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Running 3 monitors


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#1 tijiay

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 05:09 PM

My computer system is 7 years old. OS is XP Home, fully up to date.
Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHZ
ATI AIW Radeon 8500 video card.

I want to run 3 monitors, but have no additional slots at the back for this.

Tracked down an old pci card (Quadro NVS280 PCI) that I was told a computer of my vintage would require.

No problem fitting it into the slot in the computer and I used a cable splitter to run the two additional monitors.

Everything works fine for hours (almost all day). Then all three monitors show intereference.
Reboot, and all is fine for a couple more hours. Then intereference. Reboot and things work well for only a few minutes at a time.

Tried inserting the PCI card in a different slot. Same experience. Tried running with just two monitors. Same thing. Switched the slots to which the monitors are plugged. Same thing.

Any suggestions about what else I might try?

Thanks for any help! Tom

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 06:02 PM

Just exactly what do you mean by interference?

Herringbone patterns in the video?

You could be experiencing RF interference from a local radio station or television station that has a high RF pattern in your area.

Another possible issue is, one monitor's scan or sync pulses are carrying over into the other monitor.

This situation would look similar to a portion of the video screen waving from side to side or a horizontal ghost-like line floating up or down the screen and re-tracing its pattern over and over again.

Since I can not see the interference you speak of, I can not properly offer a solution for it.

If you could be a bit more descriptive or even post an image of the screen showing this interference, it would help me in offering a permanent solution.

Bruce.
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#3 tijiay

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 06:34 PM

Hi Bruce.

The screens are filled with vertical bars, about a half inch wide, all across each
screen, so you can barely see the desktop. Each vertical bar is like a freeway,
with 4 parallel dotted lines all the way down.


Here's what I've done trying to solve this:

1. Powered off the second and third monitors and rebooted, leaving them off. Same
problem.

2. Powered off one of the new monitors, and disconnected it, power, and patch
cord. Rebooted and ran just two monitors. No change.

3. Powered off both of the new monitors, and disconnected them, power and
patch cord. Rebooted so just running the main monitor. No change.

4. Shut down computer, and changed the position of the second video card
(installed it the first time in the slot beside the main video card). Now
seated one slot further along.

5. Rebooted running three monitors. No change: Everything works
fine for a while. Then the same interference lines.

6. I've removed the PCI card and disconnected the two monitors, just so I can keep on
working. But if it would help to have a picture, I'll set things up again and get that.

(Thanks for the reply Bruce! Appreciate your help.)

Tom

#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 08:38 PM

I am trying to draw an image in my mind as to what you are seeing on the screen when all three monitors display these video artifacts.

I am imagining your hardware set up would be the ATI AIW Radeon 8500 video graphics accelerator, a Quadro NVS280 PCI card. Do you have drivers installed for each video adapter?

Is the PSU supplying enough output to the entire computer system while you are using these two video cards at the same time?

It seems to me like you stated you are splitting the video signal from the Quadro NVS280 PCI card to supply video output to the inputs of two separate monitors. Is this correct?

Now if this is correct, how are you going about splitting the video output from the Quadro NVS280 PCI card to the two monitors?

Are you using a "Y" type patch cord, where the video out from the PCI expansion card is split to supply video to the two separate monitors?

If this is the case, how does the video perform on the primary video output when the PCI expansion card is absent from the motherboard?

Does the problem seem to pop up once you have the PCI expansion card installed with just one monitor hooked up minus the Y patch cord?

I will watch for your reply.

Kind regards.

Bruce.
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#5 tijiay

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 09:33 PM

Bruce, closing down here tonight. First thing tomorrow I will update video drivers, try the variations you've suggested, respond to your questions, and see if I can get a picture of the interference as well. Tom

#6 tijiay

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 09:57 PM

Hi Bruce,

I've been working on this all day.

Re-installed the PCI card.

Updated the PCI drivers.

Still got the interference. But the secondary monitors became problem free.

Just the main, ATI monitor to solve.

dl a program that helped with updating _all_ drivers on my system. Worked my way through those.

At this point: looks like it's working! All 3 monitors are go.

(Some other problems have emerged: getting eyestrain from the settings on the main monitor, and will work through that. Also scrolling is sluggish. Not sure what the problem is there. My monitor has two settings: digital and analog. The best setting may have been swapped in all of the updating - if I can't solve that, will post in the right forum).

But...good news is that, at least at this point, I seem to be running 3 monitors successfully.

Many, many thanks for your help!

Tom

#7 MrBruce1959

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 10:48 PM

You're very welcome Tom.

If you continue having issues, you can use this same thread to address those issues if you wish too.

I know how a days worth of technical work can do a number not only on the eyes, but on the mind as well. makes you look like this :crazy: after a while.

Bruce.
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#8 tijiay

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 05:00 PM

Hey Bruce, Got a kick out of the warped smiley face! (which I think I'm probably beginning to resemble a lot more than I would like...)

Here's the dilemma....

The interference problem is solved.

I also know what is causing the sluggish scrolling. It's a problem with ATI software. If you don't delete all of the ATI software first, the install may have problems.

So, I deleted the old ATI drivers, and then installed all of the up-to-date drivers.

Scrolls beautifully!

....but the interference problem comes back :(

Not sure what to do at this point. Maybe I should contact ATI.

Hoping you might have a suggestion...

Tom




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