Using multiple displays with Windows XP Pro

Posted on 2005-03-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-25

I need to have two displays accessible at the same time, and I've seen how this is possible with a laptop, but I don't know how to do this with a desktop version of XP.  Is this a feature which comes with a different video driver?  I hope to have one display be a regular display and one be a touch screen.

Thanks for the help.

Question by:ba272
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Expert Comment

ID: 13606403
You will need to install an extra video card into your pc and then you'll be able to extend your desktop onto both monitors. I've never done it for touch screens though, but I'm sure you'll still have to put in an extra video card.

Author Comment

ID: 13606695
Do you mean you need to have two video cards?  Or do you mean I'll need to buy a new card which supports two monitors?

Accepted Solution

J-A-L earned 2000 total points
ID: 13606879
I video card is fine... but the video card should have 2 heads on it... or 2 ports. Usually one of the heads is VGA, the other is DVI... but the video card may come with a DVI to VGA adapter.

Radeon 9250, 9550, nvidia FX5200, 5700, ATI 9600, 9800... there is a pile of video cards to chose from that will work for you :-)
One you load the driver for the video card and have both monitors connected and on... the display properties status will show 2 monitors... but you may have to right click and activate the second monitor in display properties before XP will know you want to use a second monitor.


Expert Comment

ID: 13606894
I didn't mean I... I mean't 1.... hehe.
I would take the old video card out and put in a nice new Radeon 9550 for example with 2 video outputs (dual head)

LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 13607252
As suggested many video cards now have dual monitor support.  Almost all recent ATI cards do support dual display and the retail box ones should have a DVI->VGA adapter.

You will also want to install the manufacturer's software.  For ATI it is Hydravision,  

nView for NVidia,

The software from these manufacturers work great and will be very simple to configure.  Using two different cards could be a bit more trouble to set up,  different drivers etc. but it will work as the functionality is supported by XP.

I have used both ATI and nVidia and find them to be quite similar.  If you are only doing office type stuff even an older card will do just fine.  

Also Jeff you might want to read this,

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