Two external monitors on a docking station


I have docking station for my new Dell Latitude and I plugged in one monitor via VGA and the other DVI.  However, the VGA monitor remains blank, and I don’t see a third monitor in display settings.  Do I need to do something on my PC to make this additional monitor work?



I saw this question as a comment to another post on using multiple monitors with a laptop. The answer is that the Dell laptops, like my Latitude D500, D600, and D820s, only support two displays at once. So, you can connect one external monitor and use it side-by-side with the laptop’s built-in LCD display. Or, you can use two external monitors and close your laptop’s lid. But you can’t keep your laptop open and use the built-in LCD display along with two external monitors.

If you want two external displays alongside the internal display, you’ll need to use a USB video adapter as this post described. The downside to that is that the resolution is pretty limited, and if you’re already using multiple monitors, you probably don’t want the low resolution. Otherwise, you can use a second computer, and run MaxiVista.

10 Responses to “Two external monitors on a docking station”

  1. Trey says:

    Need some help, please. I am trying to connect my dell latitude 600 with the dell docking station to my 17 inch desktop monitor as well as a 26 inch toshiba lcd tv. My docking station has a vga output (which i have connected to the desktop monitor via a vga cable) and a dvi output (which i connected to the HDMI input on the tv via an dvi-hdmi cable).
    I can get a picture on the desktop monitor but I cannot get a picture on the LCD tv. When I dock the laptop, i keep the lid closed and everything I have read tells me that i should be able to project on to two different video sources at the same time, but I have not been able to.

    Any help you could offer would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  2. Bob Hickman says:

    Thanks so much for this info. I call dell and talked to their “Gold support”. Sorry “extend mode not supported” they told me. I sent an email to their tech support, “sorry extend mode not supported”, I had them escalate the problem. Same answer.

    I then resorted to good old Google. Your answer with the key statement “and close the lid on your laptop” was all that I needed. Both monitors came right up, and worked in extend mode.

    Thanks for your tip.

  3. cgarison says:

    Matrox offers a product called DuelHead2Go which allows you to run two monitors off of the video port of your computer while keeping laptop display running as well. It cost around $170.00.

  4. Gerald says:

    The Website is not yet activated…I added a video card and a monitor to my PC and all I can get on my new monitor is the right HALF of the screen.
    I clicked on desktop/Properties/Settings/the new monitor and checked the box “Extend my windows desktop onto this monitor” and it did NOT like that at all.
    It shut down-started back up-and wanted to know if I wanted to start in “Safe Mode”.
    The only thing that worked was “Last good configuration”
    Also, I “Restored” to yesterday so I could KNOW it is back to a “good” config.
    I looked in System Info and it appears to have configured a driver but color planes; color table entries; resolution; and bits/pixel shows “Not Available”
    Can you show me how to correct the problem ?

  5. Notebook Display Enquirer says:

    I am trying to connect dual-external-monitors to a Dell Latitude X1 laptop. The ultimate goal is for the laptop to be closed, hidden away, with the dual monitors displaying independent applications (not cloned). Does the Targus ExpressCardâ„¢ Notebook Docking Station support dual-monitors that will display independently for a notebook? I have both digital and vga adapters for the monitors. Support graciously told me to purchase the product, and if it did not perform as I would like, then I could return it for a 15-25% restocking fee. Lesson Learned: understand hardware capabilities and compatibilities.

    Any advice is appreciated!

  6. Dan says:

    I have two monitors in use with a Dell Latitude and docking station, and all is well. Problems arise when I come back to the docking station after working elsewhere: Windows XP doesn’t have any “memory” of what the multiple monitor display should be, and I have to set up multiple monitors again every time. Is there a way to aoid this, or software that can manage the monitor setups for me?


    • Nina says:

      go to control panel, search for power options then set close the lid to “do nothing

      display settings – choose extend your monitor

  7. Anonymous says:

    look for power options under control panel change settings for close the lid to “do nothing” set your display settings to extend and use the identify button to determine which monitors your are extending to

  8. Brian says:

    Thanks for the info I now am running 2 screens with my D820!

  9. sherm says:

    I am in search of a docking station for my inspiron 1440. I have two 22 inch monitors that i am trying to connect to it. I am having no luck and advice on products i can use?