Windows XP/2000: Dual Monitor Desktop Setup

   Posted July 25, 2004 by Jimmy Selix in Windows

This is a tech-recipe for creating maximum efficiency for your PC. The steps describe setting up a dual monitor configuration.

Dual monitor setups have been around for ages. However, most people have never used one. Those us of who have cannot live with out it. Dual monitor setups let you have two separate desktops. It also lets you “throw” windows between the monitors. (I use a third-party program to do this called UltraMon. I HIGHLY recommend it.) This kind of setup makes tasks such as web development and photo editing much easier.

Use the following steps to create a dual monitor desktop setup:

Prerequisites:
Dual output video card (IE has VGA and DVI out or VGA and S-
Video. Most new ATI and NVIDIA cards come with more than one output.)
OR
Two video cards (similar setups)

Step 1 – Install Video Card(s)
Most likely, it is already in your PC, so this is easy or done already.

Step 2 – Hook Up your Monitors to the Video Card
Note: Most ATI and NVIDIA video cards have a RGB output and DVI output. If both of your monitors use RGB (standard monitor cable), you will need a DVI-to-RGB adapter.

Step 3 – Setting Up Windows for Multiple Monitors
Usually, when you hook up two monitors, they go into clone mode. This means they both show the same thing.

You can change this in your Display Properties > Settings.
It should show two monitors after you have hooked them up.

Click on the grayed monitor (probably number 2), and click the box
Extend my Windows Desktop onto this Monitor. Click Apply.

The second monitor should come alive with its own desktop.

You will want to adjust the resolution, etc., to fit that monitor’s settings.

Once you have adjusted your settings, you are ready to use your multiple monitor desktop!

Helpful Hints:
-In the Display Properties > Settings menu,
you can move the monitors to reflect how they are aligned (i.e., if you have them at the same level or if one is higher than the other). When you move your mouse to the other screen, it will show up where you think it would.

-Most 3D games will only be played on the primary monitor.
DVDs and videos, however, can be viewed on either monitor. (This depends more on your video card and if the secondary monitors/outputs can handle 3D overlays or not.)

Note Regarding Three Outputs, Direct from ATI Support:

You are absolutely correct, you can connect CRT display (VGA) + DFP display (DVI) + TV via S-video output. The TV display will “clone” the image of one of the other two displays.

Regards,

Saul Kagzi
Customer Care
ATI Technologies, Inc.
http://www.ati.com

 

About Jimmy Selix

Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.
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