Lost dual monitor capability in XP


B

Bob Wilson

I had XP Pro running with dual monitors for a couple of years,
switched out monitors from time to time and no problem. I've got an
Intel 2.8 MB with onboard video connected to one monitor, and an ATI
Rage Pro to the other monitor. Worked great till I had to replace the
hard drive and reinstall XP Pro. I'm running SP3 with all updates.

Now what happens is, whichever video adapter I make primary in the
BIOS, XP comes up on it, with the drivers okay, and the non-primary
one XP detects but Device Manager says the driver isn't installed.
And nothing I can do will make it accept the driver for the non-
primary one. But if I reboot and change the primary video adapter,
then it comes up with the other adapter & monitor just great and the
FIRST one is now failing to start.

When I go to Settings on Display Properties, I only see one monitor in
either case.

I've tried taking out the ATI and starting without it, then and
putting it back and restarting, no change. I don't know why this
install of XP will only accept the primary video adapter and not a
second one.
 
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M

mac

I've tried taking out the ATI and starting without it, then and
putting it back and restarting, no change. I don't know why this
install of XP will only accept the primary video adapter and not a
second one.

I've used dual-monitors regularly for the past few years with both ATI
and nVidia cards and ATI's latest Catalyst software is probably the best
I've seen them release. Make sure you have the most up to date version
- I think they have one download for more or less all cards now.

If you can disable the dual-monitor support in the BIOS I would, leave
it up to Winodws/ATI to handle the monitors. What's the make/version of
the BIOS?

Mac.
 
D

DL

So what PC are you using which features a dual monitor entry in the Bios, a
laptop? I've never seen such a bios entry in a desktop.
 
B

Bob I

Perhaps manually disabling the on-board video?
So what PC are you using which features a dual monitor entry in the Bios, a
laptop? I've never seen such a bios entry in a desktop.
 
B

Bob Wilson

Thanks to all who wrote on this. No, there's not a BIOS option for
two monitors, just AUTO or PCI or the onboard. AUTO makes Windows
boot up on the PCI (ATI Rage) adapter. There's also no option to
disable the onboard adapter, only to select the primary monitor.
There are some DVMT settings and I don't know what that means, but I
tried all of them. I have uninstalled both adapters in Device Manager
and let it detect them, but if it's not the primary one, it won't let
me install a driver.

I did get it to do something different though -- now when I set the
BIOS with the onboard adapter as primary, it starts to boot off the
onboard adapter and when XP starts to load, the PCI monitor says "1:
DSUB Cannot display this mode" and the onboard monitor goes black..

I did download the newer ATI drivers, and they installed just fine --
when I was running on the ATI adapter. I wanted to boot to the
onboard adapter and re-install the ATI drivers when Device Manager
said they were not installed (whichever adapter is not set as primary
in the BIOS, XP says the drivers aren't installed and they won't
install). But now I can't boot off the onboard adapter at all. I
reset the BIOS to defaults, and got off the KVM and put mouse,
keyboard and both monitors directly to the PC, and it's still not
letting me boot off the onboard.

The whole problem with this deal is in XP Pro -- I installed it with a
hardware / BIOS config that was the same as the one that had been
working just fine with the earlier install of XP Pro.
 
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B

Bob Wilson

The simplest solution would be to use a vid card that supports dual monitors
Yes, I believe that's the next move. Do you recommend a certain one
over the others?

Thanks again
 
D

DL

I've used, Matrox, Ati and currently using Nvidea, they were all fine

The simplest solution would be to use a vid card that supports dual
monitors
Yes, I believe that's the next move. Do you recommend a certain one
over the others?

Thanks again
 
B

Bob Wilson

In order for the Rage Pro to function in dual monitors under XP, it
has to be the primary display, because its bios has to run during
power up to initialize the card. If it's not primary, the card won't
run.
I've tried two different Rage Pro's, one AGP and one PCI, and also an
SiS. I've tried two cards at once, or one card plus the onboard, all
combinations. When I set the Rage Pro as primary, it works fine but
the second adapter will not start and won't allow me to reinstall a
driver. Device Manager sees the second adapter but has the yellow
exclamation point on it and nothing will change that. And Display
Properties only sees the primary one.

The ATI drivers put a whole range of options and controls in the
Display Properties | Settings | Advanced but dual monitors is not one
of the options. If Display Properties SAW the second one, it would be
an option.
 
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B

Bob Wilson

A friend gave me an ATI Radeon X1550 with dual heads, I downloaded the
latest drivers, and everything's working great now. Thanks you guys
for all the input.
 
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