Here’s a little walkthrough on how to setup dual monitors in Windows Vista. I figured I’d throw this together as I finally got around to purchasing another display after I prematurely sold off my Samsung 740N that I had setup as a secondary display.
If you’ve not tried a dual monitor setup before, then I highly suggest that you do. It makes work (or anything else for that matter) so much easier and more efficient. Instead of “window juggling” as I like to call it, you can simply have multiple things open on each screen and move back and forth between them. You can bet that I’m never putting myself into a position to where I have only one display again.
Right Click The Desktop and then left click Personalize following which click on the Display Settings icon.
You should then see the display settings dialog, obviously, and it’ll look a little something like this:
My monitor layout is different from the one shown, so a little adjustment is necessary. If yours differs from what it shows as well (My main screen is actually on the right) then simply drag one of the screens to its appropriate location in relation to your primary display.
Once done, and while the new monitor is still highlighted, check the Extend the desktop onto this monitor box, set the resolution to what it should be (for most 17″ or 19″ flat panels it’ll be 1280×1024) and then click Apply.
The desktop should extend onto the monitor at this point, and a dialog that says Do you want to keep these display settings? Reverting back to previous display settings in 15 seconds will pop up. Click Yes, assuming that everything looks correct, and you’re done! Your desktop background should duplicate on the new screen and you’ll now be able to drag programs over to it.
One thing to keep in mind is that games will only occupy the display you have set as the primary. So, for instance, you’re playing Fallout 3 whenever it comes out then it’d only take up Screen #1.
Not much to it, eh? If you decide to go the multi-display route as well, I would suggest getting two monitors that are the same size. Currently I have a Samsung 940bw as well as the new Hyundai L90D+. My Samsung is a 16:10 aspect ratio widescreen with a resolution of 1440×900. The Hyundai is a 19″ normal aspect ratio with a resolution of 1280×1024. Because the resolutions differ as well as the height differences dragging items from one display to the other looks a bit odd. The color settings don’t exactly match either as the Hyundai is a bit “warmer” which adds to the disparity. This isn’t a big deal, really, but I’m fairly OCD and just having two things on my desk that so completely don’t match is irritating.
Oh well, it’s nothing more than a stop-gap until I can get me a pair of 21.6″ Samsung 216BW displays.