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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Adding Another Monitor and Video Card to Extend the Windows Desktop

This document pertains to HP and Compaq desktop PCs with Windows 98, Me or Windows XP.
This document is provided as a service to HP customers, but because of the nature of this function, HP cannot guarantee its success.
Microsoft has the best information on this subject and links to Microsoft support documents are available in the Related Support Information section of this page.
Before you begin
If possible, print out this document for help after the computer is restarted or when an Internet connection is not available. The following items are needed to perform the setup steps:
  • Another monitor in addition to the one being used.
  • A video graphics card (display adapter) for every extra monitor.
  • A Philips screwdriver. You might also need a slotted screwdriver.
  • An ESD (electrical static discharge) grounding strap (available from most electronics stores).
Step 1: Installing the video card(s)
Each monitor must have its own video card unless the video card has two VGA connectors. On-board video should be disabled before continuing and does not count as a video card.
Use the following steps and see the HP support document Replacing the Video Card to install the video card.
  1. Disconnect all cables from the computer including power.
  2. Wear the ESD grounding strap and attach it to a grounding point (such as the frame of the computer).
  3. Open the case by loosening or removing the rear attachment screws.
  4. Remove the slot covers and install the video card into an open slot.
  5. Replace the case or case side and plug the cables and cords back in.
Step 2: Connecting the monitors and configuring Windows
  1. Place the monitors next to each other in any desired manner. They can be one on top of the other, side-by-side, or at angles. Make sure that each monitor is well supported on a flat sturdy level surface.
  2. Connect the monitor cables into the monitors and into the back of the video cards.
  3. Turn on the power to the monitors and then turn on the HP computer.
  4. When Windows opens, it finds and installs drivers for the video cards (graphics adapters) and monitors using the Plug and Play process. You might be required to use an installation disc that came with the video card. After Windows finds and installs the necessary software, Windows restarts the computer (possibly several times).
  5. When Windows correctly recognizes the new monitor, the following message is displayed: If you can read this message, Windows has successfully initialized this display adapter. To use this adapter as part of your…
  6. When Windows opens, click Start, Settings, and Control Panel.
  7. Open the Display icon and select the Settings tab.
  8. Select the picture of the extra monitor within the Display Properties screen. This activates the extra desktop space. Click Continue on the confirmation message box.
  9. Click and drag the pictures of the monitors so that the placement in the window best matches the physical placement of the monitors.
  10. Try and configure the settings for each monitor to match each other. Alternate between displays by using the Display drop-down box. Change the display resolutions for each monitor using the Screen Area slide bar. Change the amount of available colors to display using the Colors drop down box.
  11. Click OK when finished. Another Windows desktop screen with matching wallpaper displays on the extra monitor.
  12. Restart the computer to make sure the configuration continues to function correctly.
Basic troubleshooting
Many errors can occur when adding extra video. Performing the following steps solves most of the more common problems:
  1. Right-click the My Computer icon and select Properties.
  2. Select the Device Manager tab.
  3. Click the plus sign (+) next to display adapter and monitors.
  4. Remove all extra devices in the list that have the same name by selecting them in the window and clicking Remove.
  5. Restart the computer and let Windows install the necessary hardware again until there are only the necessary drivers listed. You might be required to use an installation disc that came with the video card.
Important information
  • Using the print screen function from the keyboard might cause the system to stop responding. It helps if both displays have the same color depth and display resolution.
  • The new video card might become the Primary Display Adapter.
  • Windows might become more prone to error messages and might unexpectedly stop responding.
  • Industry Standard Architecture/Extended Industry Standard Architecture (ISA/EISA) display adapters and VLB display adapters are not supported.
  • Display adapters with Permedia chipsets do not work (this does not include the Permedia NT and Permedia-2 chip sets).

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