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  1. #1
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    2 CPUs but only 1 monitor

    I just bought a new computer for my wife. The old one works fine. But I have no way to access the old one because I've hooked up her monitor to the new CPU. Is there a way I can access the old CPU? Either by hooking up my laptop to it or by...? Her CPU, mine and the laptop are all networked together.

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    Re: 2 CPUs but only 1 monitor

    If your wife's two computers are side-by-side, you can use an inexpensive KVM switch to share a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. It will not affect your networking at all. The laptop should easily function on its own, since it already has a display screen, keyboard, and (probably) a touchpad. One caveat about KVM switches -- USB mice and keyboards don't work well with them (my opinion), so you might want to get a regular PS2 mouse and keyboard.

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    Re: 2 CPUs but only 1 monitor

    I'm not sure I understand your comments about the laptop. Are you saying that there is way to connect it to the old CPU and allow me to see what is on it?

    Also, the idea of an inexpensive switch is very appealing.

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    Re: 2 CPUs but only 1 monitor

    What is the ultimate goal - to copy existing data to the new system? If they are all networked together, then you should be able to access the contents of the old system via the network.

    If you are simply wanting to keep the old CPU online (and by 'CPU' I presume you mean the tower itself) and access its contents, the same applies - you should be able to access it via the network. It would be helpful to know what operating systems are installed on each computer and how you have the network configured. My home network, for example:
    <UL><LI>8 port router
    <LI>Three computers, all running Windows XP Pro
    <LI>Computers on the internal LAN are all a member of the same workgroup
    <LI>Administrative accounts for access are set up on each computer
    <LI>Each computer on the internal network has a static IP assigned to it[/list]If I need to access the contents of one of the other systems, I can connect to it via Windows Explorer by entering {ip address}c$ where c$ is the administrative share created automagically by Windows XP. For frequent access, I have shares defined on each system as well. One computer has all the software I use in a share, another has a photo printer which is shared, and yet another has a color laser that is shared. This allows me to move files back and forth at will and print to whichever printer is required at the time.
    -Mark

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    Re: 2 CPUs but only 1 monitor

    I simply meant that your laptop has a built-in screen, so there should be no need to hook it to the KVM switch, although that's certainly possible, should you buy a KVM switch for four computers (they're usually for two, four, or six). It might be to your advantage to set it up this way, as it will save you some desk space. You have a regular VGA plug in the back of the laptop that will accept a male video connector from the KVM switch, allowing you to view your laptop's contents on your CRT monitor. The laptop also has PS2 connections for another keyboard and mouse, so they, too, can be connected to the common keyboard and mouse.

    Oh, your CPU (Central Processing Unit) is what makes your computer run. You probably meant to refer to your old computer, or your old tower. Although it's just a matter of semantics (I knew what you meant), it's really helpful when users use the correct terms to describe a problem or situation. No criticism is intended.

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    Re: 2 CPUs but only 1 monitor

    Thanks for the last two posters and posts. And thanks for the clarification with the CPU terminology. I've used that term since the early 80s as shorthand for the tower [though they were bricks in the 80s, not towers!] - and never realized I was being unclear. Being a writer and journalist, clarity is very important to me!

    -I thought I would network my wife's old computer to the new one, my laptop and my desktop. All are using XP Pro SP2. But then I realized that without a monitor hooked up to the old computer, I would never know when I was at the windows welcome/shut down screen. That's when I began to wonder if there was a way to hook up my laptop or one of the other desktops to the old computer. I want to use the old machine to store flac files and who knows? Maybe use it as a storage device for other things.

    -I looks like using a KVM switch will solve my needs. Eitehr that or connecting the laptop to the old computer via the VGA plug.

    thanks to both of you for the great input and ideas.

    Peter

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    Silver Lounger
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    Re: 2 CPUs but only 1 monitor

    One more point that I think was overlooked....

    Most newer laptops will allow you to use an external monitor as a secondary display. In other words, the laptop's built-in screen would be the primary display and any monitor plugged into the video-out port would be a secondary display (in addition to presenting a clone of what's on the laptop display).

