General Question

8lightminutesaway's avatar

Can you play a game on monitor and have your desktop up, or another window open on a second monitor?

Asked by 8lightminutesaway (1398 points ) May 28th, 2008

I had dual displays working just fine. I tried everything I could think of when my friend left his monitor over after a LAN party, but I couldn’t get a game on one, and something else on the other. They were different resolutions… could that be part of the problem? Or is it not possible to do? If it is, how? And how would you switch between the game and desktop?

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7 Answers

pattyb's avatar

you said they were working just fine, so you know it can be done. Your monitor software preferences were changed. What OS are you using?

8lightminutesaway's avatar

vista 32.
Yeah, the dual display works with his, but not the way I want it to. it was a while ago, but im pretty sure what would happen is that the game would open on one screen, and you’d have the desktop on the other, and you’d have to alt+tab to get to the desktop. only problem was that when you did that, the game would minimize. Can you stop it from minimizing? Like i said, it was a while ago, so its possible that didnt happen and the 2nd screen just went black, i cant remember :p

chaosrob's avatar

I’m using XP SP3 with an Nvidia 8600 GTS driving 2 19” LCDs and I do this all the time without any trouble. Mainly I’m using Steam games, esp. Half-Life. Is it possibly a Vista driver issue? Also, the game might not support operating in “windowed” mode, and might only function when it can take over the whole display. That would make it a fairly poorly written, or possibly very old, game. Still, they’re out there.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

hmmm, I have an xp partition, i should try it on there. I usually only use steam games as well (tf2, hl2, cod4). at least now I know its possible. do you just alt+tab to switch from the game to the desktop?

chaosrob's avatar

My desktop is visible on the second display, so I just click. Alt tab works too.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

If you’re playing half life or another fps, how do you get your mouse over to the other screen though??

chaosrob's avatar

Dunno, just works.

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