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can't mirror monitors with different video cards

Posted on 2011-02-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
I have a mobo with integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200 setup as primary adapter.  I have PCI-E NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 as a second adapter.  Server 2008 using Win7 x64 drivers where necessary.

I'm using the VGA outputs on both cards to feed to a KVM.  My goal is to mirror the monitors so I have only one desktop, but the integrated video adapter stays live.  Without a monitor attached, the graphics chip goes dead, and one of my number crunchers goes dead (BOINC, Collatz-ATI).

If the KVM cables are hooked up to the same card, I can mirror the monitors.  When I have on on the ATI + one on the NVIDIA, my only options are:

Extend these displays
Show desktop only on 1
Show desktop only on 2

Am I asking the impossible here?  Will the OS not mirror because the two cards are different?  Doesn't make sense.  I've even set the resolution, depth, and frequency identically on both cards.  Installed the same monitor driver for both.

Any help is appreciated.
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Question by:aleghart
7 Comments
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Radhakrishnan R
ID: 34881306
I assume that your requirement is extending  the display into 2 monitors, 1 is inbuilt VGA adapter and another 1 is NVIDIA adaper, Usually it wont be the same driver, You have to install separate driver for NVIDIA, You will get it from their website, Also once installed you have do the seetings from >>Display Properties> there will be some options for extend these monitors and also there will be a option "Detect Now" So you can check this whether its detecting both monitors or not.

Hopes this helps
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LVL 32

Author Comment

by:aleghart
ID: 34881325
>I assume that your requirement is extending  the display into 2 monitors

No.  As I stated, I need to mirror the two video outputs.

Drivers for the chipset/video (AMD/ATI) are installed.
Drivers for the video card & GPU software (NVIDIA) are installed.
Drivers for the monitor are installed.

Both monitors/cards _ARE_ detected by Windows.  Otherwise, there wouldn't be an option to extend the monitors.

I feel that you haven't read or understood the question at all.
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Author Comment

by:aleghart
ID: 34881375
OK.  Maybe I didn't explain clearly:

I have one monitor.  It's hooked up to a KVM.  So, I can use this one monitor for up to 4 video connections.

I'm trying to connect mobo ATI VGA to VGA1.  Connect NVIDIA card's VGA to VGA2.

I don't want to extend the displays because I have only one monitor.  I want to mirror the outputs so my mouse does not disappear onto a screen that doesn't exist.

While it may sound dumb, I _do_ need to keep both video outputs running.  Otherwise, the mobo GPU shuts down and my number-crunching software cannot access the GPU for calculations.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 34881498
What you are wanting to do isn't possible. If the software can only use the integrated gpu why add a 2nd video card? Even if the cards used the same driver this wouldn't be possible, at least from my experience.
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Accepted Solution

by:
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 2000 total points
ID: 34882213
This might be an 'out of the box' suggestion but why not create a dummy monitor for the card you need to keep active?  If you wire the right pinouts together with a few resistors Windows will think there's a powered up monitor attached even though there isn't.  Then you just use the output from the add-in graphics card to feed the KVM.

Would that help?
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LVL 32

Author Comment

by:aleghart
ID: 34883220
Jamietomer, I gave over a dozen software packages running.  Most use the CPU only.  A couple if them use the added CUDA (NVIDIA) card.  One is written for the ATI GPU.  I can keep adding GPUs and the software will use as many cores as it can find.  Problem is, if Windows doesn't see a monitor attached, it doesn't give access to the GPU.

MASQ, I've seen that as a hack suggestion on some of the BOINC-related forums.  I'm trying for an in-the-box solution first, since this machine will end up in a closed cabinet, without a human nose to monitor for smoke :(

Am I facing a problem with different NDEA not plating nice?  Or is it a problem with Windows not being able to sort out two cards?  I've never heard of that, since I've always had the option of mirroring or extending...buy I can't honestly say if I've ever used two different video assorted.  Usually I install a new card to replace the integrated or add a second monitor.
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Author Closing Comment

by:aleghart
ID: 34999399
Looks like my only route is to trick the adapter with resistors, or to extend the desktop.  I found a tip to move the "extended" monitor to the far corner, leaving only a few pixels of overlap...that way it's near impossible to get you mouse accidentally to the other screen.  Unfortunately, that means it's near impossible to get the mouse back, but I'm getting used to it.
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