KVM Switch - two computers; one keyboard, mouse, monitor

Stephen Kairys
Stephen Kairys used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,
I'm in the process of migrating from an old Win10 computer to a new one, also Win10. For a period of time I plan to have both computers active to facilitate transferring files, applicatons, whatnot. I have one keyboard, mouse monitor.

I'd rather not have to constantly be swapping out the cables for these peripherals.. I'm looking at a KVM switch where I can simply hook everything up. And then flip a witch so that the same keyboard, mouse, monitor will now be connected to the 2nd computer.

Does the product below seem appropriate for my needs? Can you think of any stumbling blocks that I might encounter?

https://www.amazon.com/RKV-1UC-Keyboard-Computers-Supports-Resolution/dp/B0042G49XM/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1530475994&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=kvm+switch+dual+computer&psc=1

Thanks,
Steve
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Business Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
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Commented:
That should work fine. We use these to have one monitor, keyboard, and mouse for a couple of servers.

Make sure it is returnable but it should work fine
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

Author

Commented:
Thanks, John. I'll go ahead and order, and update you once i've tried it out.
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

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Commented:
But one question. What's the mechanism used to toggle? A button on the KVM? A keyboard sequence?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
We use a KVM switch that has a button to switch as a server may be off or restarting
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
Do both your PCs have VGA display output? Just checking as current machines most support a digital hdmi/dvi/DisplayPort graphics output rather than analog display. If you are using VGA then this should work fine.

Keyboard sequence to switch is device specific but many use a double press of a rarely used key such as Scroll Lock.
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

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Commented:
@MASQ - How would I know if they have VGA display output? I purchased both from Dell, the old one in 2014 and the new one last  month. Thanks.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
Also my Windows 10 Desktop has VGA output (9 pin VGA output) but my laptop does not, so you need to check that.
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

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Commented:
@John , no way I want to drop $500 for this effort, since i will need this switichability for only a week or so. Let's hope that the switch I ordered will suffice....Thanks.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
If the desktops have 9 pin (?) VGA output ports, it will work.
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

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Commented:
@John, these are both desktop computers.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
Look on the back for a pinned VGA output connector. Most have them.
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

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Commented:
OK I just checked and the new computer (and I think the old) both have what look like 15-pin ports.
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
Stephen, do you know what a VGA graphics port looks like?
VGA PortThere's an unofficial "standard" that these are colored blue.
You need one on each of your machines for that KVM to work.

If you're not sure about the graphics output it's simpler just to post the models of the two Dells and let us work it out!
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
That is VGA output (quite sure) so the model of KVM you have picked out should work
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

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Commented:
MASQ - Yep, that's what I have. And I enlarged the picture from the KVM product on amazon and the port looks same/similar:
KVM PORT
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
Correct.
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

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Commented:
Thank you both for your speedy responses on a Sunday. Now, it's wait-and-see 'til it's delivered Tuesday. Although with the holiday Wednesday I may not get to it for a few days...
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Yes the output port of the KVM is clearly VGA, just checking that it matches the output of your machines.
Rosewill's site confirms that they use double press of Scroll Lock for their KVMs
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
in the meantime you could use remote desktop if one of the machines is Pro or higher. Home editions can only act as a client and not host. That's how I access my servers that sit in a closet
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

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Commented:
@David - good idea per Remote Desktop. However, I think I'll wait for the KVM delivery. Thank you.
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

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Commented:
Hey Everyone,
I received the switch, but had trouble attaching the monitor cables to the two computers. Looks like to me that the pins are bent. And, maybe one is missing. Please see photo. Would you agree?
Thanks..kdm
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
I don't know why / how a pin would fall out and be missing, but the left one looks bent.

Sometimes you can take a small screwdriver and press against the pin that is bent.
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
No, RMA it.
That’s not going to work and if you upright the pins (use a thin tube if you ever need to do this) and one snaps it’s all your fault. This looks like they’ve sent you one that’s already been used. It’s difficult to see how the pins would get bent otherwise.
A missing pin (pin 9) is commonplace but bent pins not acceptable.

Difficult to see from your photo but are those pins flat in cross-section?  They need to be round for VGA plugs!
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

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Commented:
MASQ- Not sure what you mean by flat vs. round, but they look "round' to me.
Good point on trying to return it. I bought it through Amazon. Thanks.
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
>"Not sure what you mean by flat vs. round"
I think it's just the angle of the camera, they looked more "-" than "." in cross-section.
Here's the missing pin 9 example
Pin 9Without it PnP can't identify the monitor type but this isn't a big issue.

Use Chat on Amazon for the Return, if you bought it from them they will have another on the way instantly and email a returns label.  If you bought it in Marketplace it isn't so straightforward but I've found that even then having the chat conversation adds weight when you get back to the seller.
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

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Commented:
Well I was able to adjust the pin and monitor now works for both computers. As needing access to both is not going to last that long, I think I'll ride it out.  Thanks.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
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Commented:
So we have helped you solve this problem. Case now closed I guess.
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

Author

Commented:
Thank you both for your helpful responses. Have a great rest of the weekend.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Thanks for following up. You relax as well.
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - Consultant

Author

Commented:
Thanks for being online at this late hour. :) And yes, I did relax this evening by going out to eat at an Italian restaurant. Great pasta! :)

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