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Trying to get dual monitor setup with older ATI PCI cards (Windows XP)

nexisvi asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I'm running Windows XP and trying to set up dual monitors.  I have two older ATI PCI Video Cards.  The primary card (the one in the PCI slot that takes priority over the other one at bootup) is an ATI 3D Rage Pro card, 4MB of video ram.  The secondary card, which I placed two pci slots down on the motherboard, is an ATI 3D Rage II with 2MB of video ram.  When I boot up, Windows XP is able to detect both cards, but it is unable to use whichever card is the secondary one.  Looking at my device drivers, I see the yellow circle with an exclamation mark letting me know something is up.  It says "This device cannot start:  Code 10").  I'm assuming that it has the correct driver for both cards, because I can use either one as my primary display (by swapping their PCI slot locations).  Since they are both older cards, I read something about certain cards requiring VGA BIOS to boot, but only one card can use the VGA BIOS?  My best guess would be that this is the case, and the card that can't access the VGA Bios (whichever one is the secondary card) cannot start up during the bootup process.  I looked at the jumpers on  booth cards, and the only one they have is labelled INT, which can be set to either ENA, or DIS.  I'm assuming that has to do with Interupt assignment, although I'm not sure if it would help my problem or not.  They were both set to DIS, I tried setting the secondary one to ENA but it didn't solve anything.  There is another lable on the circuit on both chips, right next to the INT, called VGA.  Unfortunately this section has no jumpers so I can't change that on either card.  I've also tried booting with "Plug and Play OS" turned on and off in the Bios settings, with no luck.  Is there any way to get booth these cards working together so I can set up a Dual Display?

Thanks in advance,

Watch Question

check the resources (memory range and IRQ) from withing windows for the card that will not start.  you may need to configure it manually from device manager to start.

btw - this seems to be a fairly common issue at the moment there are (i believe) 3 other threads similar to this one and i'm definitely thinking the pci cards may be conflicting


Unfortunately the card isn't getting any resources assigned.  Checking the resources in windows just says that the card doesn't have any because there was a problem starting it up.  I used the system information tool and the card isn't getting an irq assigned.  The card is fine though, I can swap then and it will work.  That's why I think both cards need a vga bios to boot by default..is there a way to disable this for one of the cards?


make sure your cards are on this list
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Unfortunately you're right, neither of my cards are supported as a secondary card in Windows XP.  Here's more details on my specific problem:

>>Older video cards on Windows 2000/XP and later: 'Device Cannot Start error 10'
>>Older S3, ATI and SIS video cards need to be the primary card in BIOS on Windows 2000/XP and >>later. If you have just one such card, you can get around the problem by setting it as primary in >>BIOS, then setting your better card as primary in Display Properties.

The problem is, both my cards are 'older' pci ATI cards, so both need to be the primary card.  Solution:  I can either install an AGP card and use one of the PCI cards, or I can replace one of the cards with a supported PCI card that doesn' need to be primary to boot.

Thanks for the help

you can pick up a cheap agp card on pricewatch.   and if you have any local computer shops i'm sure they'll have an old riva128 laying around.

good luck

ps - might i ask what you are hooking up 2 monitors on old video cards for?


I managed to score a 32 meg PCI video card that's supported by XP as a secondary display adapter, and now I've got it working.  Problem is...my second monitor can only run at 60hz which gives me a headache unless the screen is mostly black (it's a very old monitor from 1995).  Oh well...

The reason for using two old PCI cards is because my workplace (I'm a software developer) is ridiculously cheap when it comes to their employees, and won't fork over the good stuff.  I have to try and salvage whatever I can from whatever is lying around.  I have a 64 meg Geforce 3 (AGP) at home, but I wouldn't dare bring it around these parts.

thanks again

it's great isn't it.  they expect you to make them money day after day but don't want to give you the resources to do it.

well congrats on getting it going
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