FCrane
Contributor
Contributor

Multiple (virtual) monitors not working at all!

Hi!

I'm trying to create a multi monitor test environment on a Windows 10 x64 host system. I've created a Windows 10 x64 guest VM, with all updates and the latest version of VMware Tools. Now I set the monitor number to "2" in the display settings of the VM (the host has just 1 monitor, 3840x2160), boot the machine and go to the display settings of Windows 10. There is only 1 display and when I click "Detect", nothing happens. I've tried reinstalling VMware Tools, changing the number of monitors, limiting the maximum size of each monitor, etc. I've basically tried everything, but the guest system does not detect more than just 1 monitor!

What is the problem??? I can use multiple virtual monitors in VirtualBox without any issues - why does VMware not support multiple monitors??

Regards!

0 Kudos
20 Replies
vijayrana968
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

0 Kudos
FCrane
Contributor
Contributor

That's not working, because the host machine has just 1 monitor.

0 Kudos
FCrane
Contributor
Contributor

I've just tried setting up a Windows 8.1 guest and it detects the additional monitors! With "Connect to this VGA display anyway" (or something like that), I'm able to create a 3 monitor guest desktop - however, the additional monitors are useless, because the don't seem to refresh their content - they just collect graphical garbage. So the multi-monitor feature of VMware is essentially useless: Windows 10 guests do not even detect the additional monitors and Windows 8 guests seem to detect them but they can not be used properly.

What's the problem with VMWare??? VirtualBox does NOT show these problems - multiple monitors are supported just fine and work as expected...

0 Kudos
continuum
Immortal
Immortal

> So the multi-monitor feature of VMware is essentially useless:
AFAIK that feature is only supposed to work when the host has multiple physical monitors.


________________________________________________
Do you need support with a VMFS recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
I do not support Workstation 16 at this time ...

0 Kudos
FCrane
Contributor
Contributor

No, the docs specifically explain, that selecting multiple monitors is "also useful if you are developing a multimonitor application in a virtual machine and the host system has only one monitor". See Configuring Display Settings

It seems the multi-monitor support is completely broken in VMware. As I mentioned before, it works perfectly (and intuitively) on VirtualBox. What a pity...

0 Kudos
FCrane
Contributor
Contributor

Well, finally some sort of success! I've managed to get a second (virtual) monitor to be recognized by pressing "Win+P" and then selecting "Extend Desktop"! A brilliant tip by a user of superuser.com! This is the only way to make the Windows 10 guest recognize the additional monitors!!! Why is this not documented anywhere?

However, and that's the downside, the display area of the second screen is unusable! It is not refreshed and shows static (old) content - see attached screenshot. The screen contents simply are not updated, not refreshed! I can move windows to the other screen and back, but they will not be visible on the second screen.

What's the problem here? Am I really the only one to experience that? I doubt that nobody else has come across this issue...

Regards!

TracyHuang
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

You can manually running the VMwareResolutionSet.exe binary included with Tools. we have a KB (VMware Knowledge Base) for running this in a multimon scenario, e.g. if want to Set two monitors @ 32bpp, 1280x1024+0+0, 1280x1024+1280+0, in VM command line:

"C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools\VMwareResolutionSet.exe" 0 2 32 , 0 0 1280 1024 , 1280 0 1280 1024

0 Kudos
FCrane
Contributor
Contributor

As I said: I can get the Windows guest to see the 2 monitors now and both are enabled, but the second screen is useless, because it does not display anything (except garbage). It's not refreshed, nut updated, nothing.

0 Kudos
TracyHuang
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

If it's not refreshed as expected, I would suggest you reboot the VM, not use the Windows UI at all to set monitors/resolutions, and use the VMwareResolutionSet.exe binary directly to set the two screens, and they should both get updates.

We have identified the issue that is causing screens to not be updated in this scenario, the issue will be fixed in a future release of Tools. Thanks!

Besides, The KB I provided above doesn't cover a multimon scenario, only a single-monitor scenario, we will update a new KB later to document VMwareResolutionSet.exe better for multimon scenarios.

0 Kudos
FCrane
Contributor
Contributor

Unfortunately, even using VMwareResolutionSet.exe does NOT work correctly. I've tested it with the parameters you suggested (0 2 32 , 0 0 1280 1024 , 1280 0 1280 1024) and it does switch the guest to 2 monitors. However, still doesn't work:

1) the right 256 pixels of the second monitor are blank and unusable! See screenshot: black area on the right.

