Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Can I share a monitor with an old Win XP workstation and a new Win 7 notebook?


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Cynthia Moore

Cynthia Moore

  • Members
  • 300 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:01:18 AM

Posted 04 January 2017 - 04:01 AM

I have an old Dell Omniplex 740 workstation running Win XP that I am replacing with a brand new Dell Latitude E5470 notebook running Win 7 and a Dell Pro2X E-Port docking station.

 

The old PC is connected to a Dell 2407 WFPb 24" monitor. Once the conversion is complete, I want to use that same monitor with the new notebook by attaching it to the docking station. I have about half of my applications moved over to the new PC, but I am getting frustrated with the small (14") laptop screen.

 

Is there a way I can share the 24" monitor with both the old and new PCs? Can I buy some sort of switch that will allow me to connect this monitor to both the old PC as it is now and also the new PC through the docking station and switch back and forth without having to power either one off? This is just a temporary setup until I can get the last few apps off the old PC. Probably a few weeks.

 

I see a bunch of "monitor switches" for sale, but I have no clue at to which ones work well and what the pitfalls might be.

 

These are the ports I have to work with. I have also attached photos of the actual ports.

 

The monitor is fairly new. It has these ports on the back: DVI, VGA, Composite Video, S-Video, Component Video (RCA?), 1 USB upstream port, and 2 USB downstream ports. It has these ports on the side: 2 USB ports, 1 combo SM/SD/MS/MMC port, and 1 Conpact Flash port.

 

The old PC has these ports: 25 pin parallel port (12+13), 9 pin serial (4+5), 15 pin VGA (3x5), 59 pin DMS-59 (4x15 minus 1), Ethernet, and 5 USB ports.

 

The monitor is connected to the old PC through the 15-pin VGA cable out the back of the monitor. That cable is connected to the Video "1" VGA side of a Molex DMS-59 to VGA splitter and the DMS-59 side is connected to that port on the PC. I don’t know why it isn’t just connected to the VGA port. It was done a long time ago by a tech support guy.

 

The Molex splitter looks like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003EHCPWM.

 

The docking station for the new PC has these ports: Network (Ethernet?), parallel, DVI 1 & 2, DisplayPort 1 & 2, VGA, serial, PS/2, USB/E-Sata, & 5 USB ports.

 

Should I try removing the Molex splitter and just connecting the VGA cable directly from the monitor to the old PC? If that works, can I get one of the VGA switches?

 

If this really won't work or will be a huge hassle, just tell me and I'll just go buy another monitor. I may want to use two on the new PC at some point.

 

While looking at these switches, I noticed that some of them claimed to be able to share the keyboard and mouse as well. I currently have a Logitech wireless mouse and keyboard on the old PC. I will probably want to move them to the new PC as well. Do these switches work for wireless devices or should I just go get another set of those, too?

 

Thanks for any help.

 

Attached File  Optiplex 740.jpg   101.38KB   0 downloads

Attached File  Docking Station.jpg   129.83KB   0 downloads

Attached File  Monitor.jpg   49.96KB   0 downloads


Running Win 10 & Office 365.


BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 rqt

rqt

  • Members
  • 389 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Local time:09:18 AM

Posted 04 January 2017 - 04:34 AM

You should be able to leave the old PC as it is (connected to the monitor by the 15 pin VGA cable), connect the new docking station to the monitor using a DVI-DVI cable & then use the monitor itself to switch between VGA & DVI inputs. The only part needed - if you don't already have one - would be a DVI cable - which will still be preferred method of connection even when the old PC is gone.

 

There are more complicated ways of doing this if you require  - which could involve KVM switches & removing the video card from the old PC so you can use the onboard  VGA connector (which would involve installing new video drivers) - but this is effort & expenditure for no gain.

 

Personally I would leave the keyboard & mouse as they are & swap them over when you are ready to discard the old PC.


Edited by rqt, 04 January 2017 - 04:41 AM.


#3 Cynthia Moore

Cynthia Moore
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 300 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:01:18 AM

Posted 04 January 2017 - 10:10 AM

You should be able to leave the old PC as it is (connected to the monitor by the 15 pin VGA cable), connect the new docking station to the monitor using a DVI-DVI cable & then use the monitor itself to switch between VGA & DVI inputs. The only part needed - if you don't already have one - would be a DVI cable - which will still be preferred method of connection even when the old PC is gone.

Really? That would be perfect.

 

But how does that work? I searched through the user's guide, but didn't find anything about sharing the monitor with 2 PCs.

