How to: multiple monitor setup for Dell Optiplex 790

I currently am recommending the Dell Optiplex 790 minitower. (This will work for the desktop configuration as well.) It took me a lot of time and multiple returns to figure out the best way to do dual monitor, triple monitor and quadruple monitor setups (two monitors, three  monitors and four monitors). Here is what I found works the best:

Dual monitors: The simplest and cleanest way to do it is to buy a DisplayPort to DVI (male to male) 6 foot or 10 foot cable. The 790 has the capability of using the DisplayPort jack in the back as a second monitor without buying another video card. Here is an example of the cable. Note: this will only work for you if one of your two monitors has a DVI (white) jack. I have also used a DisplayPort to VGA adapter successfully over the last month (this is the exact adapter). You are able to choose either a cloned view or independent screens using either Windows’s Display settings or Intel Graphics settings (click here for Intel’s instructions).

Triple/quad monitors: I found that I couldn’t use my trusty Radeon 7000 PCI cards in Windows 7 machines, so I chose to go with the ASUS Radeon HD 5450 PCI-Express (here is the Amazon link).  I chose this video card because it is reasonably priced (with no need for gaming) and that there is no fan to reduce the chance of failures. In the 790, you can actually buy two of these PCI Express video cards and put them both in! (See this PDF for motherboard card slot info.) I’ve done it and it truly works with three monitors and I’m sure it would for four.

Please comment with your own experiments and successes on the 790 or similar models.

[SOLUTION] Canon D1120 duplex jamming

A client of mine has a Canon imageCLASS D1120 copier that would jam each time they tried to copy or print any double sided. I looked and looked for a jam, but couldn’t find any. It would print the one side and suck it back in and jam. I took a flashlight in the back and finally figured out what was happening — there was paper inside that was causing the jam.

Remove the paper tray and look for this green lever (as is shown in the diagram #1 in the picture below). Pull it down and remove the jam!

[SOLUTION] Lenovo 3000 H210 won’t boot

I had a Lenovo 3000 H210 desktop computer come in that wouldn’t boot — it would just spin up the fan and do nothing. I found that by removing one stick of RAM at a time, I would try to boot. With the left one out, it would boot, so I replaced it with another stick and things worked just fine! Incidently, the brand of the RAM was Sharetronic — I’ve been doing this a long time and never heard of them before.

If you need to buy more RAM, here is a good place:

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=Lenovo%20H210%20(5355)

[SOLUTION] Office 2010 not activated: error 0xc004f074

I had a user that had a corporate version of Office 2010 installed for over one month and all of a sudden it said it wasn’t activated. The company help desk worked on it for hours and hours and told her to reimage the computer.

I investigated and ran the registry fix and KMS.exe they have internally, but it didn’t work. I found that the date was one month behind. I changed the computer’s date to the current date and it was activated!!!

SUMMARY: Check the computer’s date and time.