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Dell Optiplex Dual Display troubles..

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by garyb, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

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    Morning,
    I have some Optiplex GX280 workstations which ship with dual display video card & have bought a Y cable and connected 2 Dell TFTs up. In display properties I can see both adaptors are installed with monitor 1 as the primary. I right click monitor 2 and select attached which automatically ticks the "Extend my windows desktop onto this monitor" but when I apply it loses the settings leaving me with 2 identical desktops on each monitor which isnt really useful! I have tried reinstalling card drivers, checking BIOS, rebooting several times but I simply cannot make that setting stick on Monitor 2.

    I have Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator Driver installed and it says I need to connect another monitor in display devices section, I have pasted the report below if it helps. I'm baffled and am close to ripping this card out and installing 2 PCIs instead..:eek:

    Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator Driver Report


    Report Date: 02/29/2008
    Report Time[hr:mm:ss]: 11:31:57
    Driver Version: 6.14.10.4410
    Operating System: Windows XP* Professional, Service Pack 2 (5.1.2600)
    Default Language: English
    DirectX* Version: 9.0
    Physical Memory: 1014 MB
    Minimum Graphics Memory: 8 MB
    Maximum Graphics Memory: 128 MB
    Graphics Memory in Use: 9 MB
    Processor: x86
    Processor Speed: 2993 MHZ
    Vendor ID: 8086
    Device ID: 2582
    Device Revision: 04


    * Accelerator Information *

    Accelerator in Use: Intel(R) 82915G/GV/910GL Express Chipset Family
    Video BIOS: 3329
    Current Graphics Mode: 1024 by 768 True Color (75 Hz)



    * Devices Connected to the Graphics Accelerator *


    Active Monitors: 1


    * Monitor *

    Monitor Name: Plug and Play Monitor
    Display Type: Analog
    Gamma Value: 2.20
    DDC2 Protocol: Supported
    Maximum Image Size: Horizontal: 13.3 inches
    Vertical: 10.6 inches
    Monitor Supported Modes:
    640 by 480 (60 Hz)
    640 by 480 (75 Hz)
    720 by 400 (70 Hz)
    800 by 600 (60 Hz)
    800 by 600 (75 Hz)
    1024 by 768 (60 Hz)
    1024 by 768 (75 Hz)
    1152 by 864 (75 Hz)
    1280 by 1024 (60 Hz)
    1280 by 1024 (75 Hz)
    Display Power Management Support:
    Standby Mode: Supported
    Suspend Mode: Supported
    Active Off Mode: Supported

    * Other names and brands are the property of their respective owners.
     
    WIP: MCSA 2003
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    OK from what you're saying is that you've got a PC with a graphic's card with two outputs, but you've bought and use a Y cable (or a spliter cable) and only using 1 of the outputs to display to two monitors?

    If that's the case, that would explain why you can only get 2 identical desktops (or cloned desktops).

    Place each of the monitors into each of the outputs on the graphics card and then configure extended desktop.

    Unless I mis-understood or missed out info :)

    -ken
     
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  3. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    That's how I read it as well. You need to use the two sockets, not a 'Y' adaptor.

    Harry.
     
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  4. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

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    I didnt explain very well did I!:oops:

    Single card, single input/output but dual display capabilties. I plug the Y cable into the card then 2 TFT cables into the double ender..

    http://support.euro.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/opgx280/en/ug/smtabout.htm#wp1051659

    Cheers
     
    WIP: MCSA 2003
  5. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    It says on that page "Use the Y-cable that came with your computer. I suspect that a randomly bought one won't work. You need to use the one shipped with the machine.

    Harry.
     
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  6. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

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    Thats what I thought but Dell TS forums say it should be OK. The units didnt as far as I remember ship with any "odd" looking cables so I am lost here.

    Apart from that I am doing everything correctly yes, theres no hidden install options?
     
    WIP: MCSA 2003
  7. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    If you didn't get a Y cable then you may need to check that the video card will do dual-display at all.

    I see nothing in the info dump you posted earlier that suggests that you have dual-display hardware - usualy it says something along the lines of "VGA2 no monitor".

    There is *no* standard for such cables - most ones I've seen are just simple splitters so you can't run dual screens the way you want.

    Harry.
     
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  8. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

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    Here is the card screenprint showing 2 adaptors...I think!
    http://gary.brett.googlepages.com/dual_display

    Does that look OK?
     
    WIP: MCSA 2003
  9. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Yup - that suggests that it can do dual monitor.

