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Confirm Multi-monitor capability

Hi Experts,

I've been using Windows XP's Extended Desktop mode with a projector + a PC (with a dual-head video card) or laptop for years.

Now I have an old HP Evo D5S running WinXP Pro which has onboard video (Intel 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV), so there is just one VGA output.  If I go into Display Properties > Settings, I can see just one screen, as expected.
Now, if I install a separate video card (ATI Rageon 7500 Series AGP, which has one VGA and one S-video output), and go into Display Properties > Settings, then I see a picture of 2 screens (numered "1" and "2").  (Note that I had to swap my screen from the onboard to the card's VGA port, otherwise I get no signal).

I'll number my questions:

1. Would it be true to say that if we can see 2 screens under Display Properties > Settings, then the system has all the hardware that is required to handle Extended Desktop mode?

2. If so, why could it be that when I connect a 2nd monitor to the onboard video VGA port, and turn it on, and check the "Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor" box for screen "2" under Display Properties > Settings, the primary screen just goes blank for a few secs, then comes back, but the "Extend my..." box reverts to unchecked, and it's definitely no longer in Extended Desktop mode?  (Considering the high resolution options, I doubt that the screen "2" relates to the S-video port of the card).

3. To use Extended Desktop mode, is it really necessary to have a dual-head card for a desktop PC, or can it be done with an onboard card (with one VGA port) plus a graphics card (with another VGA port), like I have?

Please number your answers accordingly, even if you're not answering all my questions.

Thanks.
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tel2
Asked:
tel2
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2 Solutions
 
SemperWiFiCommented:
You can't use the onboard with the add-in card. The reason you see two displays while in display properties is because you video adapter has two outputs (VGA & S Video). If your projector has an S-Vid input then feel free to fun an S-Vid cable to it and extend your desktop freely with the current card. Otherwise you will need to purchase a new card which supports the input types you displays require.

The reason the screen goes blank and then comes back up: When you attempt to extend; the system looks for the second display (which does not exist as far as the system is concerned) doesn't find it and reverts to the previous setup.
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B HCommented:
1.  yes, but the screens you see in there might not be different video cards, might be two on the new one
2.  you're not connecting it to what your computer thinks is the 2nd port
3.  no... but it is usually one port per monitor.  you can put in 3 pci vga cards and a pci-x/agp card and do 4 monitors, 5 if your onboard supports it.

that said, go into your computer bios (probably f10 on an hp) and see if it isn't DISABLING your onboard port because it sees the add-on card.  it should give you an option which to use, or disable.   if not, seek out a bios update maybe that'll help

also check in the windows device manager that your onboard card isn't disabled there too.

just because you see a second monitor there, doesn't necessarily mean it's the onboard one you seek.
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B HCommented:
also - where you see the two monitors under display settings, there is a drop-down menu in the middle.

number 1 would be your radeon vga port
number 2 is (???) - that's what windows wants to extend your desktop onto.  

it's probably not the intel, but something like radeon svga or something

if thats the case, have to find out in bios what your board is doing with the intel onboard
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SemperWiFiCommented:
@bryon44035v3 - Firstly, don't you mean PCIe? Somehow I doubt his HP desktop computer has a pci-x slot. Also, given what he wants to do and what he has to work with there is no reason for him to go poking around the BIOS as there is nothing in there that is going to help him out.
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B HCommented:
A lot of bios have settings that DISABLE the onboard video upon detection of one in the pci bus.

Try to keep comments helpful, and not attacking other helpers...
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SemperWiFiCommented:
@ bryon44035v3 - Please reread my previously posted statement and this time try to keep your ego out of it. I wasn't attacking anyone, simply stating facts.
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tel2Author Commented:
Thanks very much, guys.  You've given me a better understanding of things.

I've plugged a TV into the S-Video port, and you were right - that's screen "2"!  Extended Desktop worked fine.  I might use that in the interim at least with the projector, as well (not tested yet).  The projector has a video input, so I'll convert the S-Video to video via S-Video-to-video adaptor.  I expect VGA would be higher quality though, right?

Regarding the "Display" drop-down on the Display Properties > Settings screen:
- When the S-Video port has nothing plugged into it, it lists:
1. Plug and Play Monitor on RADEON 7500 Family (Microsoft Corporation)
2. Plug and Play Monitor on RADEON 7500 Family (Microsoft Corporation)
(i.e. display 1 & 2 are identical)
- When the S-Video port has the TV plugged into it, it lists:
1. Plug and Play Monitor on RADEON 7500 Family (Microsoft Corporation)
2. Default Monitor on RADEON 7500 Family (Microsoft Corporation)

More questions:

4. I can't yet see any relevant BIOS options, bryon.  Do you expect that if I can, then I might be able to enable the Intel and use the 2 VGA outputs for Extended Desktop mode?

5. Do you expect that if I had a card with a *single* output (VGA, and *no* S-Video), then I might be able to run Extended Desktop mode from the 2 VGA outputs (the onboard Intel being the other one)?

Thanks again.
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SemperWiFiCommented:
You can't use the onboard video with an adapter. If you want to use two VGA adapters you will need to get a card with dual outputs.

The projector will work fine, same as the TV, it is nothing more than a display.

