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Multiple Monitors with a USB to VGA adapter

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 23, 2014 10:31:39 AM

I have a HP Split x2 #13-m110dx running Windows 8. I am trying to connect two external monitors. #1 has HDMI from laptop to monitor. #2 is VGA using a j5 create USB 2.0 to VGA adapter. The HDMI connected monitor works fine until I plug in the adapter. The VGA will work fine but the HDMI shows no signal. Any ideas what is causing this?
a b C Monitor
March 24, 2014 11:38:40 AM

You have to connect the both monitors with the same adapter. When you connect HDMI and then try to connect VGA, the laptop changes the display to VGA, it's the way it's priorities are set.
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March 24, 2014 3:17:26 PM

12955114,0,968120 said:
You have to connect the both monitors with the same adapter. When you connect HDMI and then try to connect VGA, the laptop changes the display to VGA, it's the way it's priorities are set.[/quot

Thank you for responding. Do you know of a clean solution that would allow 2 monitorsto be used in extended mode? The laptop only has 1 hdmi port and 2 usb ports.
Thanks again for your help



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a b C Monitor
March 24, 2014 4:05:49 PM

Hottoddy71 said:

Thank you for responding. Do you know of a clean solution that would allow 2 monitorsto be used in extended mode? The laptop only has 1 hdmi port and 2 usb ports.
Thanks again for your help

Do you need the displays to be different?
If not, an HDMI splitter can be used.

EVGA makes something that can allow 3 monitors via Displayport, but I can't find something similar for HDMI:
http://www.evga.com/articles/00815/

Another option might be to use two USB to HDMI adapters.
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a b C Monitor
March 25, 2014 1:18:47 AM

I too tried to find the same thing for your laptop on newegg but couldn't find it. Try going to your local shop and ask them for they might have or they could order for you.

Update: On newegg they have hub's for HDMI but they only support multiple input while they give only one output. You require a that can support 2 outputs.
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March 25, 2014 10:33:18 AM

goku1234567890 said:
You have to connect the both monitors with the same adapter. When you connect HDMI and then try to connect VGA, the laptop changes the display to VGA, it's the way it's priorities are set.


KevinAr18 said:
Hottoddy71 said:

Thank you for responding. Do you know of a clean solution that would allow 2 monitorsto be used in extended mode? The laptop only has 1 hdmi port and 2 usb ports.
Thanks again for your help

Do you need the displays to be different?
If not, an HDMI splitter can be used.

EVGA makes something that can allow 3 monitors via Displayport, but I can't find something similar for HDMI:
http://www.evga.com/articles/00815/

Another option might be to use two USB to HDMI adapters.


Thanks for the help guys. Would it make a difference if I was using a USB to HDMI adapter versus USB to VGA? Can I not use built in HDMI output and USB adapter at the same time?
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a b C Monitor
March 25, 2014 10:38:16 AM

No you cannot in this way HDMI will take over the USB display. I suggest use the USB to HDMI adapter as it will also transmit sound as compared to VGA which only shows display.
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a b C Monitor
March 25, 2014 11:41:11 AM

Hottoddy71 said:
Thanks for the help guys. Would it make a difference if I was using a USB to HDMI adapter versus USB to VGA? Can I not use built in HDMI output and USB adapter at the same time?

Well, usb is a not very good choice for video, but it's all you got. :) 
HDMI is going to be a better picture than VGA (as it is digital), but I guess that's about it. You might still run into the same problem if you try using the built-in HDMI and the just one USB HDMI. In other words, you might still have to use two usb devices. The thing is that I don't really know what is causing it, so can't answer for certain if it the two usb devices solution (or the 1 usb to hdmi) will work for sure.
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a b C Monitor
March 25, 2014 11:53:10 AM

Err, so you're trying to run 3 screens total? the 2 monitors and the laptop itself? I think that might be the issue, it can only support 2 screens and you're trying to add a 3rd.
What does your Windows Resolution settings look like?
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March 25, 2014 8:11:55 PM

That is correct James, I am trying to use all 3. Laptop resolution is set to 1366 x 768, while the monitors are set to 1920x1080. Any ideas on how I can make this work to be able to open seperate documents on both external monitors?
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a b C Monitor
March 25, 2014 8:16:31 PM

Hottoddy71 said:
That is correct James, I am trying to use all 3. Laptop resolution is set to 1366 x 768, while the monitors are set to 1920x1080. Any ideas on how I can make this work to be able to open seperate documents on both external monitors?


You could try two usb to HDMI and see if that works. I think there might also be single USB to dual monitor connectors out there.
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March 25, 2014 8:49:46 PM

KevinAr18 said:
Hottoddy71 said:
That is correct James, I am trying to use all 3. Laptop resolution is set to 1366 x 768, while the monitors are set to 1920x1080. Any ideas on how I can make this work to be able to open seperate documents on both external monitors?


You could try two usb to HDMI and see if that works. I think there might also be single USB to dual monitor connectors out there.


I appreciate all of your efforts to help. Would a USB 3.0 docking station be a better approach? I found one that has 1 hdmi out and 1 dvi out.

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a b C Monitor
March 25, 2014 8:53:48 PM

I would need to check the specs to see if your ports are fast enough ... and how much bandwidth the hub would need for two monitors.

I only see one usb 3.0 port listed for your computer, so it *might* work on that one (but not the other one?)... but I would need to spend some time to check.
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March 26, 2014 7:58:25 PM

KevinAr18 said:
I would need to check the specs to see if your ports are fast enough ... and how much bandwidth the hub would need for two monitors.