    So you need to get the right cable.

    Find out from Dell why it wasn't in the box - they may ship it for free if you complain.

    Harry.
     
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  10. Ferguson Rob

    Ferguson Rob New Member

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    So Gary, I think you are doing everything right. I have an Optiplex GX270. The video card has a DVI port but i remember the Y's coming with the Dell 1801 FP's that I bought. It came with both DVI to two Analog and DVI to two DVI's. I have tried them both on mine and as far as the computer is concerned there are two monitors but the 2nd one always comes up in power save mode and i cannot see what is going on over there. I can move stuff (icons and windows)over to it but cannot see where i've dropped it to get it back...I just got off the phone with dell support and while he was connected to my desktop session could see that I had two displays and could drag items from one display to the other and back again. I on the other hand could still only see my primary display.

    My Dell as an nVidia 5400 in it but i'm having the same problems as you. I just got an email from the support rep suggesting that I "re-install windows"....like that's going to happen. This sounds more like a Dell BIOS issue to me.

    On your end, try changing the BIOS settings for the integrated video adaptor from AGP to AUTO if it is not already there. I just read a support paper that suggests that that may be an issue. Also update your bios to A07 if not already there and visit the card manufacturers website for updated drivers instead of Dell's support site. They usually have later code.

    let me know if you find a fix, i really need the dual monitor setup to work over here.
     
  11. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

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    Thankyou for your reply. I have tried all of that with no joy and as you say reinstalling Windows isnt an option in a business enviroment. Surely if Dell TS know doing that fixes the issue thye know what the issue is:eek:

    I am going to buy a couple of PCI cards when I can and see if it helps..

    Cheers
     
    WIP: MCSA 2003
  12. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    PCI video cards are now *very* rare!

    Looking at the posted info I would have thought that the way to get dual video was to get an AGP or PCIE (depending on the motherboard) with dual outputs. They aren't expensive.

    But make sure that it is possible to disable the on-board graphics system - not all motherboards allow this.

    Harry.
     
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  13. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Gary,

    I'd phone Dell up and ask them.
     
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  14. JonGlory

    JonGlory Byte Poster

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    Are you using the cable that was shipped with the system?
     
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  15. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Gary said a cable wasn't shipped with his system.
     
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  16. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    And I suggested that he get Dell to ship it to him. It would be so much easier!

    Harry.
     
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  17. JonGlory

    JonGlory Byte Poster

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    Phone dell customer care,say you never got the cable, we should ship it for next business day.
     
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  18. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

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    Hi,
    Good suggestion but have you ever tried ringing Dell about an out of warranty box? Its not good even to ask a simply question about the cable. I have emailed our account mnanager some weeks back, still waiting the reply & have posted on Dell forum, again no response..

    Cheers
     
    WIP: MCSA 2003
  19. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

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    Hi,
    Good suggestion but have you ever tried ringing Dell about an out of warranty box? Its not good even to ask a simply question about the cable. I have emailed our account mnanager some weeks back, still waiting the reply & have posted on Dell forum, again no response..

    Cheers
     
    WIP: MCSA 2003
  20. KayCom

    KayCom New Member

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    Gary,

    I have the same problem.

    Forgive the length of this post but I wanted to document the issue because I have spent a long time googling and there seems nowhere that the issue is documented fully.

    Dell Optiplex SX280 with intel 82915G/GV/910gl express Chipset Family with dual monitor capability.
    With 2 identical flat screen monitors & cables, which I have been eliminated from the problem by switching them around to prove that it not a specific item at fault.

    I have two Y-adapters supplied through DELL (when the system was bought - now out of warranty)

    1) DVI-I (male 29pin) to:-
    1a) DVI-D (female 25pin)
    1b) VGA (female 15pin)

    2) DVI-I (male 29pin) to:-
    2a) VGA (female 15pin)
    2b) VGA (female 15pin)

    I have not tested the 1st y-adapter, other than the VGA output which works fine, because I can not find a dongle to convert DVI-D (female 25pin) to VGA (female 15pin) (if you know where I can get one please post a link)

    Testing the 2nd y-adapter, the primary output works fine however the second monitor immediately goes to power save (sleep).
    Switching monitors and cables to check its not faulty proves monitors and cables ok.

    Which leads me to believe that its one or a combination of the following: -
    Any help or advice you can give me, even if its not this problem but an approach that might help me track down the issue would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards
    Kay.
     

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