Multi Monitor support in the Vista TS Client.

Multi Monitor support in the Vista TS Client.

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One of the new features of the Terminal Server/Remote Desktop Client in Windows Vista is the support for multiple monitors.  If the machine running the TS-Client has a multi-monitor configuration that creates one logical rectangle, then the TS-Client can span over all the monitors, creating one virtual desktop of the combined size.

For example, this configuration is suitable for multimon spanning:

 (-1024,0)         |
  --+--------------+------------------> x
    |              |              |
    |              |              |
    |              |              |
    |              |              |
    +--------------+--------------+ (1024,768)
                   | y

While this configuration is not suitable for multimon spanning:

  --+--------------+--------------+---> x
    |              |              |
    |              |              |
    |              |              |
    |              |              |
    +--------------+ (1024,768)   |
    |              |              |
    | y            +--------------+ (2304,1024)

You can access the functionality using commandline options, in one of two ways:
If you know the rectangle dimensions of your virtual desktop:

mstsc /w:2048 /h:768 /v:<servername>

or if you want mstsc.exe to figure-out the dimensions:

mstsc /span /v:<servername>

There are a few limitations of multi-monitor spanning:
* The maximum dimensions of the virtual desktop in a TS-Session is hard-coded to 4096x2048, regardless of the color-depth and the available resources on the remote machine.
* The remote session will see your virtual desktop as one giant display.This reduces the complexity of the multi-display implementation in the remote session, while still allowing the windowed mode of the TS-Client to
be functional and viable.

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  • See hotfix for color depth issue:

    "The color depth is unexpectedly changed to 8-bit when a high screen-resolution setting is used in a terminal-server session that is connected to a Windows Server 2003-based computer"

    Haven't tried it yet, however.

  • Something that frustrates me completely is when I remotely connect to my three 1600x1200 monitor work setup from home (where I only have one 1600x1200 screen)--windows pop up on the other two secondary monitors and I can't get to them!  I have found two programs which have helped, but what I really want to see is someone to make a utility akin to a virtual desktop manager, which allows the user to toggle between the real displays they want to view when connected remotely by selecting the screen number using buttons embedded in the task tray.  It seems like it shouldn't be too hard--it seems like one could use ghost displays for this purpose.  For a truly great app, there would be some work involved with supporting local multi-monitor setups, and of course some work involved with real remote displays that are larger than the current local display(s), but many virtual display managers have solved this before by allowing the user to scroll the display when they get to the edge of the screen...

    And in case you're wondering, here are the other two stopgaps that might be useful in getting access to your apps that pop-up on other monitors:

    Search for Desklite


  • Also, here's another freebie that does something similar to iShadow's VDM:  GridMove

    It seems I encountered a bug in it's operation at one point, but I think I could recover just by restarting the app... I bet that most users will be satsified with this.

  • Regarding GridMove.

    Unlike Virtual Display Manager from"> GridMove provides a manual approach to window resizing if multi-monitor support is desired. If you maximize a window, it will cover the full screen since it does not recognize multiple monitors, so you are required to repeat the procedure again to adjust the windows. GridMove does not help with popup dialogs either.

    For manual fix of multi-monitor support within the remote sessions I would recommend WinSplit Revolution from This is an elegant application and is also free.

    Otherwise Virtual Display Manager from is the best - it even supports full screen MSTSC.exe within the remote session, which is sized to the virtual display.

  • I can't get SplitView to work with Vista, the s/w is supposed to be multi-monitor aware but is not seeing the 2nd monitor.

    Anyone had the same problem?

  • Hi,

    I am using splitview in my terminal server, and when accessing it with the option mstsc - span, only xp clients work correctly, with one session spanned on two monitors and using the splitview right left buttons, and when the vista clients use the option mstsc -span, the session appear just in one monitor and the second one stay black or blue, depend on case, and by then, they cant enjoy the right left button.

    Any help please ??

  • I log in from home remotely (Windows XP SP2) and then TS into my Vista box at work with "/span /console /v:WORKBOX /w:3360 /h:1050". When I come back into work the next day and attempt to log into my machine at work, I press CTRL-ALT-DEL to log on, but then after that the screen goes blank. I can see the arrow cursor, but that's it.

    What I have to do is use my laptop to TS back into the box (at work) and then force the machine to reboot. My guess is the resolution it out of whack but I don't know how to fix it. Really frustrating. Can anyone help?

  • One more comment -- sorry. I have installed all of the latest Video and Monitor drivers for my machine. Still no luck.


  • Bob, I've seen that with nvidia drivers.  Are you using nvidia or ati?  If it's nvidia, try changing the video card(s) to ati, and see if you still have that problem.

  • Here is my problem. I use dual monitors on my workstation at work. Now i am home and connected to work remotely on a single monitor PC.  Some programs (nameley Sage Businessworks) opens "off screen" and i am unable to get the window back on my monitor.  Any ideas?

  • Sal:

    I've seen similar problems to yours before. Here's a workaround that I use. Hopefully it will help you.

    Right click the hidden application's entry on the task bar, select "Move" and then use the arrow keys to move the window back onto a screen you can see.


  • Seriously,

    I found this thread by accident, you need to grow the hell up. They upgrade a program, charge you nothing, and most of what I see is Whaa whaa wtf wtf.

    Seriously you guys, bitching and moaning is no way to achieve anything. How about forming a thought out and precise question instead?

    If you havent already noticed all the bitch and moan comments are ignored anyways.

    You have ruined the internet today and with exception with the few people who posted clear and respectful questions, you are all tools.

  • This might help some of you:

    I have a 30" and still get the 8 bit color

  • I love this feature so much that I had to post a blog entry all about it. AWESOME feature :)

  • I have an issue where when I RDP into a Windows Server 2003 session from a NeoWare thin client (e140), running NeoLinux 3.1.3 with a Matrox Quad screen card (epicA TC4) the resolution is 4096 x 1024, and cannot be changed and I'm wondering if this is a limitation of Terminal Services on the Server 2003 box.  I ask because I connected to a Linux box using an RDP session, and I got the desired resolution of 5120x1024 (4 monitors with 1280x1024).  I've been fighting with NeoWare and Matrox to get this issue resolved but neither has a solution and I'm wondering if I can configure Terminal Services somehow to get around this limitation.  If anyone has any idea I wopuld really appreciate it, because i'm tired of getting the run-around.

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