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any idea why the monitor is connected the way it is to the old PC? (From the VGA port on the monitor to the DMS-59 port on the old PC with the Molex splitter.) Is there any reason that I can't go direct from VGA to VGA? Will anything bad happen if I try it?


Running Win 10 & Office 365.


#4 rqt

rqt

  • Members
  • 389 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Local time:09:18 AM

Posted 04 January 2017 - 10:58 AM

On your photographs the only VGA connector I can see on the old PC is capped, because it is for the on board graphics which are disabled because the PC was supplied with an optional graphics card. To use this connector you would need to uninstall the current graphics card drivers then remove the graphics card. Having done this & connected VGA to VGA you would need to check the BIOS setup to make sure no changes were required there, then boot to Windows XP and install new graphics drivers for the on board graphics. Much simpler to just leave things as they are. 

 

Monitors will multiple inputs pretty much always have a facility to switch between inputs - usually in the monitor's menu system or by using a specific control button. Also generally speaking if the monitor is turned on & only one of the inputs has a signal the monitor will automatically switch to the active input. See monitor connection guide here:-

http://www.dell.com/support/home/uk/en/ukbsdt1/product-support/product/dell-2407WFP-HC/manuals

specifically section 7 about the "Input Source Select Button"


Edited by rqt, 04 January 2017 - 11:08 AM.


#5 Kilroy

Kilroy

  • BC Advisor
  • 3,445 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Launderdale, MN
  • Local time:03:18 AM

Posted 04 January 2017 - 01:44 PM

rqt has the best plan.  Connect one machine to the Blue VGA connector and the other to the White DVI connector.  There should be a button on the monitor to allow you to change the source or input, normally the far left.



#6 Cynthia Moore

Cynthia Moore
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 300 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:01:18 AM

Posted 04 January 2017 - 06:25 PM

On your photographs the only VGA connector I can see on the old PC is capped, because it is for the on board graphics which are disabled because the PC was supplied with an optional graphics card. To use this connector you would need to uninstall the current graphics card drivers then remove the graphics card. Having done this & connected VGA to VGA you would need to check the BIOS setup to make sure no changes were required there, then boot to Windows XP and install new graphics drivers for the on board graphics. Much simpler to just leave things as they are. 

 

Monitors will multiple inputs pretty much always have a facility to switch between inputs - usually in the monitor's menu system or by using a specific control button. Also generally speaking if the monitor is turned on & only one of the inputs has a signal the monitor will automatically switch to the active input. See monitor connection guide here:-

http://www.dell.com/support/home/uk/en/ukbsdt1/product-support/product/dell-2407WFP-HC/manuals

specifically section 7 about the "Input Source Select Button"

Doh. What I thought was a VGA is actual a serial port. You are right about the cap. I found it explained in the user's guide. Much better to leave it alone. Thanks.

 

I also found the page in the monitor manual that shows the Input Source Select button. This monitor can actually support 5 inputs! So that button will cycle around the 5. It would be handy to disable 3 of them so it becomes a toggle, but it's still simpler than a switch.

 

Thanks


Running Win 10 & Office 365.


#7 Cynthia Moore

Cynthia Moore
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 300 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:01:18 AM

Posted 04 January 2017 - 06:30 PM

rqt has the best plan.  Connect one machine to the Blue VGA connector and the other to the White DVI connector.  There should be a button on the monitor to allow you to change the source or input, normally the far left.

Yup. I get it now.

 

So I need a DVI to DVi connector, something like this, right:

 

https://www.amazon.com/C2G-DVI-D-Dual-Link-Cable/dp/B0000X0VCY

 

The current VGA to DMS-59 cdable combo is about 6' long and it's a little tight, making connections awkward. I'm thinking of getting the 9' cable to give myself a little more room to work. Is cable length a problem?

 

While I am at it, I think I'll get a VGA cable that's about 3' longer, too. Should that be a problem?

 

Thanks so much.


Running Win 10 & Office 365.


#8 rqt

rqt

  • Members
  • 389 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Local time:09:18 AM

Posted 05 January 2017 - 03:49 AM

The DVI cable you have linked would be suitable.

 

Generally (all) cables should be as short as possible - but 3m / 9ft should not cause a problem for either connection (I have a 3m VGA cable & a 5m HDMI cable on my TV - HDMI video signal is the same as the DVI digital signal)



#9 Cynthia Moore

Cynthia Moore
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 300 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:01:18 AM

Posted 05 January 2017 - 12:05 PM

Thank you very much.


Running Win 10 & Office 365.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users