2) The mouse cursor now has an offset of (454, 48) pixels, meaning the guest registers a click 454 pixels to the left and 48 pixels below the actual mouse position! see screenshot: you can see the mouse and it should be at the lower right corner of the selection rectangle! This makes using the guest completely impossible! Even if I set the screen back to just one screen and reboot the guest, the problem persists - only completely powering off the whole VMware and restoring back to a snapshot with just 1 screen seems to help.

So still: multi-monitor support is completely broken, messed up and unusable in VMWare! I really can't believe that this is so hard to support, especially at version 14 of your product! Please take a look at VitrualBox, where multi-monitor support works perfectly, intuitively, etc. (you can simply click "Detect" in the guest OS and everything works fine).

Regards!

0 Kudos
FCrane
Contributor
Contributor

I just updated to VMware 15 and the problem is still the same! Multiple virtual guest monitors are not working at all - the screen area does not get updated or shows garbage.

Will this eventually be fixed or does nobody care that such an important feature does not work at all???

0 Kudos
gixxer
Contributor
Contributor

or does nobody care that such an important feature does not work at all???

Yes, i do care, i.e. i am waiting on when this will get fixed or work in VMware Workstation platform.

Following links brought me here,

How to use multiple virtual monitors if host has a single monitor? - Super User

windows - Possible to have multiple virtual monitors for a VMware guest in windowed mode? - Super Us...

I share the same symptom as others that have tried to do the same in VMware workstation environment, i.e. i do get as far as adding additional displays from Windows 7 and 10 guest OS's, but no additional displays are NOT responsive, as in they are NOT usable.

And i've tried just to see for myself that VirtualBox works, and indeed the VirtualBox has a working solution.

Screenshots below showing host with one physical display.  And i'm able to run 4 virtual screens inside the guest OS (Windows 7).

This solution allows me to use a thin client at the desktop (fan less), connected up to 4 displays, running VNC running in full screen, use all monitors mode.  And i can keep the higher power PC (the host running VirtualBox) away from the study room, and still get the benefit of using all 4 displays connected up to local thin client.

I would very much like to do the same with VMware workstation.

SNAG-3442.jpg

SNAG-3441.jpg

0 Kudos
FCrane
Contributor
Contributor

So what's the status of this? It's more than 6 months now, but multiple monitors are still not working in Vmware!

Is this really so difficult to fix?

0 Kudos
oaklodge
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Having the same issue and would love to see a fix.

0 Kudos
philip8
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you.

"Win+P" did the trick.

After upgrading from Workstation 15 to Workstation 15.5, this functionality disappeared.

Enabling it again with "Win+P".

0 Kudos
Skytu
Contributor
Contributor

Hello FCrane,

     First off I want to thank you for having this post as it is so hard to find articles that are about 2 "virtual" monitors.

     Second I have resolved this issue as I too was having it. I It appears there is more than one place where "Autofit" window is located. I already had it disabled on the VM settings but there is another set of settings for this under preferences. Below is screen shots of my display settings and working dual "virtual" screen setup. Also note, I had to use Win+P to get it to show the two screen still. But they are sticking around and not auto reverting back. Hope this resolves your issue like it did mine.

pastedImage_1.png

pastedImage_4.png

pastedImage_3.png

0 Kudos
julianvolodia
Contributor
Contributor

Friends, I have had some problem like You. You probably have seen this (or similar, legacy) help info.

Use Multiple Monitors for One Virtual Machine

In reference there is tip to access Full screen mode and then select Cycle Multiple Monitors.

As I see now, I have no such button but...

In Edit > Preferences > Hot Keys you could find <hot key combo> + M entry.

If you use Use Multiple Monitors for One Virtual Machine all but in 3rd step you will activate layout selector with shortcut mentioned above. And see this:

Then, You could select which one you like. (yes, I have 3 monitors in portrait orientation Smiley Wink ).

Probably some VMware Team should fix that "disappearing" option in Edit menu.

Have a good day.

0 Kudos
proloemiel
Contributor
Contributor

Yes, it shows those dialogs to me. But when I pick one, it doesn't work. I have a triple monitor setup here. It just falls back to a single screen.

darksidemaze
Contributor
Contributor

I'm seeing the same problem as well and spent some time trawling the net looking for solutions.

0 Kudos