- All was covered in the first post. But, I'm happy you learned something :-)
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B HCommented:
4+5:  if your bios supports it, yes.  it might be hard-coded with no option to enable the onboard with the presence of an add-on card.  a bios update -might- add this functionality

adding another video card would let you use the (then) two add-on vga ports, but the onboard would still be disabled by bios (unless a bios update adds the functionality.

replacing the add-on card with one that has only one vga port and no svideo, won't make a difference, the bios sees the add-on and disables the onboard
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johnb6767Commented:
"You can't use the onboard with the add-in card."

Thats not always true...... I just setup an older Dell with a PCI addin VGA card, to enable a secondary display using the onboard as the primary.....

Does the Onboard show in the device manager as enabled?
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B HCommented:
it all depends on what the bios will offer.  some hard-code disable the onboard, in which case windows won't even know it exists, and it wont be in device manager.

some bios let the onboard be enabled or disabled at your option (in this case you don't have the option currently - maybe a bios update will add the option)

most computers i've worked on like this, you can have one or more add-ons and still use the onboard at the same time - but plenty dont.

a card with TWO vga ports will obviously let you use two monitors... but your original question #3, no a dual-head card is NOT required, you can simply have two add-on cards too (and/or onboard if your bios supports enabling it)
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SemperWiFiCommented:
@ johnb6767-

"You can't use the onboard with the add-in card."

Correct, it is not ALWAYS true. However if you look up the board you will find in this case it is in fact true. Please note the verbiage where 'you' is the signifier in this case. Had I stated, "You can NEVER use onboard video with an add-in card." Then yes, this would be incorrect.

[NOT MEANT TO BE OFFENSIVE] If you guys had research the gear in question you would have seen this question was answered in the first post without adding confusion for the author. If the author needs additional guidance in reference to choosing a particular card or something of that nature that is a different story all together. This however does not seem to be the case and now this thread has been horribly saturated with misguided information which does not pertain to the particular case at hand.
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B HCommented:
@semper - i like how most of the threads you participated in always end up with some disclaimer like "not meant to be offensive"... and you preaching to other experts on how they should act.

i know it's hard to ignore other experts and FOCUS on the question at hand... rather than crapping up a thread with bickering...  hey i'm doing it right now....  but, wow man.

note: not meant to be offensive.

author: questions 1-5, you have everything you need to put this thread out of its misery :)
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johnb6767Commented:
"SemperWiFi"

You really need to learn how this site operates.Not meant to be mean or rude, but you really need to leave personal comments/feelings out of it..... Just because you *think* you have answered the question in the first shot, it doesnt mean that all answers need to be ceased, as it is quite normal for dscussions to carry on, and additional questions/concerns to pop up. There is no need for you to try and contradict another expert's suggestion (#28442835). Just let the comments flow, dont take anything said personally, even though you think might KNOW for a FACT that you are right......

The only reason I posted my comment originally, was because you made a general statement "You can't use the onboard video with an adapter" AGAIN, , so I wanted to clarify, and which I tried to do with respect. You made no reference to looking up the specs on the machine, and the BIOS options. So for the second time in the thread, it looked like a blanket statement.

With the amount of posts that some of us look through here each day, we dont lookup specs on EACH thread, unless it is needed at that point....



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B HCommented:
@semper:  you didn't look up the specs when you made that first comment, because an hour later you said "Somehow I doubt his HP desktop computer has a pci-x slot.".  if you looked it up, you would have known at that point.  

probably good though, as you may have exploded all over yourself when i put an X where there might have been an E, which didn't change the context of the proposed solution in the least.  pci, e, x, agp, it doesnt matter in the solution, why bring out the guns right there?  




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tel2Author Commented:
Hi guys,

Sorry for the delay in responding re this.  I finally had the chance to try my VGA + S-Video card with the projector last Sunday.  I had little doubt it would "work", since it worked with my TV, but as mentioned in my last post, I was concerned about quality from the S-Video connector, especially since I'm having to convert it to video before going into the projector.  (BTW, the S-Video port is set to the same resolution as the VGA port (1024x768), so is it the S-Video output that is likely to be low quality or the fact that I'm converting that to video?  It's hard for me to test this in my situation.)

Thanks Bryon for the BIOS tips.  I'm planning to see if there is a BIOS upgrade available, and then check for options re the disabled onboard (Intel).  I know it's a long shot, but might as well check.  Might get other benefits from a BIOS upgrade, too.

To answer your question John, the onboard (Intel) shows in device manager only when the card (Radeon) is *not* installed.

I appreciate the technical input from all of you, (which not only helps me in this particular case, but also for future scenarios which could be different), and I'll get back to you all after I've made some more progress.

Thanks.
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tel2Author Commented:
Hi again guys,

Correction to my original post, the PC is actually a Compaq Evo D510, not an HP Evo D5S.

I upgraded the BIOS from v2.21 to v3.18, but alas, I find no options re the onboard Intel video being disabled.  Worth a try, I guess.

Thanks very much for the advice from all of you.  Although some advice didn't help me in this particular scenario, it did give me extra knowledge that I may be able to apply to other equipment, and that is valuable, even if I didn't explicitly ask for it.

Keep up the good work!
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