I have a dell computer at work running Windows XP. I do not have administrator rights. I did manage however, to get access to the Nvidia desktop manager. I can see in the Nvidia options that I can set it up for extended desktops using two monitors. I know I set it up correctly because when I hit ctrl print screen and paste it onto word I can see my main desk top and the extended part of the desktop. Here is where the issue starts. There is a video card inside the computer with a DVI slot where my main monitor is hooked up to via DVI to VGA adapter. There is also a VGA slot that is attached to the motherboard itself, I tried to attach a second display onto it and work with the settings for a dual monitor and it doesn't work. My only guess is that only the DVI slot attached to my graphics card will work and not the VGA slot attached to the motherboard. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get a dual monitor set up with out having to install a program or driver to the system? I have a dual monitor set up at home so It’s not my first time setting one up but with the restrictions I have to work with, it’s pretty challenging for me. Here is the kicker, I have seen it done in other offices at my work so I know its possible, but no one knows how the previous owner achieved it, and I have inspected the physical set up and software settings and don’t notice anything different compared to my own set up at work.
The problem is that you're trying to use two different display processors - the graphics card & motherboard chipset - when you can only use one or the other at a given time. In order to achieve dual monitors, you have to either have two display ports on your motherboard, and use just the mobo graphics, or likewise with the video card.
The reason why the print screen acts as if there's two monitors is because according to the PC, there should be two displays...the fact that the other isn't connected though is irrelevant to it. Because of the settings, it's still going to process the video to support two displays; it's up to you to hook up another display device to access that second half though (using the same video processor). But, if there's only one display port per hardware, it's just not possible. There are devices out there though that allow you to split a single video signal to output on two displays, but the second will just be a mirror image.
Sorry if the explanation is a bit convoluted, but it's been a long day for me and I'm kind of tired, lol. Hopefully you get the picture though...no pun intended.