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Wireless adapter and dual monitor

Posted on 2011-02-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi all,

I have a problem using dual monitors with my newly installed wireless adapter.  The system is XP.  I don’t have the make/model information with me, but I have an older Nvidia AGP card (has one vga connection and one dvi connection with an adapter to vga) and a new wireless adapter (don’t remember the make and model).

This is my second wireless adapter – both caused similar problems.  

I can run a single monitor with no problem.  But when I run dual monitors (and thus a different resolution and refresh rate) it will be perfect for a minute perhaps, then the second monitor will start to show a degraded (flickering warping) image and finally turn into a rainbow of nothingness.

I have the newest drivers for both adapters.  No help.

I have tried lower resolution / refresh settings that still support dual monitors… but still have the problem.  I have moved the wireless card to various different PCI slots without any difference.  

It isn’t a resource sharing issue I don’t think.  

Any good ideas out there?
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Question by:santaspores1
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Expert Comment

by:cmorffew
ID: 34928147
2 things:
1. you never mentioned how you know the WiFi adapter is causing this issue - if you remove it from the system does the strangeness on the second monitor stop?
2. what wattage is your power supply?

If your power supply wattage is lower than 400W  you might want to look at upgrading.  It sounds like the graphics card and wifi card are competing for power. - assuming it is the WiFi card and not the monitor.
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by:santaspores1
ID: 34929017
Oh sorry.  The WiFi is new.  I can remove it and all is well.  And this is my second one.  Both caused video issues that went away after their removal.
I don't know about the wattage of my power supply (I am not at home now).  

But one of the monitors is working just fine.  The problem only occurs when I try to use dual monitors.  And note that one monitor works perfectly well even when the other monitor is still on (consuming power).

When I use a resolution that spans the monitors it will look correct for a bit and then, on monitor2, the image will flicker and turn to rainbow.  Does that still sound like a possible power issue?
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cmorffew earned 500 total points
ID: 34929257
It could well be a power issue.  As you increase the resolution and span across the 2 monitors, the Graphics card has to use more power to drive the monitor display.

I would definitely have a look at your power supply when you get home.  Is the machine an OEM e.g. Dell, Compaq,HP etc?  if it is they are known for putting in a supp'y that is adequate for what you purchased.  e.g. Dell sometimes install a 250W PSU in their low-end business machines.
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