    I've used dual monitors for years now and LOVE it! You get twice the desktop space. I doubt this will appeal to everyone, but I'll bet you can find some use for it to justify using the additional desk space for the laptop as well as the monitor. For instance, you can keep your email software and instant messenter(s) open on monitor A (your laptop screen) while keeping a web browser opened full-screen on monitor B (your desktop monitor).

    You can use the KVM switch to change sources of your desktop computers (each with a single monitor connection). Then you'll get the added side-benefit of having dual-monitor capabilities when you switch to your laptop as the KVM source.

    I hope this makes sense...

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    Re: 2 CPUs but only 1 monitor

    In addition to what MarkJ said in <post:=539,890>post 539,890</post:>, it's entirely possible to put two video cards in a workstation, one AGP and one PCI (or two PCI). This implies two monitors, of course, although with a KVM switch, it's not necessary. Windows 98, ME, and XP will recognize the second card upon a reboot. You can then go into Display Properties and set which card & monitor you want as Primary (represented by a "1") and Secondary (represented by a "2"). You can swap them around, should they not be to your liking. The Windows Help files are actually quite good on this subject; type 'multiple monitor' into the Help & Support box for more information, or do a Google search.

  9. #9
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    Re: 2 CPUs but only 1 monitor

    Of course, the natural caveat of using dual monitors with a KVM is that you can only use one monitor through the KVM. The second mointor will always display the screen from the PC to which it's connceted.

    For example, I have a Windows XP Media Center Edition box as my "main" PC at home. It has 2 monitors (powered from a single ATI x800 XL video card). I also have 3 other PCs connected via KVM. My secondary monitor always displays the Media Center PC even though my primary monitor may be switched to any of the other 3 PCs.

    While I'm thinking about my caveats, I should also mention that I have a USB mouse (Logitech MX1000) connected to my main PC. Since my KVM does not support USB, I have to keep a second mouse (PS/2) on my desktop (but out of the way) so I can control the other 3 computers when I'm KVM'd to them.

    Interestingly, this allows me to still use my USB mouse to control things on the second monitor while I'm KVM'ing to ANY of the other PCs. Of course, using a separate mouse is a bit annoying, so I almost NEVER KVM to the other PCs. Intsead, I use the Microsoft Remote Desktop since this allows me to keep control of my main PC (including my comfy MX1000 mouse).

    There are always caveats and there's not really an easy way to handle situations with multiple monitors and multiple PCs. You just have to find out what works best for you with the least amount of effort.

    Hope this helps!

  10. #10
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    Re: 2 CPUs but only 1 monitor

    Sort of on the same topic-

    I just got a dell 1704FPV lcd monitor, it has a DVI and an analog input, switchable via a button on the monitor. I have it hooked up via DVI to a win xp sr2 box. Can I connect it simultaneously to another running computer (win 98se if it matters) via the analog input and switch between them with the monitor switch?

    If so, I will of course ask dell if it voids the warranty, etc (which I'm sure it does), but I am curious. I haven't been able to find any information on this.

    Thanks, Dave

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    Re: 2 CPUs but only 1 monitor

    I would estimate that it is possible as the monitor will simply switch feeds when the switch is changed, and will ignore what is plugged into the other input, i doubt it would void a warranty, but i would certainly check first as warranties can be void for some rather obscure actions sometimes.

  12. #12
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    Re: 2 CPUs but only 1 monitor

    Peter,

    If both PCs are XP see Working Remotely with Windows XP. Alternately, go to SourceForge.net: UltrVNC, download version 1.0.1 and install on both PCs. It is <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> and will allow you to be on one PC, connect to the other, and act as though you are sitting at the keyboard of the other.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: 2 CPUs but only 1 monitor

    Hope I'm not too late......assuming you are only keeping the old cpu/tower around for its resident data/files etc; why not just remove the "old" cpu/tower/hard drive and install it as a slave on the other or new cpu/tower, assuming that the new cpu/tower will support two hard drives, that is a second slot adjacent to the resident hard drive and the power and control harnesses. Beware some OEMs have choosen to pinch pennies by not furnishing the additional slot and cabling. Check this configuration out first! Of course I am assuming that all are using the same OS.
    Regards,
    Marty

    "Aerodynamics Is For Those Who Cannot Build Engines" - Enzo Ferrari

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