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Dual Monitor Configuration Not Working

Posted on 2009-07-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Hi, I have a Dell Opti Plex 320 which has a motherboard ATI Radeon 1100 graphics configuration.  I want to set this PC up with a dual monitor configuration.  I added a PCI NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS card.  After successfully installing the GeForce 8400 card when Windows starts up it defaults to this card.  The other monitor does not start up.  When I go to the properties in device manager for the ATI Radeon display adapter I see an error that states the following...Device cannot start.  (Code 10).  When I right click on the desktop and go to properties and display settings I see two monitors but if I select extend my desktop to the ATI monitor it does not work.  Any ideas?
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Question by:submarinerssbn731
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rmconard earned 500 total points
ID: 24840732
Simple.

You can not have two video cards working at the same time unless you have a motherboard set up with SLA, but even then you need 2 video cards capable of working on SLA.

The problem is your motherboard's BIOS is only designed to recognized and use ONE display output. That's why when you install a new video card the built-in graphics processor on the motherboard is disabled. If you were to take your VGA cable and plug it into the built-in port on the MOBO, it would not work because it's only outputting to the nVidia card.

SLA motherboards and cards can be expensive.

My best recommendation is to get your money back for your nVidia and purchase a DUAL video card from them. At my work I use an NVidia Quadro NVS 285. It's a very old card but it works perfectly and I get dual monitor display with one card.

You can even buy dual video cards with more memory and better chipsets for gaming, but they're usually pricey.

I hope this helps.

-Ryan
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by:jamietoner
ID: 24840959
rmconard- "You can not have two video cards working at the same time unless you have a motherboard set up with SLA" This would be wrong, and I think you meant SLI.

There are many issues that will cause whats being seen the most likely is the cards aren't playing nicely as mixing manufactures rarely works(depends on the operating system, drivers, type of integrated video if applicable). Getting a single card(as mentioned above) is the best option, however you may not need to buy a new card as the 8400gs chipset supports dual monitors(if the manufacture uses it) which is why you see 2 monitors in display properties, try connecting both monitors to the 8400 and try extending them again.
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by:rmconard
ID: 24841196
jamietoner:
Yes, I did mean SLI. I got confused see the letters SLA at work all day. Also, you're pretty much saying the same thing I said, that 2 stand-alone cards will not work together. I'm pretty sure his chipset will not output to 2 cards.

submarinerssbn731:
If what jamietoner said is correct and your nVidia does support dual monitors on the card, then you will need to buy a conversion adapter that converts DVI to dual VGA. They look a little bit like this:

http://www.itrimming.com/pothdvivgspl.html
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Author Closing Comment

by:submarinerssbn731
ID: 31602862
Thanks Ryan,  I took back the old card and got one with a dual ouput capabilities.
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by:jamietoner
ID: 24842096
I have used several 8400gs cards in upgraded and new builds and all supported dual monitors, there are some half-height versions that support only 1. You can get several standalone cards to work together in a non-sli or crossfire configuration for multiple monitor support I have built a few system with 4 video cards for 8 monitor support, this is usually a lot cheaper than a single specialized card from Matrox. You just have to make sure the OS will support it, in XP it's best to use cards from the same manufacture(don't have to be the same video chipset) and can use different drivers, but occasionally you can get lucky and get an ati and nvidia cards to work together but most of the time they dont. In Vista and 7 all the cards have to use the same video driver so some older cards won't work with newer ones.
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