1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Two Monitors - One Computer

By vega ยท 12 replies
Nov 11, 2003
  1. I'd like to hook up two monitors to my computer but find myself having to constantly connect one or the other - both won't be used simultaneously, only one will on at any given time.
    However, is it possible to get a cable or adaptor that will save me from constantly plugging/unplugging either monitor?
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    the software that comes with nVidia cards has a "switch to next display device" setting, which you can bind to a hot-key. I use the key combination CTRL+SHIFT+T to switch.

    So long as you don't choose in display properties to extend your desktop onto multiple monitors, then the switch will work fine.

    I have 2 monitors and a TV connected to my machine, and the hot key switches from using any one of these devices.
  3. vega

    vega TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    Phant - the graphics card in question is an ati 9500 so I'll check if the same applies to this card.
    The question was mainly on the actual physical connection of the two monitors to the monitor - do you use a branching connector of sorts to connect your monitors up to your comp?
  4. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    I'm guessing your card has two outputs, a normal VGA connector & a DVI one ( I've had the same on my R8500 ).

    What os are you using ? The settings to get DualView up & running in 2K differs quite a lot from XP for example ( not to mention Linux ).
  5. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    If you're using WinXP ( Home or Pro ), plug in both monitors & start the machine. You will thus have one monitor on the DVI connector ( with a gender changer ) & one on the VGA connector.

    In Display properties, in the Settings tab, you'll have something like this :


    To get the 2nd monitor working, simply click on it & tick "Extend Windows Desktop To This Monitor".

    Be aware that games will only run on the Primary monitor & it might be the same with the vide Overlay ( haven't really tried that out ).
  6. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    If you're using Win2K, it's a bit different.

    If you go the Display Options, in the Settings tab, you'll see "Multiple Monitors On ATI 9500/Pro" or something of the sort.

    Here's my whole problem with ATI's DualView solution in Win2K. You cannot have different resolutions for each screen. If you set the resolution to 1024x768, the same resolution will be applied to both screens. By default, the Secondary Monitor will be a clone of the Primary.

    In order to get DualView working, you need to go to Display Options -> Settings -> Advanced -> Displays.

    You'll have something like this :


    In this case, the TV is being used for Secondary Monitor, but let's pretend it's just another CRT or TFT screen.

    ATI allows you to :

    1. Stretch the Desktop on the right of the Primary Monitor ( Button 5 )


    2. Stretch the Desktop below the Primary Monitor ( Button to the right of Button 5 )


    Simply click on Button 1 to enable the Secondary Monitor, then Click either Button 5, or the one right next to it, to choose the desktop type.

    Hope this helps...

    PS. If you click on button 5, your taskbar will be spread on both monitors BTW.
  7. vega

    vega TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    Having just checked the back of my graphics card, I've found that not only does it have a standard vga connector but also a DVI input which I always assumed was for flat panel monitors.
    Whilst looking in the gfx cards packaging for any information in regards to these inputs, I came across a dvi to vga adaptor which enables the dvi port to be used for a second standard monitor.
    Having carefully read all the above advice pertaining to configuring display properties to take advantage of this setup, I finally got my dual monitor system up and working - thanks to all for your valueable input.:grinthumb :grinthumb
  8. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Well done.

    I've had a dual monitor setup on one of my machines for ages, and its just great. Perfect for development, web surfing and following instructions (read in one window and impliment in the other) its a really good setup that takes no time at all to get used to.
  9. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    Its also good for watching a film or TV (with a TV Card) on one monitor while trying to get some work done on the other. :D
  10. Kebab

    Kebab TS Rookie

    Does anyone know if it's possible to play a full screen game on one monitor while still having access to windows on the other one?

    Have looked around a fair bit, but cannot find anything.
  11. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,247   +448

    It depends completely on the game - some games are fine with it while others are not. Some games do a mouse capture and don't allow the mouse to move out of the game. Some games just don't care and you can click away on your other monitors while the game continues to play. Only problem is if you click on another window and then try to control the game it won't work until you click inside the game window again.
  12. klepto

    klepto TS Rookie

    Dualy's not workin

    I'm having trouble with a dual monitor setup. I have a Radeon 9100 with a vga and dvi port. I bought a dvi to crt adapter and connected other monitor to it. My main monitor is a mag innovision flat panel but my drivers reconize it as a plug and play monitor. When I set it to dual monitors, it's like my other monitor is on sleep mode. I can move follders over there but its just a black screen. I unplugged it outa the dvi port to make sure it was making a connection and it said "No Signal" therefore i know that its working. Any help anyone?
  13. firepal

    firepal TS Rookie

    I'm new to the site but looking thru I found this question from 2005 that is the same problem I'm having. I go into the display and where it should show 2 monitors it shows one. Both monitors work together but if i go into advanced and have the DVI (digital) monitor be primary the other one goes blank. There is no place in my display box that says "extend my monitor". Is there any one who has solved this issue??
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...