Dual Monitor Inspiron 530 with Radeon 3600

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The goal: extended desktop, so I can have different apps on either monitor (three apps, side by side, accounting work. sometimes need 4 apps!).

I can't get two monitors to work on my Inspiron 530, Vista 64-bit. The Dell Support site, and other sites, makes it sound as easy as plugging in the two cables, one to the VGA port and the other to the DVI port. Not so. I have googled and searched the Dell community and not found specific guidance, so can anyone help a non-IT person? I am so not a tech person, but I'm trying to be self-sufficient.

I'm not sure what order to describe the hardware and set-ups I've tried, but I know you guys like as much info as possible, so:

Processor: E7400 2.8 Ghz, 8 Mb RAM, I don't know how to find info on power supply if that matters.

Graphics Card: I bought the machine in 2009 with the ATI Radeon HD 3650 graphics card so that I could have dual monitors in the future. Now that I'm ready for two monitors. I can see in the Catalyst Control Center where this might be set up, but I can't get the machine to see both monitors upon boot.

Ports: Looking at the back of the machine, and along the bottom row I see the DVI port, and also have an HDMI port and a Mini DisplayPort. Above on the left is the VGA port, which is capped.

Monitors I have for now:

  1. Dell SP2900W, which I ordered with the machine, came with VGA and DVI-D (single) cables (+USB), always used it plugged in to the DVI (w USB).
  2. Dell U2713HM, came with VGA and DVI-D (dual) cables (+USB)

Experience: I can get either monitor to work individually, using the DVI port. But if I try to plug one in to the VGA port, individually or in combo with the other in the DVI, I get the dreaded "added-in graphics card" message upon boot - my beginners research is telling me that the VGA port is now not usable, because of the Radeon 3650, and I think that message is telling me to give up on the VGA and only use the DVI port. But I only have one DVI port.... 

One thing about the USB cables, which I understand also have to be plugged in at the same time as the DVI, I have them plugged in to a D-Link DUB-H7. There's one spare USB port on the back of the machine, and four available on the front, if I need to stop using the D-link for the monitors, please let me know.

So please, gods of all things Dell, what do I need to obtain my goal?

  1. Edit the BIOS to re-enable VGA (how do I do that and will that allow me to use both the DVI and VGA ports?)?
  2. Get an HDMI cable, so one monitor can be HDMI, the other DVI? Both monitors have HDMI ports.
  3. Get a graphics expansion external thing (like Matrox DualHead2Go DP)?
  4. Upgrade Catalyst Control Center? I have 11.5.
  5. Update driver on Radeon HD 3650? I have 8.850, from 4/19/11, wow that is old I guess, but at the AMD site, I get a bit confused, which one, which one...
  6. Take the machine to a computer service store and have them install a second DVI port?

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Please help, or I'll use the "crying like a baby" emoticon.

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4 Replies

RE: Dual Monitor Inspiron 530 with Radeon 3600

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The keyboard, mouse, and both monitor USB upstream cables should be plugged directly into the rear USB ports on the Inspiron 530. Any other USB peripherals should be plugged into the D-Link DUB-H7 which is plugged into one of the USB ports on the front of the Inspiron 530.

Monitor 1 = Video Card DVI --> DVI to DVI cable --> SP2009WFP DVI
Monitor 2 = Video Card Mini DisplayPort --> mDP to DP cable --> U2713HM DP port
Then go into the Ati Catalyst Control Center and setup extended mode.

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RE: Dual Monitor Inspiron 530 with Radeon 3600

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Thank you Chris M, so much. I will purchase an mDP cable, and will post back to confirm that all is working.

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RE: Dual Monitor Inspiron 530 with Radeon 3600

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Answering back re: the successful setup. The answer was that I needed to purchase a cable that didn't come standard with either monitor - the DP cable. Thanks for making it simple for me Chris M!

My error - the Inspiron 530 doesn't have an mDP port, just a standard DP. So a DP to DP cable for the U2713HM monitor has done the trick.

Re: Catalyst Control - I will include info for the benefit of anyone reading this thread. I should not have bothered trying to upgrade Catalyst Control. It was working fine, although can't say how helpful or unhelpful it would have been if I had left it alone, as I uninstalled it prior to receiving the DP to DP cable.

I did attempt to upgrade CCC, without doing too much research on that, and ran into problems. After standard Windows uninstall, couldn't install the new version. There are problems like this reported all over the web, including here www.tomshardware.com/.../292497-33-drivers-catalyst-control-centre-install  Until I take the time to completely clean uninstall every component of the Catalyst Control 11.5, e.g. w/ Drive Sweeper, I can't install the newer version of CCC.

But I am operating just fine with standard Vista Display properties, simply by extending the desktop to the second monitor. I am not knowledgeable enough to know what, if anything, Catalyst Control would provide for me beyond the functional dual monitors I now have, and am going to leave it be for now - I need to get back to work!

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RE: Dual Monitor Inspiron 530 with Radeon 3600

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Chris M.

I have Dell Inspiron 530, ATI RAydon HD 3600 graphics. Current monitor is Dell SP2009W, using DVI to DVI. Windows 7 home premium.

Trying to add an LG Flatron W2253 TQ monitor.  Both monitors have DVI and D-sub sockets.

Using the DVI from the LG monitor to the open plug on back of machine did not work, same message as user above.

The back of the graphics card has a DVI socket, (in use), then a small rectangular socket with an angle across one corner (? Display Port, but unmarked), and then an HDMI socket.

Can I buy a cable that will go from the LG monitor to one of the unused sockets on the graphics card and allow me to have two monitors?


Jerry Bushnell

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