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Multiple monitors on Gateway LT4004u and Windows 7 Starter

I have a Gateway netbook LT4004u with an Intel Atom N2600 processor running Windows 7 Starter. When I hook up an external monitor to the VGA port, my 'Screen Resolution' options fore multiple displays are:

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

"Extend these displays" is not an option. Is this because of 'Windows 7 Starter'? Am I just out of luck or is there some update I can get to fix this?
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jmarkfoley
Asked:
jmarkfoley
2 Solutions
 
Daryl BamforthTechnical ExpertCommented:
I had issues with some monitors that I had to reduce the main resolution down to one the monitors could handle before it would allow extend.

Check the resolutions that your monitor can handle and try one of them to see if it works.
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ITSysTechSenior Systems AdministratorCommented:
Method 1: Press Windows key + P and check if you get the extend option window. Try with different screen resolution option.
Method 2: Update the latest graphics card drivers from the manufacturer’s website.
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
It is because of  system restrictions, Windows 7 Starter Doesn't support "Extend these displays"  Mode.
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jmarkfoleyAuthor Commented:
Ramin: Well, I suppose I could have googled that. It didn't occur to me that Microsoft had deliberately short-sheeted this version in that way. I've always wondered what was different about "Starter". I guess I have part of that answer.

This isn't a hardware limitation because I can boot Linux and get separate screens.

Unless anyone knows of a hack short of installing Win7 Professional, I guess I'll close this question.
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Tom CieslikIT EngineerCommented:
You can simply purchase WIndows 7 Pro upgrade key for $40.00 then use Windows Anytime Upgrade to convert your Windows Starter to Windows 7

https://www.pcdestination.com/product/windows-7-professional-sp1-64-bit-1-pc-instant-download/
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
Yes,  you can use that feature in Linux or even in Windows 7 home version. But I suggest a Windows7 Professional as you noted.

Windows 7 Starter is the edition of Windows 7 that contains the fewest features. and cheapest price.

You need to buy a license for Windows 7 Professional.
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Mal OsborneAlpha GeekCommented:
Another possibility might be an upgrade to Windows Home. This supports multiple displays. Unsure if such an upgrade exists though.
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jmarkfoleyAuthor Commented:
Two steps forward and possibly two steps back ...

I did upgrade to WIN7 professional using Tom Cieslik's excellent link. I installed the 64bit as this processor does support that. That's the cheapest I've ever paid for WIN7 professional!

Unfortunately, when going to the 'Resolution' settings, the 2nd monitor doesn't even show up! A monitor plugged into the VGA port does show what's on the netbook screen, but doesn't even have the ability to turn it off like the Windows 7 Starter had.

I've searched for a driver for the Intel Atom Processor D2xxx/N2xxx Integrated Graphics Controller, but all the links to Intel's site got 'Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3600' show as "This product is discontinued". I found drivers for 32bit: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/65926/Intel-Graphics-Media-Accelerator-3600-Series. Do any of you know where I can get a 64 bit driver? Otherwise, I start over installing 32bit WIN7 :(
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
You're Netbook LT4004u doesn't support Windows 7 64-bit and your best choice is to install Windows 7 pro 32-bit

Install driver ONLY from here:
http://www.gateway.com/gw/en/US/content/drivers-downloads
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jmarkfoleyAuthor Commented:
Well, actually, it does *sort of* support Windows 7. I installed it and everything works except for the multi-monitor thing (I did have to download drivers for Ethernet and wireless). But, yes, I guess I'll do Pro 32. I'll go ahead and do that and post back.
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jmarkfoleyAuthor Commented:
I changed to 32bit WIN7. It works, mostly. WIth WIN7-32 and the VGA driver from Ramin's suggested Gateway driver link (thanks) I now get two separate monitors (I did NOT get a 2nd monitor before manually installing the VGA driver). I also manually installed the card reader, wireless and Ethernet drivers.

So far, the only disappointing thing is that I've tried to add a *3rd* monitor using USBVGA. I've tried 3 different dongles, but none work. One of them appeared to work for a moment, but I couldn't move the mouse there and when I went into 'resolution' and tried to manipulate the monitor It disappeared. I'll play with this a bit more, but 2 screens is better than none.
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
I've tried to add a *3rd* monitor using USBVGA

Did you install the proper driver for that USBVGA device ?  mostly it is a driver problem.

And make sure you have installed USB 3.0 and Chipset driver for you Windows.

Note: you have to let Windows update to update completely and get all updates.
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jmarkfoleyAuthor Commented:
Ramin: I believe Windows is now updated completely.

I've tried for a couple of days for the 3rd screen, no luck. If, after installing the VGA driver, I unplug the external VGA connection and reboot, I get the screen on the dongle. If they are both plugged in, I get the external VGA only. I've used these dongles on an older WIN7 HP Laptop where I had the laptop screen, external VGA and *two* USBVGA dongles for a total of 4 screens, so I know they work in some cases. On this Gateway I've  tried all three dongles with 2 different driver CDs and downloading the latest driver from the DisplayLink site. I can't seem to get 3 monitors going.

Not a big deal. At least this "upgrade from Windows 7 Starter" effort has gotten me two separate displays versus having only the one duplicated desktop between built-in and external monitors.

I'll leave this open a day or two longer in case someone has a brilliant idea.
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
If I unplug the external VGA connection and reboot, I get the screen on the dongle.
It sounds like your Hardware is not physically capable of handling three Display at the same time.
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000025672/graphics-drivers.html

Useful link:
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000025671/graphics-drivers.html
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jmarkfoleyAuthor Commented:
Thanks all!
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jmarkfoleyAuthor Commented:
Ramin: BTW, I did check those links and 3 graphics display are not supported by the 'Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3600 Series'. However, I wasn't expecting the actual graphics hardware to support 3 monitors. The DisplayLink USBVGA device adds this functionality and has worked fine with my older HP2000 laptop. I'm pretty certain this device and its driver just don't work with the Gateway LT4004u Netbook's graphics device.
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
You're welcome and thank you for the update.
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