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Dual Monitor System, Windows XP



I have recently decided to add a second monitor to my system. I have not yet received the monitor as I am waiting on delivery. However, I have attempted to install the video card ahead of time. I currently have a 64 MB GeForce 2 MX400 AGP card. I have purchased a 32MB NVIDIA TNT2 M64 PCI card to add to my system. Within my system BIOS I have set my primary display card to be my AGP. When I boot into Windows XP my system recognizes the new card and does not require me to insert any driver disks. After a restart my computer locks up during boot. I have to shutdown my system and during reboot windows asks me if I want to start with my last known good config, I accept. This occurs everytime after installing the drivers. My system successfully boots if I disable the PCI card or if I remove the drivers. With the one good attempt I managed, I loaded windows successfully but my AGP card would only display 16 colors. I was not able to change the color depth. After pulling out the new PCI card my setting still did not revert back to more than 16 colors. After fighting with my system for an hours or so I did a system restore (from a recent restore point in XP) and my display was back to normal. I guess what I am getting at is... has anyone had similar problems? Was this caused by not having the second monitor attached? Thanks!


Perhaps you should have invested in an agp card with 2 outputs such as the Geforce4 Ti 4200, at least then windows only has to configure one card, and you can rest assured that there would not be a conflict, as appears in your current setup.

Try searching the web with google, just type in ur problem and see if any other sites have posted similar problems and possible fixes.

Sgt Shultz

I've had that happen quite a number of times. I like having dual monitors. It sounds like your having a driver conflict. Try using different driver for both cards. In my opinion it's a trial and error proccess but be aware that there can also be a hardware conflict and it might not work together no matter what you do. Than another video card would be needed. But then a Dual Head video card IS the easiest way to get it set up. And if you have to buy a card...


go into the bios and select PCI as the primary boot, instead of AGP

also set PCI snoop palette (or whatever) to enabled

Ive had a similiar problem before


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
yup do as in the previous post and also try and move the PCi card to another slot...

I had IRQ problems before with my 8500 and my tv tuner card... moved the tv tuner around and the system did not lock up again...

try both out and you should be ok... if not post again...


Once I get the secondary monitor, I am going to try the setup again. I know the BIOS will allow me to choose PCI as my primary boot but because my AGP card is my best vid card, I would prefer to leave it as my default. I will try all suggestions however. Thanks for the help!


Kicker of Elves
video cards generate a lot of heat.. and two of them.. well you get my drift.. save yourself the trouble and get a card with dual outputs..(I think somebody mentioned that) or even tri outputs like the new matrox.. :)


Even if the PCI card has to be set to defauly, in XP you can specify which video card to use as the master. I boot of my PCI, but have the AGP card set as the primary in XP, so all full-screen and direct-x applications use the AGP card. This is a new feature to XP, 98 and 2K don't let you set primary card.


Retired Mod
Political User
I always considered two cards a pain in the ass. Its a lot easier just to get a single DualHead card. Most GF4s and ATI 8500/9700 support this (usually with a DVI->VGA Adapter).



F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
sickboi... the heat is not really a prob... heh my athlon xp generates more heat than my radeon 9700... and the 9700 gpu die size is larger than my cpu die size too so I am sure that the MASSIVE heatsink onboard my vidcard should handle the heat well enough...

having 2 vid cards in your rig may cause incompatability... thats why I never used/tried it... my 8500 had dual monitor support and my 9700 has 2 integrated ramdacs for dual monitor support... which is actually brilliant.. better refresh and res supported..

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