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3 Monitors using 2 Graphics Cards in Windows 7 64bit

Last response: in Windows 7
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September 7, 2010 12:40:45 PM

Hello everyone-
I have 3 monitors of the same make & model (Acer al2017) and would love to use them on my windows 7 rig for various reasons. I currently run 2 monitors on the system and I run into trouble when I try to get the 3rd going. My (working 2 monitor) system setup is as follows:

Biostar NF4u AM2g Motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
4 gb ram
Sata HD & Dvd-r
EVGA Geforce 9800 gt - 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
2x Acer AL2017 LCD Monitors

Extra Cards not in system all the time:
EVGA 9400 GT PCI
PNY Geforce 8400 GS PCI

The system works fantastic in all honesty. It's been upgraded and has never failed me (knock on wood). I went ahead and picked up a pci graphic card figuring if I kept the same chipset it would make things easier, I ended up getting the Evga Geforce 9400gt. As for as I know they both use the same drivers and are both supported by Windows 7 64bit.
Upon trying to a fresh Windows 7 install I wasn't able to get past the initial setup, it would goto boot into Windows 7 to finish the installation and freeze up. After trying every possible setup ( I switched pci slots, used only the dvi headers on the original card, used only the pci card) I was able to get both installed by doing a fresh install using the pci card then dropping in the pcix card, and the end result of that was windows installing the drivers before I could install my own downloaded ones which would result in a freeze up.
After trying for literally hours I started just using the pci card, it would then result in distorted graphics display (lines on the screen). So I was convinced at some point I had burned out the card.
So yesterday I picked up a PNY Geforce 8400gs pci card. I shut down and dropped in the card only to have the display do the same ol no boot up I had gotten before. Switching out nothing but the pci card resulted in distorted displays and freeze ups.
At this point I'm literally pulling my hair out. I ended up getting into safe mode using just the pci card (the new one) and noticed something- the graphics display great! I'm guessing its because of the lack of the bells and whistles of windows 7, but still no freezups, no errors, worked fine.
I know I've written a wall of text, and I'm sorry. I'm just pulling my hair out over this issue and want nothing more than to have my 3 monitors working, and if I can't I'm gonna start returning some graphics cards hehe.
a c 366 $ Windows 7
a c 164 U Graphics card
a c 104 C Monitor
September 7, 2010 1:24:59 PM

Actually, I have seen many cases where a different chipsed for the second card works best. About 10 years back I worked at a large pharma company and we did lots of high-end video work for 3D modeling, multi-monitor setups, etc... Using 2 different cards has always worked out best for me, in the situation you are tryhing to use it for.

You may need to update your BIOS or check it's video settings to force the main video into the correct card.
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September 7, 2010 1:28:08 PM

I've updated the bios to latest version and have checked the bios settings to use the pcix display first but it makes almost no difference. I'll have to poke around and see if I can find an ati card somewhere.
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September 22, 2010 3:24:31 PM

Anyone have any new insight on the matter? I've update the bios to the newest and still there is no use, should I be trying anything else? I havent had a chance to get an ati card but I'de rather not shell out anymore cash.
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 272 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 22, 2010 4:40:14 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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