Extended desktop using a VGA splitter off a single-monitor video card

Posted on 2009-12-21
Last Modified: 2013-11-08
I am trying to hook my brother up with a dual monitor setup for christmas but his computer only has a single-monitor VGA output. I bought a VGA splitter thinking it would fix the problem but when i look for "extended desktop" in the graphics options, it isnt there. how can I use extended desktop without buying a new video card?
Question by:nickya3224
    LVL 62

    Assisted Solution

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    It's unlikely you can from what it sounds is the current configuration.  A Dual head video card usually has two graphics outputs or at the least a single "DVI" style socket.  It sounds like the best you may be able to manage is to clone the display simply by splitting the output to two monitors using the cable.

    To know for sure it would help to have the make and model of the PC and if possible the video card (if it is separate)
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    >how can I use extended desktop without buying a new video card?

    You can't.

    >I bought a VGA splitter thinking it would fix the problem

    A splitter just makes a duplicate of the same image.  The cheapest solution for an extended desktop is a two-port video card.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    You ~probably~ can't.
    You said single monitor output.
    - If that means the 15-pin VGA type that's one monitor you are stuck..
    But some cards have one port [single connector] that supports two monitors using their own special splitter.
    The port on those would not be 15-pin. That's not enough pins for 2x VGA.

    If the ports isn't the 15-pin a definitive answer can't be given until we know the make/model of the video card.

    LVL 28

    Assisted Solution

    You could also buy a PCI video card for the second monitor, though a dual head would be best as mentioned above.

    Chris B
    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    Try the Matrox dual head or triple head2go adaptors:

    they can externally extend screens
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Callandor is right.

    You need to get a video card to do an extended desktop setup.  If you just have onboard video, I can assume you're not gaming... So you can probably get a cheap video card to do the dual monitor setup.

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    What Should I Do With This Threat Intelligence?

    Are you wondering if you actually need threat intelligence? The answer is yes. We explain the basics for creating useful threat intelligence.

    Like many organizations, your foray into cloud computing may have started with an ancillary or security service, like email spam and virus protection. For some, the first or second step into the cloud was moving email off-premise. For others, a clou…
    Sometimes a user will call me frantically, explaining that something has gone wrong and they have tried everything (read - they have messed it up more and now need someone to clean up) and it still does no good, can I help them?!  Usually the standa…
    To add imagery to an HTML email signature, you have two options available to you. You can either add a logo/image by embedding it directly into the signature or hosting it externally and linking to it. The vast majority of email clients display l…
    Here's a very brief overview of the methods PRTG Network Monitor ( offers for monitoring bandwidth, to help you decide which methods you´d like to investigate in more detail.  The methods are covered in more detail in o…

    761 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    9 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now