KVM switch advice please

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I've never used a KVM switch before, but I now want to use one to connect a Windows XP and Windows 8 machine.

I think I only need 2 ports.

Anyone with advice about which brand to get? I've been looking at the Startech product on Amazon which seems to have pretty good reviews, but there was some concern about the resolution of the monitor not being maintained when you switch from one computer to another.

Any advice would be appreciated as I've had no experience with these things:eek:
 
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I've used a number of Belkin and IOGear over the years and they were fine. Seems like every one that I used back in the pre-VM days had some quirkiness to it but I imagine they've improved since then. The biggest thing for me was good USB compatibility/swapping - I'd switch machines and all of a sudden the mouse or keyboard wouldn't work, so I would be forced to unplug/plug in the USB cord at the KVM and it was annoying.

Sean
 

Growltiger

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I used them back in the days of VGA cables. I don't know how well they cope with the modern monitor connections and resolutions.

Are you sure you need to do this? I have Windows XP running here on my Windows 8 machine. It runs in a window. And remember XP expires next Spring.
 
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Are you sure you need to do this? I have Windows XP running here on my Windows 8 machine. It runs in a window. And remember XP expires next Spring.
That's a good question Richard. I just got the Windows 8 computer and have not even open it yet. How do I run XP within Windows 8? I have lots of programs that were for XP that I have no interest in updating and I would use the XP machine off line anyways so, I'm not worry about it expiring.

I just thought it would be easier to use a KVM switch to run both computers rather than figuring out how to run my XP programs in Windows 8.

BTW, should I run Windows 8 with the Classic Shell add on or wait for the Microsoft update of Windows 8 to give me the start button back?

Thanks
 

Growltiger

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Easiest of all would be to run the old machine with its own keyboard and an old monitor! I would prefer to do this than buy and use KVM.

Microsoft are NOT giving us back a functional Start button with 8.1. Most of the media has not bothered to notice this. But $5 buys you Start8 which is what I use. Some like to use the Classic Shell. I tried it and didn't like it, I'd rather pay the $5.

What are these XP programs that you think won't run on Win8? Win8 runs all 32bit programs. It is only 16bit that have been left behind. It is actually quite unlikely that you have any of those. Typically they are programs that came from before Windows 95 was released and were never updated.

To run XP under Win8 you need the Pro version of Win8, you use Hyper-V which Microsoft provide - this can run lots of operating systems at once. You need a copy of XP to install, i.e. the original XP CDROM. You can Google guides on how to do all this.
 
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That unit supports only VGA connectors. Fine if that is all you use. Modern systems don't use them.
That's why I mentioned about the monitor connectors...

We don't as yet have any idea what the OP is using for a monitor as he hasn't
as yet stated... If he's using an older monitor (like I am) then he would possibly
need to use an adaptor just to use it with his new W8 machine, and then he could
use that KVM...

His XP machine is probably using a VGA connector as well... :wink:
 
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I've used a number of Belkin and IOGear over the years and they were fine. Seems like every one that I used back in the pre-VM days had some quirkiness to it but I imagine they've improved since then. The biggest thing for me was good USB compatibility/swapping - I'd switch machines and all of a sudden the mouse or keyboard wouldn't work, so I would be forced to unplug/plug in the USB cord at the KVM and it was annoying.

Sean
This was essentially my experience with USB type KVM's. Frankly, I just prefer to leave the old machine up all the time and remote desktop into it when I need something. You can share the hard drive (or map to it) if you need to access the files quickly.

Its been mentioned before, you can try to install whatever you need into a windows xp mode VM. Or you can try to virtualize the old machine into a product like VMware player using their converter product.
 
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Thanks for all the replies.

All of the programs that I run on XP are from 2006 and newer, so I doubt that they are 16 bit programs. I didn't know that I could just install them on Windows 8. I'll give it a shot first.

I am using a VGA monitor, so that switch should be okay. This was the exact one that I was looking at on Amazon.

I just don't have enough room for another whole computer set up with it's own monitor and keyboards, etc.

Richard, what didn't you like about Classic Shell?

Wayne

My version of Windows 8 is not the Professional, so I won't be able to run xp on it.
 
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Growltiger

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Classic Shell - it was too intrusive, I wanted to keep Windows 8 as close to the original as possible. Start8 does just that, it just adds the Start button. Classic Shell also had several annoyances but I don't remember exactly what they were now.

Since your programs are 2006+, there should be no problem at all installing them on Windows 8. So you won't need a KVM and can scrap the old machine.
 
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I just don't have enough room for another whole computer set up with it's own monitor and keyboards, etc.

.
You would just need enough room for the computer, no peripherals, no extra monitor, etc. The first time you boot up, you might have to have a keyboard and monitor attached just to setup bios options to not error out if it doesn't see a keyboard attached, otherwise you just need power and and LAN cable attached. This is for the remote desktop approach.
 
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You would just need enough room for the computer, no peripherals, no extra monitor, etc. The first time you boot up, you might have to have a keyboard and monitor attached just to setup bios options to not error out if it doesn't see a keyboard attached, otherwise you just need power and and LAN cable attached. This is for the remote desktop approach.
Interesting. If I can't get my programs to run properly on Windows 8, I might give this a try.

I'm generally game for most things when it comes to computing, but the rest of my family not so much. Since other family members will be using it, I'm trying to keep it as simple for everyone as possible otherwise, I'll forever have to trouble shoot for them.
 
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I am using a VGA monitor, so that switch should be okay. This was the exact one that I was looking at on Amazon.
The only thing you'll need to be aware of is that you will need to be able to change the "halt on error" settings
in both your machine's BIOS to "all but keyboard"... Check the BIOS of both machines to make sure they have
that option available... Without making that change the machines will think there is a fault with the KB or mouse
and they may not boot...

Other than that you shouldn't have any problems like some find with other USB type KVM's... That's the reason
I went with that one when I bought it all those years ago... I run a wireless mouse and a wired keyboard with
mine and it's been rock solid... And with this KVM there are no drivers needed like with some other models so
that's another plus... I use mine with a W7 and an XP machine...

One other advantage: It's a nice solid "heavy" unit so it doesn't slide around or lift at a weird angle when you
attach stiff cables to it, it just sits flat on the desk...

Good luck on whatever you decide to do... :wink:
 
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The only thing you'll need to be aware of is that you will need to be able to change the "halt on error" settings
in both your machine's BIOS to "all but keyboard"... Check the BIOS of both machines to make sure they have
that option available... Without making that change the machines will think there is a fault with the KB or mouse
and they may not boot...

Other than that you shouldn't have any problems like some find with other USB type KVM's... That's the reason
I went with that one when I bought it all those years ago... I run a wireless mouse and a wired keyboard with
mine and it's been rock solid... And with this KVM there are no drivers needed like with some other models so
that's another plus... I use mine with a W7 and an XP machine...

One other advantage: It's a nice solid "heavy" unit so it doesn't slide around or lift at a weird angle when you
attach stiff cables to it, it just sits flat on the desk...

Good luck on whatever you decide to do... :wink:

Thanks. Will do. It is nice that is is also affordable also.
 

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