I only see one usb 3.0 port listed for your computer, so it *might* work on that one (but not the other one?)... but I would need to spend some time to check.


Thanks again for responding. I appreciate any help you can offer. I am trying to help a friend who knows even less about this stuff than I do (which isn't saying much). I have seen several USB 3.0 docking stations available but would hate to purchase one as a "test" unit.

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Best solution

a b C Monitor
March 27, 2014 10:28:05 AM

Hottoddy71 said:
Thanks again for responding. I appreciate any help you can offer. I am trying to help a friend who knows even less about this stuff than I do (which isn't saying much). I have seen several USB 3.0 docking stations available but would hate to purchase one as a "test" unit.
I actually mean something like this instead of a USB Hub and another USB to HDMI adapter. Sorry about that:
http://www.siig.com/it-products/multimedia/video-conver...
It takes 1 USB plug and allows you to use 2 monitors. You will need to use the USB 3.0 port on your laptop for it probably. (One of your ports is 2.0, and one is 3.0)
The "right side" is 3.0 according to this (page 14):
http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c03958968.pdf

BTW, might I ask what model USB to VGA adapter you are using now? *maybe* the adapter you use relies on your current video card and *maybe* your current video card is limited to 2 monitors (as goku1234567890 mentioned). I think some adapters actually include their own separate "video card" or whatever that *maybe* allows them to add extra monitors (but I'm guessing at this).

Before you do that, can you check something?

1. First, I assume that when you use HDMI, that if you go to display properties, then there will be 2 monitors listed right?
2. The laptop is primary and the HDMI is on extended, right?
3. The laptop is monitor #1 and the HDMI is monitor #2 right?

4. What happens after you then add the USB to VGA?

* Are there still only 2 monitors listed or are there now 3 monitors in display properties now?
* Which monitor is which monitor # in the display properties?
* What are the settings on all the monitors now? Can you enable all 3 of them in the settings (if all 3 show up)
* If there are 3 monitors, can you disable one of them, then hit apply, and then enable a different one? (For example, can you make the HDMI work even when the VGA is plugged in, by first disabling the VGA?)
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March 29, 2014 9:37:35 AM

KevinAr18 said:
Hottoddy71 said:
Thanks again for responding. I appreciate any help you can offer. I am trying to help a friend who knows even less about this stuff than I do (which isn't saying much). I have seen several USB 3.0 docking stations available but would hate to purchase one as a "test" unit.
I actually mean something like this instead of a USB Hub and another USB to HDMI adapter. Sorry about that:
http://www.siig.com/it-products/multimedia/video-conver...
It takes 1 USB plug and allows you to use 2 monitors. You will need to use the USB 3.0 port on your laptop for it probably. (One of your ports is 2.0, and one is 3.0)
The "right side" is 3.0 according to this (page 14):
http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c03958968.pdf

BTW, might I ask what model USB to VGA adapter you are using now? *maybe* the adapter you use relies on your current video card and *maybe* your current video card is limited to 2 monitors (as goku1234567890 mentioned). I think some adapters actually include their own separate "video card" or whatever that *maybe* allows them to add extra monitors (but I'm guessing at this).

Before you do that, can you check something?

1. First, I assume that when you use HDMI, that if you go to display properties, then there will be 2 monitors listed right?
2. The laptop is primary and the HDMI is on extended, right?
3. The laptop is monitor #1 and the HDMI is monitor #2 right?

4. What happens after you then add the USB to VGA?

* Are there still only 2 monitors listed or are there now 3 monitors in display properties now?
* Which monitor is which monitor # in the display properties?
* What are the settings on all the monitors now? Can you enable all 3 of them in the settings (if all 3 show up)
* If there are 3 monitors, can you disable one of them, then hit apply, and then enable a different one? (For example, can you make the HDMI work even when the VGA is plugged in, by first disabling the VGA?)


First off I need thank you for all of your time and help. The system is working properly. With the Hdmi monitor working properly in extended mode the laptop screen is #1 and the hdmi is #2. Resolution on laptop is 1366x768 and #2 was 1980x1020. When I connect the J5Create USB to VGA adapter the VGA monitor appeared in display properties as #3 with 1980x1020 resolution. #2 became greyed out in properties. The drop down box that shows extended or duplicated was showing disconnect this monitor for #2(hdmi) I changed that to extended and it is working fine. The settings are saved and it work properly on your restarts. If I mess with the settings with the adapter unplugged when i reconnect the adapter the hdmi monitor automatically changes from extended to disconnect. I am thinking that is the default programming when an external adapter/card is installed. Thank you again so very much for all of your help.

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a b C Monitor
March 29, 2014 10:02:20 AM

Hottoddy71 said:
First off I need thank you for all of your time and help. The system is working properly. With the Hdmi monitor working properly in extended mode the laptop screen is #1 and the hdmi is #2. Resolution on laptop is 1366x768 and #2 was 1980x1020. When I connect the J5Create USB to VGA adapter the VGA monitor appeared in display properties as #3 with 1980x1020 resolution. #2 became greyed out in properties. The drop down box that shows extended or duplicated was showing disconnect this monitor for #2(hdmi) I changed that to extended and it is working fine. The settings are saved and it work properly on your restarts. If I mess with the settings with the adapter unplugged when i reconnect the adapter the hdmi monitor automatically changes from extended to disconnect. I am thinking that is the default programming when an external adapter/card is installed. Thank you again so very much for all of your help.

Interesting...., although I have no clue why it happens that way. :) 
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