitor that I planned to use originally: Viewsonic Professional Series p95f+ (older but still works) with VGA only.
My Acer desktop has a VGA connector and a HDMI connector. My main monitor has VGA and DVI connectors. My first concern was wondering if my computer, because it has two video outputs was able to support two monitors without having to buy a new video card. Because my main monitor was already hooked up by VGA and I had a free HDMI port on my computer I decided to buy a VGA to HDMI wire on ebay but could not get it to work. I tried it on both monitors with no luck.
I went online to do some research. I wasn't sure if it was my wire or just my computer wasn't compatible.
forum post: http://www.sevenforums.com/music-pictures-video/377908-i-like-set-up-dual-monitor-display.html#post3125280
Then I went to a yard sale a few days ago and bought a second flat screen monitor for $3. It's an Acer AL1706, it works fine but it's a square shape. Still only a VGA plug-in but I also bought 2 bags for of various wires/adaptors /etc. for $20. Anyway one of the wires had a DVI plug-in on one end and a HDMI plug-in on the other. I didn't think it was going to work because I have DVI-D (dual link) and the cable had DVI-D (single link). So I hooked up my main monitor with the HDMI in the computer to the DVI-D in my monitor and noticed that my task bar and desktop icons vanished.
I decided to continue on by hooking up my second monitor by VGA. My desktop now looks normal again and I now have my second monitor hooked up and working fine.
original published date: 2:11 PM Friday, April 18, 2008
A couple of days ago, I decided to try something that I've never tried before. I'm the guy that people call to fix their computers. I don't have a business, or any set rates. I let them give whatever they want. Some don't pay anything. Occasionally I've been given their old computers as payment.
Unfortunately, to date, these computers have been old and/or damaged, but that's OK, still good for parts. Anyway one guy gave me a monitor as well.
It crossed my mind one day to try and hook up this monitor to my current computer. My problem is that I already have a monitor hooked up but its possible to hook up two monitors that act like one big monitor.
Why? There are any number of reasons give to have a Dual Monitor setup. Mine? To watch movies. A short while ago I traded monitors with my Sister. Its a larger one than I had with a flatter screen. She has two young boys and the monitor they had, is very dark in the daytime.
They wanted a plainer one, and wanted me to trade with them. I live in a basement apartment, its a lot darker here on a daily basis so Its no problem with me.
The only problem now is that its is still hard to watch movies. Even with the monitor turned up to its brightest settings, movies looked very dark. I went online to try and find a solution but found nothing except some very technical stuff, a bit out of my range.
Then of course, as already mentioned, I received another monitor. I didn't want to switch, because its a smaller screen and not so flat. That's when I considered trying to set up a Dual Monitor.
But first I had to find out how. So I decided to check with the greatest resource bank ever, the internet.
Apparently you either need a video card with the dual plugins, which I don't have or you can just put a second video card into your computer.
I had no choice but to go with the second video card option. My main video card is a ATI Technologies, Inc. 3D RAGE PRO AGP 2X. It's a AGP card and there is only room for one inside your computer. The second card in this case could only be a PCI based card. Just happen to have one. A Matrox Graphics Millennium PCI.
I have an older computer system, a Compaq deskpro - P2-400, the 3D RAGE PRO only has 8MB of Video RAM, the Matrox only has two.
So I put the PCI card into my computer and restarted my system. My computer started booting up but there was nothing coming on my monitor. Then I realized that my computer was treating the PCI card has my main one.
I should have printed up the instructions first. But then I remembered reading about having to change a BIOS setting to set my AGP as the default. ON my older system I wasn't even sure if this setting was going to be there.
So I restarted my computer, and on my system, I have to hit F10 to access my BIOS. Then there was a menu across the top with familiar options, like, File, Storage, security, Power, and Advanced.
Some BIOS setups will give you access to your mouse. This one doesn't. So I used the arrow keys on the keyboard and went to the Advanced menu, then PCI VGA Configuration. Then a box opened up listing both cards:
Matrox VGA Controller - Primary VGA device
ATI VGA controller - Non-boot device
I had to switch them around, again using the arrow keys and choosing each one, then the left and right arrow keys to change the options and finally pressing F10 to accept the changes
So now it read:
Matrox VGA Controller - Non-boot device
ATI VGA controller - Primary VGA device
Finally, I had to move back to the File menu and move down to the Save Changes and Exit option. Hitting enter and then when this message popped up:
Are you sure you want to save changes and exit?
I had to press F10 again to accept. This caused the computer to automatically to reboot.
It seemed to start up Ok this time. Like I said before, it's my first time for doing anything like this so I wasn't sure what to expect. When the computer started up, on my second computer there was nothing but a blank screen. No toolbars or anything.
So I right clicked on my desktop to check the settings.
properties, and then clicking on the Settings tab and sure enough there was a dual video setup instead of the previous one, I was on the right track anyway.
Its recommended that you set each monitor at the same resolution and colour depth, So I click on the display line to change monitors and set both to 800x600 and Colour quality: Medium(16bit)
I then clicked on the Identify, and a big white number 1 appeared on my first monitor and the number 2 on the second. I could also drag windows from my main monitor over to the other...COOOOLLLL. It worked but unfortunately, movies dragged over would not play. Me thinks it has something to do with the lack of power in the second video card, (2MB) remember.
Right now I'm considering this experiment a success. I'll work out these little issue later as I get use to the setup. Until next time.
This is what my video card setup looked Before:
This is what my video card setup looked After: