Multiple Monitor Support

Another new feature in Windows 2000 is the ability to support multiple monitors. Windows 2000 can support up to 10, and allows you to extend the desktop across these additional monitors. Of course, you will need a number of separate display adapters for this to work (or an adapter that supports dual monitors). One adapter must function as the primary display device, the others as secondaries. Color depth and resolution can be configured for each device individually, via the Display program. A few important notes on multiple monitors:

  • PCI or AGP display adapters are the only types supported for multiple monitors in Windows 2000
  • If you have an on-board display adapter, this will automatically be made a secondary. You should always install Windows 2000 with the onboard adapter only. If another adapter is present, Windows 2000 will disable the onboard adapter during setup. Add additional display adapters after the OS is installed. If your setup now has an onboard and a PCI adapter, for example, the PCI will be the primary, the onboard the secondary. Note that your BIOS may not support using the onboard adapter when another physical adapter is present.
  • You can drag the monitor icons in the Display program to match the physical layout of your monitors.
  • If multiple monitors is not working correctly, be sure that the ‘Extend My Windows Desktop Onto This Monitor’ checkbox is selected for any secondaries, and that you are using a display adapter capable of supporting multiple monitors (PCI or AGP)

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.