Using two monitors with Win98 SE: what is needed

Hello,

I am running Win98SE on an "old" Asus HX-Board that has NO AGP Slot.
I already own (and use) a 3dFx Voodo 2000 graphic card.
In my desk I also have an older card with ET6000 chipset (PCI) and one with ET4000 (ISA).
What I want is a cheap way to use a second monitor. My main monitor and application should run on the voodo. On the 2nd monitor I want to display some text or grafik, lay there some icons or have the explore open. For this monitor performance is no issue and I would accept the speed of an ISA card.

However, I have NO idea how to achieve this and what is necessary.
Do I need a special grafic card and/or driver ?
If yes: which are suitable.

I would be happy if you can provide me with information about that topic and maybe supply a link (URL) to a FAQ or similar.

Regards,
Cer





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cerAsked:
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dew_associatesCommented:
First cer, you need to check the Bios on the motherboard to determine whether it supports dual monitors. If there's no Bios support, and a bios upgrade doesn't add it, you'll need to change motherbaords to do this.
Dennis
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MWalterCommented:
You should be ok with the existing motherboard.  If you are going to use 2 PCI cards, make sure the primary one is in the lower numbered PCI slot.  Also, some video cards require that they be the primary adapter, so you will need to check for issues on both cards.  Assuming all is well, simply install the second video card and boot, windows will automagically(cross-fingers) see it and the second monitor should display a message like, your video card is installed and recognized by windows or some such.  When you get into windows go into control panel-> display-> settings.  You should see 2 monitor pictures instead of one.  Click on the second one, windows will ask if you want to run with 2 monitors, say yes.  Then you can configure both monitors, or install different video drivers as needed.
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dew_associatesCommented:
MWalter, how about checking the Microsoft Knowledge Base before making an arbitrary statement that "You should be ok with the existing motherboard". If the Bios does not afford support for a second video card, I don't care what you do, it won't work!
Dennis
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cerAuthor Commented:
Hi,

what will the BIOS say if its suitable ?
Is there a list of approved motherboards?
How do I know if my grafic card will work? Will any card work as primary and/or secondary ? Is there a list of tested cards ?
"Normal" graphic cards are used to be the only one and will startup their BIOS. the BIOS and RAM area will always be in the same area. Will I need a card where you can switch the BIOS off? Will it be enough to remove the BIOS ?

I have a videologic GrafixStar 600 and found this URL: http://www.videologic.co.uk/Support/SupportNotes/sn0324.htm

This suggests that I must use it as primary display.

Is there such a list for the voodo 3 ?
Can I use the voodo3 2000 as secondary display ? If so, can I convince the games to use it anyway ?

Maybe all that sounds confusing (it is to me). Therfore I will clarify my needs:

I want to run my system as it is NOW.
I only want to add a 2nd monitor. This should be an addon and not disturb anything. I would like to use my old grafic card, but I am willing to buy a new cheap one. But before I do that I want to know if my system will work then.

I was looking for someone who is actually using 2 monitors and has experience with the varius problems that might arise.

Cer

























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MWalterCommented:
Dew Associates, try reading the question before making judgements...  According to the MS Knowledge Base Articles http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q188/3/87.ASP and http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q198/0/53.ASP
The issues with PC bios incompatibility are when either the video card is built in to the motherboard(not the case) or the motherboard has an AGP bus(also not the case).  So, as stated earlier... cer should be fine with the existing motherboard.  As long as we are talking Knowledge Base, here are the other appropriate articles:

How To Enable:
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q179/6/02.ASP

Hardware Requirements:
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q182/7/08.ASP

How To Troubleshoot:
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q182/9/30.ASP

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cerAuthor Commented:
In the meantime I found:
http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/need.htm

but that is basically the same as from MS. However, their database has some real working examples.

Looks like my old ET6000 might work finally. I will try it tonight.

Cer
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dew_associatesCommented:
MWalter, I did read the question, and I am quite familiar with the install standards of each of the Windows operating systems. Furthemore had you read your multi-monitor support brief in your MSCE publications back in January you wouldn't have made your last comment. In addition, would you kindly explain to me how CER is to select the primary boot display in Cmos without it being supported. Note, I didn't say in windows. Also note that by checking the HCL you will also learn which video cards are supported, or at least which one's support multiple monitors.
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MWalterCommented:
Dew Associates, I am not particularly interested in, nor do I find it productive to the problem to continue comparing technical prowess like this.  In response to your questions though:  1)  I have not read the Multi-Monitor support brief but I certainly will after this.    
2)  Both cards are PCI cards so the primary boot display should default to  whatever card has a lower PCI bus slot number.  I have tried this on an old ABIT IT5H that has no bios choice for the primary display, an ATI Rage Pro PCI(Primary) and a Matrox Mystique PCI(Secondary) and the sytem works fine as long as the ATI is the Primary.
3)  The HCL shows what vendors have paid MS to test their video cards and passed testing.  It does not however show every card that will support multiple monitors.  Many vendors choose not to have MS test their hardware because it is no longer being sold, or too expensive, or various other reasons.  

I think we can both agree that installing the second card properly will not damage the motherboard or bios.  If there is a bios or compatibility issue the system will either not diplay, display improperly, or not boot.  This being the case, I see no problem with the try it and see solution, do you?
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cerAuthor Commented:
Hello,
I installed the ET6000 card and it worked on the 1st try and without ANY problem (which I did NOT expect). For me the "problem" is solved now.
After reading all the links above I also think that the BIOS is only a problem when you have an AGP/PCI mix. For PCI the primary display is selected by the order the cards are installed in the slots.

I apprechiate that you both tried to help me, however I can't split the points. Since Dew insisted on that BIOS switch which turned out to be unnecessary for dual-PCI cards I want to give the points to MWalter.

MWalter, please submit an answer so I can grade this.

Cer

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dew_associatesCommented:
MWalter, I apologize. I guess some MB's will allow this to work. I do wonder at how the video is being cached though with no provisions in the bios.
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MWalterCommented:
I am sure that the secondary video is not working optimally with no motherboard support, but win98 seems to do an ok job of compensating.  I wouldn't have known either except for having tried it before.
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cerAuthor Commented:
I don't see what kind of BIOS support could be needed here. However, it works nicely and was easier than expected.
Thank you all again.
Cer
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