KVM switch + Windows 7 creates monitor switching nightmare

I have a problem with Windows 7 and my KVM switch (Iogear model# gcs1764) which is makes switching via KVM an absolute nightmare.  The iogear KVM does not use drivers nor are any available on their website.

Here's what happens:
I switch from Win 7 (2 monitors) to XP (1 monitor) via KVM.  When I switch back to Win 7 (2 monitors) sometimes Win 7 will throw my desktop to the 2nd monitor (1st monitor goes blank) and opening up display settings only shows the 2nd monitor as existing.  It's as if the 1st monitor is now unplugged which it isn't.  At this point I have to go into display settings, click Detect, and then it re-detects my 1st monitor and "extends" my desktop back out over 2 monitors.  All windows have now been thrown to my 1st monitor and i have to rearrange all my work back across 2 monitors.  This is why KVM switching in Win 7 makes my work life a living nightmare.  This isn't all of it either...

When everything gets thrown to my first monitor, it takes any windows that were maximized and resizes them to about 1/4 my screen size.  Due to compatibility issues between Win 7 and SQL Server Management Studio, Management Studio has a redraw bug that doesn't "re-size" the query window correctly.  So even though I maximize the app, when I start typing in the query window my text disappears about 1/4 the way across the whole window.  The only way to fix this is to save all my work, close the app, and then re-open the app with all my work.  So basically every time I switch computers there's about a 1/5 chance I have rinse and repeat everything I just typed above.  Fun times.

So are there any future fixes planned for this?  I have tried everything and nothing fixes this problem.  I have all the latest Nvidia drivers (my card: Nvidia GTS 250).

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Hi mdorais,

Thank you for visiting Microsoft Answers.

It is a  problem found with those KVM switches which did not pass the console display's EDID and DDC information to all the systems connected to the KVM switch.

That explains when you switch/select to other channel of connected system, the connected system simply cannot recognize what display had been connected, so end up with setback to system default (normally is 800 x 600).

Windows 7 checks display and display card constantly different from what XP and other operating systems did.

To solve this issue, just replace the KVM switch with those KVM switches supporting FULL TIME/ Active DDC function.
Please check ConnectPRO new UR or PR serial KVM switches which support Active DDC function to all the ports.

Visit this link for more information:

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/display/KVM-Win7.mspx

 Regards,
Afzal-Microsoft Support.
Visit our Microsoft Answers Feedback Forum and let us know what you think.

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Afzal, thanks for the official answer, and I appreciate mdorais for asking this first. I've been following threads on this same topic because I have the same issue.

Unfortunately, I don't know of a KVM switch that'll fit my configuration and has "FULLTIME/Active DDC", which is used to switch between my Windows 7 machine and my Mac Pro. In addition, the KVM switch was costly to begin with, so price is a big issue.

Is there simply a way to revert to older behavior or ignore this annoying resize problem?

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I have a co-worker with the exact same computer, KVM switch, and Windows 7 and he says he did something and it fixed the problem (Unfortunately he can't remember what he did).  I have verified that to be true and I've used his KVM and I still have this problem.  This seems to prove that there IS a way to make this work in Windows 7 with my KVM switch.  If Microsoft's only answer is buy a new switch, which is quite expensive, then it's more feasible for me to install my previous version of Windows that worked fine.   Windows 7 isn't worth buying a new KVM switch for.

Thanks anyway.

P.S. I just checked out those KVM switches that were recommended and the only ones available have VGA input/output instead of DVI which my current switch has.  Definitely not acceptable in 2009!

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You're answer is buy a new switch? You're kidding, right?

Can't MS put out a patch to stop the polling of the monitors for EDID info (which is
what I think is happening with my system)  I have a DVI monitor connected directly, and
a vga monitor going thru an old Belink OmniView KVM which is set up for extended desktop,
and whenever you open a window  (ie for example) on the VGA, the system moves the
window back to the DVI and flashing of both monitors start happening. Can't work with this and I
haven't seen a 4 port KVM with DVI for less than 250$ (Belkins SOHO, but not sure if that's w7 compatible)
Thanks
Gary
 

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I too now suffer from this annoying affliction as a result of upgrading (re-installing) 64-bit Windows 7 Enterprise from 32-bit Vista Business.  Exactly the same hardware (machine, screen, KVM) as I was running under Vista where the problem never occurred.  Now whenever I switch to my Win7 computer on the KVM my desktop windows are all resized to 1024x768 and shifted to the top-right of the screen.  Very frustrating.

For the record here's my setup:

  • Gefen DVI KVM (EXT-DVIKVM-241)
  • nVidia GeForce 7900GT
  • Dell 24" LCD @ 1920x1200

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This is a ridiculous answer "Buy new hardware".  I have a single monitor (HP 2408) and a $200 KVM from IO Gear that is only about a year old.  When I switch between my devices the Windows 7 device reverts to 1024 x 768 and I can't override it.  I used to be able to just go to device manager in Vista and tell it to scan for hardware changes and then the screen resolution would allow me to switch the device back to 1920 x 1200.  Now I can't do that in Windows 7.  I really just want to know if there is a way to force Windows 7 to let me try a higher resolution that what it thinks is possible. Any way to do this?

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All, I found a workaround for my situation.  It is a crummy workaround, but it works for me.  When I switch back to Windows 7 I reach back and pull the power cord on my KVM.  When I plug it back in Windows 7 picks up the change and switches the display resolution back to my full resolution.

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Hi ,

Thank you for visiting Microsoft Answers.

The resolution you can use depends on the resolutions your monitor supports. CRT monitors generally display a resolution of 800 × 600 or 1024 × 768 pixels and can work well at different resolutions. LCD monitors, also called flat-panel displays, and laptop screens often support higher resolutions and work best at a specific resolution.

The larger the monitor, usually the higher the resolution it supports. Whether you can increase your screen resolution depends on the size and capability of your monitor and the type of video card you have.

Refer this link for more information on how to change the screen resolution in Windows 7:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Change-your-screen-resolution

Additional information about Display Guidelines for KVM Switches in Windows 7:

To optimize a better user experience with display devices that are connected to a KVM switch, this document discusses all applicable KVM scenarios, tests, and specifications. This information specifies how a KVM switch and the Windows 7 operating system can work together to enhance the user experience with display devices.

Please download the document and read it for better understanding.

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/display/KVM-Win7.mspx  

Regards,
Afzal-Microsoft Support.
Visit our Microsoft Answers Feedback Forum and let us know what you think.

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Afzal - this response is much less than helpful and is a regurgitation of rubbish I have seen elsewhere.
Apologies but if your only suggestion is 'buy new hardware' then I have an alternative suggestion - use OS X.

Again I'd like to re-iterate that this problem _did not occur under Vista_ with _exactly_ the same hardware.


@Truth Telling Fool - I found another super crummy but slightly less inconvenient workaround as well.  Minimise all windows to desktop (Windows-D) prior to switching on the KVM.  When you return to Windows 7 simply hit Windows-D to restore all windows (size and location) as they were before you dared to try and use your KVM.



How great is Windows 7.  How much better is Microsoft Support.  Count them on one finger.

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OK just quickly so I don't come across as a total Microsoft hater.

Windows 7 is by far superior to Vista and is a landmark release along the lines of XP.  Apart from this one minor issue I am more than impressed by it, and enjoy using it.
However - it's the little day-to-day things like this that end up leaving a real bad taste in the mouth and can really spoil everything, so I'd encourage Microsoft (and their driver partners as necessary) to fix issues like this so we're not all left hanging.

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Last updated June 23, 2020 Views 103,484 Applies to: