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two computers, one keyboard and monitor

by Cycleman / January 17, 2005 10:27 PM PST

I have 2 computers, two monitors, two keyboards. Both are running Windows XP home edition, pentium 4. A friend of mine said that there are devices (either interfaces, or switches) that will allow connection of both computers between one keyboard and monitor, and will allow switching between computers. I've seen a few examples, after doing a quick search.

Are there any drawbacks to this approach? It would free up countertop space.


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The KVM.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 17, 2005 10:33 PM PST
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by Cycleman / January 17, 2005 11:33 PM PST
In reply to: The KVM.

Bob, this?



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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 17, 2005 11:41 PM PST
In reply to: MPC2000?

It's on the list. I like the next model up since it has the audio in it.


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Bob, one more question...
by Cycleman / January 18, 2005 12:30 AM PST
In reply to: Hmm.

Sounds good on the audio option (no pun).

I noticed when I looked at the other model, it mentioned that "some" XP users would notice slow response, or jerkiness in the mouse.

Do you see this phenomenon with yours?


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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 18, 2005 12:43 AM PST

I notice that on boot, but if I switch to the other machine and back, its fine. Doesn't happen everytime so I never thought much about it... till you asked. I'm going to swap this one out for the USB version since I didn't notice it on that model.


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by Marmotfarmer / January 22, 2005 4:46 AM PST
In reply to: The KVM.

I use a Belkin KVM switch. I have one older computer with XP that I use only for internet networked to my main computer I use for work and never sees the internet except for updates. That way I don't worry about viruses and other junk and can wipe my smaller computer any time I wish. There are alot of cables involved with the switch which my biggest complaint and there seems to be a bit of loss of display quality of the small computer but overall it has worked fairly well for me.

Jeff Campbell

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can you use both computers on the same monitor
by rodlaverboy / November 18, 2010 6:41 AM PST
In reply to: The KVM.

can you use both computers on the same monitor at the same time or must you have one computer turned off and one on?

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try cybex switchview 4 port
by mycycle2 / January 18, 2005 3:45 AM PST

No drawbacks at all. Its called a KVM switch (keyboard video mouse). I have three computers connected to one KVM switch and it works beautifully. I have had no trouble with it even when connecting Windows and Unix computers all to the same switch.
Best in domains, hosting and easy website creation!

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by mrog71 / January 18, 2005 9:42 PM PST

I have a KVM and it works great, except I've had problems with it for gaming. It seems to cause a lag and response problems, especially when pressing more than 1 or 2 keys at a time.

For everything else, there is no noticeable effect on my switch. Mine is a blue Zonet switch. I like it because I can switch computers by using a key combination without pushing the button on the switch.

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KVM cables and switch work well
by sirsmall / January 21, 2005 1:14 AM PST

I originally purchase a set of KVM cables and switch to facilitate trasfer of files between my old system and new. I haven't done that, since I can now use which ever computer or operating system which would work better (one has Windows 98/2 and the other Windows XP Home). There will be, however, a mess of cables behind the computers.

I use a KVM switch and cables which have PS2 and monitor connections. If you have to share printers or phone cables, you will have to get the appropriate switch for that function. If your computers are properly networked, then you can use one printer and one broadband connection from the "host" computer. If you have a high resolution monitor setting you use, you will need to see whether the video connection supports it. There are KVM cables with USB connections, too, but I'm not sure whether the connections will be recognized before boot-up has been completed.

There are also KVM switches just for the keyboard and mouse--in both PS2 and USB configurations, but if you want to just do that, it would be as easy to get two sets of the same model of wireless mouse and keyboard combination and set the bases to different channels.

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one monitor 2 computers
by giksed / January 21, 2005 7:27 AM PST

Can I have 2COMPUTERS on one monitor. What sort of switch would I need . Giksed

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KVM Switch
by atlantawebster / July 27, 2010 8:37 PM PDT

I just did the very same thing you described with I nice little KVM switch I purchased from the walmart site the switch ia a TRENDnet 2-port USB KVM Switch Kit and I only paid $30.90 inc. tax and shipping.
Good Luck

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[NT] look at linksys KVM too. for comparison.
by Gakada / January 21, 2005 1:21 PM PST
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The drawbacks to KVM Switches
by mred915 / January 22, 2005 3:27 AM PST

I myself have dealt with this issue. At some point last year I bought an IOGEAR - 4-Port Audio KVM Switch for $80.00 at BestBuy that allows a user to attach 4 computer towers/system units but use one keyboard, one mouse, one monitor, and one set of speakers. The user would switch between computers using hotkeys. Drawback #1... Some of ps/2 mice plugs to plug into the tower from the switch were improperly manufactured. The plastic tip inside the ps/2 plug was too large to plug into the tower port. Had to return it to the store and get charged a restocking fee. I went with IOGear because of a second drawback to KVM switches #2... Cost. Belkin who I now believe makes better equipment than IOGear has this same kind of KVM switch, but at twice the price. If I had it over I would probably have saved up for the Belkin, but $160.00 is a lot to spend just to space on countertop space. Although as my brother always says, if you have spend extra so you get what you want that works then that's the price you have to pay to avoid buyer's remorse. P.S. Avoid IOGear.

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Connect two PC's to a single monitor and keyboard.
by jkapeta / January 23, 2005 7:58 PM PST


There are some devices called KVM that can enable you to have two or more PC's using one monitor and one keyboard. The one you need is the 2-port KVM with 2 set of cables. It is simple to setup and vary from $29 to $160. Hope this help.

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two computers, one keyboard and monitor
by whoroba / January 25, 2005 3:17 AM PST

You can get a 2 or 4 port KVM switch.

I have and 8 port switch from Iogear.


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by more429 / February 12, 2009 12:53 AM PST
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One Moniter, Two Computers
by aldayva / June 8, 2009 1:52 AM PDT

I want to connect a Windows computer and an Apple computer to the same monitor. I do not intend to use them at the same time. I saw on a site that my video card may need to support two computers. I know this monitor has worked for both these systems, so I know the card supports both but since I'm not going to run them simultaneously will I have a problem?
Also, does any old KVM Switch work for this application.

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hooking two pcs to one keyboard and monitor
by erniegallant2 / July 16, 2009 6:27 AM PDT

I have two pcs one with windows 2000 professional and one with xp home edition. Is there a way to hook up the two to one monitor and one keyboard ?

Ernie gallant.

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D-Link KVM Switch is the solution.
by Anish George Thomas / July 24, 2009 5:46 AM PDT

All you guys will require a KVM switch. D-Link brand is better than a Belkin, as belkin in the long run has said to have problems.

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