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Is there a way to run Multiple Monitors in Virtual PC 2007?

Posted on 2008-10-27
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
We need to run a legacy Win98se platform in a Virtual PC 2007 VM.

Note:
- VM Ware is not an option as it is NOT compatible with the COMs intensive legacy app run inside the VM.
- Legacy hardware is no longer an option

The legacy app generates a 1920x480 (3 times 640x480) video array.
We looked into adding additional monitor support on the VM or using Maxvista only to find out that:
- VPC 2007 does not support multiple monitor VMs
- Maxvista does not run on Win98se (our VM)

 We thought about forcing the legacy app to display its array on a custom 1920x480 (1 time 1920x480) video array and going full screen on multi monitor enabled (3 x monitors) host, only to find out that:
- VPC2007 full screens to 1 monitor only
- there is apparently no way to force VPC2007's full screen to span the host's 3 monitors.

Any suggestions?
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Question by:OncleBob
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12 Comments
 
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:KCTS
KCTS earned 150 total points
ID: 22812803
No sorry the video driver in VPC only supports a single monitor
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:smjain
ID: 22818481
If you were running XP, you could use RDP to connect to the VM and get a larger resolution, but with Win98 you're pretty much out of luck.  VPC will do a max of 1600x1200 and it only handles 1 monitor.

You could try VirtualBox instead, it might work better than VMWare.
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LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:garycase
garycase earned 350 total points
ID: 22819526
Unfortunately Virtual PC does not support multiple monitors ==> but VMWare Workstation v6 does. I know you had to change some settings to get your application to work in a virtual environment --> have you tried this in VMWare Workstation (You said it's not compatible with VMWare ... but not sure if that's the free VMWare Server or the latest VMWare Workstation)? If your application works in VMWare Workstation, you can drag the display to fill your 3-monitor display. Note it will NOT work "full screen" -- that will fill a single screen -- but if you simply drag the window to fill all of your monitors, that will likely do what you want.

Here's an example -- a Windows 98 VMWare machine filling my dual displays.


VMWare-W98-on-both-monitors.jpg
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 22819541
As I noted in your last question, however, Virtual PC seems to be more fully compatible with the Windows 9x OS's => so the display advantage of VMWare Workstation may not help here.
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Author Comment

by:OncleBob
ID: 22824256
garycase:
Thanks. We tried VM Ware Server & Workstation 4.5 and 6.5. Server does not handle our COMs at all. While Workstation 6.5 is an improvement on 4.5 COMs wise, the app. only runs 60% of the COMs properly. We're currently checking whether or not we can get the COMs to work 100% on 6.5.
Because of VPC's compa with our COMs, it is really the focus of this question.
I'll post our progress on getting the COMs to work under 6.5.
0
 

Author Comment

by:OncleBob
ID: 22824280
smjain:
Thanks for the suggestion, we'll task a VirtualBox test tomorrow and keep you posted.
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Author Comment

by:OncleBob
ID: 22824379
KCTS: (and all)
10-4 on the VPC video drivers. We could do away with the 3rd monitor in some cases so exploring a 1280x480 (as opposed to 1920x480) scenario is worth it. This leave us with the "full screen" issue where VPC only full screens to one monitor only.

Any suggestions on how to force a display to span across several monitors?
Are you aware of any app/utilities/drivers to would layer in and allow to tweak the display in that fashion?

Thank you
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LVL 70

Accepted Solution

by:
garycase earned 350 total points
ID: 22828983
I can save you some time -- I have a Win98SE client in a Virtual Box virtual machine --> it does not support any large display modes ... in fact, it's quite the opposite, as it only supports 640 x 480 with 16 colors.   Windows 98 is also not supported by Virtual Box's Guest Additions, which add a lot of improved functionaltity.    I admit, however, that I haven't tried the alternative display drivers suggested in Sun's note (see below).

Virtual Box's documentation has this note r.e. Windows 98 clients:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"... Poor graphical output in Windows 98 Unlike more modern systems, Windows 98 does not come with a driver which will work with the VirtualBox graphics card, so it falls back to using it as a 16 color VGA card. While Sun does not provide Guest Additions for Windows 98, the Display Doctor 7 Beta suite by the company SciTech does contain a driver which will allow you to use higher color and resolution graphics modes. Please note that neither Sun nor SciTech support nor accept liability for the use of this program. "
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Note:  I had built this a few months ago using an earlier version of Virtual Box; but this question motivated me to upgrade to the latest version of Virtual Box (v 2.0.4) ==> no difference in any of the behavior (& Guest Additions still don't support Windows 98 clients).
0
 

Author Comment

by:OncleBob
ID: 22830305
garycase:
Thank you very much for the additional info. I will pass on the leads to our test Team.
I'll keep you posted.

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Author Comment

by:OncleBob
ID: 22867632
garycase:
Virtual Box is a no go, it does not handle COMs properly.
Thanks for the tip though.
0
 

Author Comment

by:OncleBob
ID: 22867649
We have now exhausted all leads on this and VPC is the confirmed VM host for this.
We're now focusing on a custom screen grab app. that will allow us to emulate a second display.
Thank you all for the help.

0
 

Expert Comment

by:indi_p
ID: 24008417
The solution from garycase using a large window dragged over multiple monitors with VMWare, is also possible with VPC until 1600 Horizontal.
The same problem with full screen however exists. It will stick to 1 screen.
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