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

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?
4 Solutions
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
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)
>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.
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.

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

Chris B
Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
Try the Matrox dual head or triple head2go adaptors:


they can externally extend screens
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.

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