2 computers/1 monitor dilemma

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raydle

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Dec 24, 2005
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I have two computers. One runs Windows 95, the other Windows XP. The old computer has no USB port. I have an old A/B type parallel switch. How can I use this switch with these two computers so that I can use the same monitor?? I can't visualize how to hook up the two computers to the box. Help? Anyone?

:confused:

Thanks!
 

Rukee

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Nov 15, 2005
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I think you need a KVM switch. It uses one monitor and keyboard/mouse to control 2 (or more) computer towers. I have a 2 box KVM switch with sound, and a 4 box KVM switch without sound. I`ve never herd of an old A/B type parallel switch.
 

raydle

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Does the KVM switch require USB ports on both computers? Or does it matter?

Thanks!
 

Rukee

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the only time it requires a USB port is if you buy a KVM switch for USB keyboard support. Both of mine have no USB connectors and use a regular keyboard.
 
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Well, NOW the question is, will the keyboard and mouse from the Win95 system fit into the PS/2 ports on the KVM? What about the WinXP mouse and keyboard connectors?

The answer is, that will depend on if your Win95 system uses PS/2 connectors for the keyboard and mouse, or if the mouse uses a serial connector, and the keyboard uses an AT-type connector. Also, you'll have to check the WinXP system to see if it uses PS/2 connectors, or USB connectors.

Check to be SURE that the connectors for all devices look the same (small and rounded). If not, you MIGHT still have a problem.

BTW, PS/2 ports are NOT interchangeable; though the PS/2 mouse connector WILL fit into the PS/2 keyboard port, the system will NOT boot up if you don't plug each one into the proper port.

Though you CAN use a PS/2 adapter for an AT-type keyboard to work through a PS/2 port, you CANNOT simply plug a PS/2 adapter onto a serial mouse and expect it to work. The mouse MUST be an actual "combo" mouse, one which is made to be used either through a PS/2 port, or a serial port.

Time to check those systems carefully; let us know if things don't look right. Whatever you do, do NOT plug and unplug PS/2 devices while the systems are running; wait until they've shut down completely. Otherwise, very bad things can happen...
 

raydle

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Dec 24, 2005
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You brought up another dilemma. The mouse on the Win95 computer is a serial mouse and though the keyboard plug is round, it's bigger than a PS/2 plug. Does that mean it's the AT-type? The mouse and keyboard on the WinXP computer are both PS/2. Do I need a new mouse for the Win95 in order to get everything to work? Adapters? What else do you need to know to get me going? Thanks!
 

SirKenin

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Nov 17, 2005
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It's AT type. You'll have to buy adapters. BTW, I have one of those A/B switchboxes here in a box. They definitely won't work to hook two computers up.
 
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OK, now we know that the keyboard connector is an AT-type (originally developed for the IBM AT line of computers); you can install a PS/2 adapter without a problem. However, as I mentioned in my first reply, you CAN'T simply attach a PS/2 adapter to a SERIAL mouse and expect it to work properly. You need a "COMBO" (combination) mouse, so-called because it can work through either a serial or PS/2 port when you attach an adapter.

Check the bottom of your mouse to see if it mentions "serial", or "combo", or anything of that nature. If you're lucky, it will be a combination mouse (though I doubt it), and your problems will be solved. I checked online at several places (BestBuy, CompUSA, Office Depot, Outpost, MicroCenter, and OfficeMax), and NONE of them listed a serial-PS/2 mouse. Logitech made some nice ones, but stopped production a few years ago. The "combination" mice available today are for PS/2 and USB ports, not PS/2 and serial ports.

Still, I'm sure you can find one through eBay or Amazon or SOMEWHERE. Or, you can call your local mom-and-pop computer shops; odds are probably 50/50 that at least one local shop will have a serial-PS/2 mouse for sale, or that they'll be able to order one for you.

Whatever you do, don't give up hope; if you can't find a single serial-PS/2 combination mouse anywhere, you could always attach a PS/2 adapter to your serial mouse and hope for the best, though that solution has NEVER worked for me, so don't expect miracles...

If you REALLY want a serial-PS/2 mouse to make this work, and can't find one ANYWHERE, then MY local mom-and-pop shop can probably help you out. I'll pick a good one and ship it to you... but I DO hope you'll save us that kind of aggravation, and try to track one down in your area.

Best of luck with this, and Merry Christmas to you and yours.
 
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