Vista changes graphics card management subsystem!

I’ve been trying to get 4 monitors up and running on my main system now for a while.  I’ve got an XPS 420 that I got a killer deal on some time ago.  It’s a Quad-core 2.4 Ghz (using BSEL hack it can be 3 Ghz), and I jammed it with 8Gb of ram, so of course I am stuck running Vista 64 bit.  Ultimate to be exact.  Well, I won’t lie to you and say its been all love and kisses between me and Vista; truth be told I’d have much preferred to stay on XP.  I actually LIKE XP.

Anyway, back to my original topic.  So, my main video card is in the PCI-E slot, so I am left with either upgrading to a PCI-E card that supports 4 monitors , yuck and $$$, or to get a legacy PCI card that supports an additional 2 monitors.  That is the path I chose to take, so I hopped over to Ebay to acquire a card.  Wow, Radeon 7000 for $25 bucks?  DEAL.  I get it delivered, get it installed, and then…oops, forgot I was running 64 bit.  No 64 bit driver for old-ass legacy cards like that.  Back to the drawing board.

Head back over to Ebay, and find 2 Nvidia FX5200 256MB for $50.  DEAL.  Pay for them and wait the WEEK it takes for them to get here from Oklahoma (I’m in Texas, so why so SLOW?).  Finally install the card tonight.  Guess what?  First message I get is “At least one display adapter on the system has been disabled because its driver is not compatible with the driver for the VGA adapter”.  WTF does that mean?  A few minutes research and I find an article on the Microsoft site here that explains the problem.  A quick summary is that in vista, you have to use video cards from the same vendor, because they share the graphics stack.  In XP, it was FINE to run with cards from different vendors…but no, in their infinite wisdom (they say for stability, so I assume they had too many bugs to ship it like XP), they have moved us BACKWARDS in features from a previous release.  So now I have to go buy yet another video card.  SHEESH.

I’ll post a follow up once I get the new one from NewEgg.  Its a PCI version of the same card I already have running in my PCI-E slot, so it should be very simple to get working.  Somehow, I find I have a serious lack of confidence in that.

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5 Comments

  1. rakesh
    Posted March 21, 2009 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    I think this problem is solved in Windows 7. Windows 7 supports multiple heterogeneous graphics adapters. That means you can even use nvidia and ati graphics adapters in a single single for a multi-monitor setup. At last Microsoft knows this is a big mistake. But i don’t have any personal experience, i got all these things by a little research. So please try this in Windows 7 and let me know what is the truth.
    All the best.

  2. rakesh
    Posted March 23, 2009 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Did you try Windows 7. If it works please post details

    • Posted March 23, 2009 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      I haven’t tried it yet. This computer isn’t one I am willing to test it on, but I have another with the same video card, so I will pop this card out when I get the new one, slap it into the other computer and put windows 7 on and see how it behaves. I’ll post an update once I try it.

  3. Rakesh
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your comment. i am waiting for an update in your post.

  4. Rakesh
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your comment. i am waiting for an update in your post. Windows 7 RC is now available for free download.

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