Dual Monitor Set-up


D

Dell Christopher

Compaq Presario CQ5500F
Win7 Home Prem

I'd like the ability to run 2 monitors. My Compaq came with an integrated
video card. I had a computer tech install an upgraded video card (one VGA
output only). Now one monitor runs to the integrated VGA output, and the
other to the upgraded card's VGA output. This doesn't seem right as I
thought the computer can use only one or the other video card. So far, I
can't get both monitors running with this set-up.

Can I indeed run 2 monitors with this set-up, or do I have to get a
dual-output video card. Further, my monitors only have VGA inputs, so can I
use a VGA to DVI adapter if I can't find a dual VGA output video card?

All input is greatly appreciated.
 
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B

Bob I

If your computers BIOS automatically disables the integrated video chip
when a real video card is detected you may be stuffed trying to use it
that way. If the card you bought doesn't support dual monitors you can
buy and install a second one, or buy a dualhead card or buy a dualhead
cable adapter like this one

http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/dh2go/
 
P

Paul

Dell said:
Compaq Presario CQ5500F
Win7 Home Prem

I'd like the ability to run 2 monitors. My Compaq came with an integrated
video card. I had a computer tech install an upgraded video card (one VGA
output only). Now one monitor runs to the integrated VGA output, and the
other to the upgraded card's VGA output. This doesn't seem right as I
thought the computer can use only one or the other video card. So far, I
can't get both monitors running with this set-up.

Can I indeed run 2 monitors with this set-up, or do I have to get a
dual-output video card. Further, my monitors only have VGA inputs, so can I
use a VGA to DVI adapter if I can't find a dual VGA output video card?

All input is greatly appreciated.
Typically, older computers equipped with AGP video slots, tended
to disable the integrated (Northbridge chipset) graphics, if the
user added a video card.

With PCI Express, I think the odds are better that both the
integrated graphics and a video card can operate at the same time.
If a BIOS was designed to disable the integrated graphics,
that could be on the whim of the BIOS designer, but not
required to be the case from a technical perspective.

Your motherboard appears to be PCI Express.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01701270&tmp_track_link=ot_faqs/top_issues/en_us/c01701270/loc:2&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&lang=en&product=4209954

You'd probably want to take a look in Device Manager, and see if
both video devices are present. Or use some other tool which
can list active hardware present, to do the same kind of thing.
If Device Manager has two entries, perhaps the problem is driver
related. (I use Everest, but because this free version is so old
now, I'd have to use the VEN:DEV codes it finds on the PCI bus,
to figure out what hardware was present.)

(Free copy of Everest to enumerate hardware)
http://majorgeeks.com/download4181.html

(VEN DEV codes and the associated hardware, if Everest shows "noDB")
http://www.pcidatabase.com/reports.php?type=tab-delimeted

There is no mention of needing to use low profile cards here.
I guess the box is big enough for regular video cards, but
I can't be sure about that. If it was big enough for a regular
video card, you'd be crazy not to have bought a dual-head card
in the first place.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02131049&tmp_track_link=ot_faqs/top_issues/en_us/c02131049/loc:4&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&lang=en&product=4209954

There are available, dual-head cards where the electrical signals
are placed on just one connector on the faceplate of the video card.
Then, an included Y-cable adapter that comes with the video card,
makes two connectors available (dual-head operation). Those cards
tend to be a little more expensive ($100-$150 perhaps) for not
very powerful (from a gaming perspective) cards. So there are solutions,
if your PC isn't big enough to hold a regular sized card. Those
are low profile cards, with a low profile faceplate.

If I was shopping for a card (like when I got my $65 7900 GT six
months ago), I'd look for a card with dual DVI connectors, in
which the box includes two passive DVI-I to VGA adapters. That
allows you to connect any combination of two monitors. If you
get a dual DVI card, with no passive adapters bundled, the
passive adapters can be much more expensive to buy separately.
It all depends on whether you can find a retail source of
DVI-I to VGA adapters, that isn't gouging on price.

If you get a card with VGA, DVI, mini-DIN on the faceplate, then one
monitor will be VGA, the DVI-I supports DVI-D or VGA, and if
you happened to own two cheap DVI-D LCD monitors, the card
couldn't do it. That's why I suggest to people, they look for
a card with two DVI-I on it, because then you can handle
a future scenario where only a DVI equipped pair of monitors
is available.

According to this, you may not be alone, in having problems
with that particular motherboard. One person couldn't get
an Nvidia card recognized, while another couldn't even get
the machine to boot, with an ATI card in place (and a power
supply upgrade, just in case). Looks like a picky motherboard/BIOS
in any case.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/270412-33-cant-disable-geforce-6150se

This is an example of a BIOS update for the named motherboard.
You can see this update is for a Pavilion Slimline s5213w Desktop PC,
which seems to have the same motherboard as your computer.
There is no complete feature list, as to what might have changed
in the BIOS (other than DVD support). The motherboard is an
Asus (Pegatron) OEM, and you won't find a BIOS for the board
on the Asus site. They rely on HP to distribute the BIOS updates
if available.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareDownloadIndex?softwareitem=pv-74348-1&lc=en&dlc=&cc=us&product=4006351&sw_lang=&os=2093

That update was a little tricky. It's a CD image. You burn it and
boot the computer with the CD, to flash the BIOS. I had to run
the thing in a virtual machine, to get at the files. It consists
of a FreeDOS environment, AWD117.exe BIOS flasher, and
a 1MB sized NA55.49 BIOS file. The BIOS flash command
is: awd117 Na55.49 /cc /sn /py

Problem is, the motherboard doesn't have a socketed BIOS chip,
so there isn't a "no-risk" BIOS upgrade strategy. If it had
a 32-PLCC BIOS chip in it, you could forward the 1MB NA55.49 file
to badflash.com and they could prep a 32-PLCC chip as a
replacement. But since the only BIOS chip is soldered to the
motherboard, you have to take a chance and flash the BIOS directly,
with no recourse if it fails (for whatever reason). So there
is some risk involved with trying to fix it that way. And
I can't honestly say at this point, that there'd be
enough bug fixes in that BIOS, to ease your problems.

Paul
 
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D

Dell Christopher

Thank you for that very helpful reply, Paul. I am inclined to get the dual
output card with adapters. We'll see how it goes...
 

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