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Author Topic: In search of ... video configuration toggle software ...  (Read 1463 times)

barney

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In search of ... video configuration toggle software ...
« on: January 06, 2012, 03:05:11 PM »
Folk,
I'm about to hook a Dell Vostro 3700 to a ViDock with an ATI card, a Radeon HD 5770, which will allow me to drive three (3) monitors.  A preliminary read of the setup tells me to disable the video on the laptop.  However, at times this laptop really functions as a laptop, i.e., it goes places  :), and then I want the best video I can get on it.

I've been looking for some program that will let me easily toggle the graphics configuration according to whether the box is being used on the desktop or is in travel mode.  If memory serves, this was a problem a number of years ago when I had an enhanced video card in a docking station.  (That box was either Win98SE or [probably] Win2K.  This one is Win7 Ultimate, 64-bit, but I misdoubt it will be any easier  :-\.)  There was ~five (5) minutes spent reconfiguring every time I undocked or redocked.

I've been searching for something that will hold both video configs and let me toggle them according to current usage, but with no success to date.  Learned long time ago that I'm not unique  :(, so I can't be the only laptop user with this problem/need, but I cannot find another one  :'(.  Hence, I'm turning to my court of last resort  :-*.

Anyone here have any ideas?

Ath

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Re: In search of ... video configuration toggle software ...
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2012, 03:19:10 PM »
Doesn't ViDock have tooling for that? Would sound logical, or I would have bought a proper desktop to hold all those graphics cards 8) (Did a quick look there, but found nothing so far)

Ath

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Re: In search of ... video configuration toggle software ...
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 03:24:02 PM »
This does involve changing a BIOS setting I guess? So a full reboot of the system would probably be required then.

If not, DevCon from our MS friends, could come to the rescue.

edit: Here's a quite clear manual for use: http://www.robvanderwoude.com/devcon.php
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 03:26:19 PM by Ath, Reason: link to manual added »

barney

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Re: In search of ... video configuration toggle software ...
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 03:45:08 PM »
Nope, the ViDock didn't have software of any nature with the housing & power supplies.  Nor did I see anything on their site.  The common assumption is that such a situation would devolve to a desktop unit, and manufacturers rarely {cater to|provide for} such a fringe element.  

It's common enough:  did you ever see an exercise program on TV for disabled folk?  Prolly not.  But, hey, we need exercise, too  ;).  

So ViDock is unlikely to concern itself with such usage - after all, it is selling a cure for a significant/profitable desktop [surface] issue.  Why would it concern itself with software to disable its own solution?  Same thing with the video card mfgs - "It don't fit in a laptop, why should we make laptop software for it?"

With the laptop as my primary machine, I don't have to worry about synchronization issues laptop to desktop to laptop, and I don't have to worry about licensing issues with vendors that hardware-stamp their software.  But if I want to enjoy some [significant] enhancements, I have to go around three (3) sides of the barn to get there.  Hence this thread  :P.

I don't thimk this involves BIOS changes, just standard software changes - drivers and the like.  I'll take a look at the DevCon stuff.

4wd

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Re: In search of ... video configuration toggle software ...
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 09:05:01 PM »
OT: Just had to look up ViDock to see what it was and I find VillageTronic...makes me want to fire up the A3000 with the PicassoIV + addons :D

OK, enough reminiscing...

Using DevCon and a bit of AutoIt magic, (or even a batch file), you could get DevCon to check for existence of the ViDock at boot, (using Startup batch command or registry Run entry), and have it disable the laptop graphics if found or enable if not found.

Innuendo

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Re: In search of ... video configuration toggle software ...
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 09:15:58 PM »
Windows 7 is a magical thing. It's very adept when it comes to plug and play. Have you just tried leaving the on-board graphics enabled to see if it hinders you in any way? You might be pleasantly surprised.

(Three cheers for the Amiga, btw!)

barney

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Re: In search of ... video configuration toggle software ...
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 10:12:58 PM »
Haven't installed it yet - still waiting on one (1) cable (should have bought it locally  :( ) so I'm just going by the docs which are, admittedly, XP-based.  Trying to prep as much as possible so as to reduce putative troubleshooting time  :o.  But, as mentioned, that's based upon past experience with different hardware and software and OS.  What can I say - belt and suspenders, from time to time  :P.