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Which KVM switches are supported by Windows 7?

    Question

  • I had to replace a motherboard that died.  In doing so, I also upgraded to Windows 7 (64-bit).  I have been unable to get the KVM swith to work properly. 

    In checking the Internet, I found a posting that stated that the KVM switch needs to support either DDM or "true USB simulation".  Can anyone confirm that as being correct?  And if so, is there a list of KVM swtiches that will work with Windows 7?

    Richard

    Wednesday, November 04, 2009 11:01 PM

Answers

All replies

  • Hi,

    Microsoft has published an article: Display Guidelines for KVM Switches in Windows 7. This may be helpful.

    Best Regards
    Dale
    Friday, November 06, 2009 3:15 AM
    Moderator
  • Richard,  I'm not sure if you're still in need of an answer, but it might partially depend on what issues you're experiencing with the existing KVM switch.   Many people only experience video problems when switching back and forth with a regular KVM, and that's because Windows 7 will frequently try and communicate with the monitor, and if you're on a different KVM port, 7 will get the impression no monitor is connected and then stop sending video signals, or since it doesn't know what if any display is connected, it will change the resolution to an ultra-compatible 640x480. 

    In these cases, you'll need to look for a KVM that provides full DDC/EDID communication.  DDC is the Display Data Channel, and that's how the computer is able to communicate with the display.  Regular KVM models will interrupt that communication when you switch ports.  Some newer KVM models that support all-time full DDC allow that communication to take place on all ports, regardless of what port is currently active.

    I've heard some people complain about USB issues when switching back and forth with Windows 7, and personally I haven't seen it, but if that's what you experience then yes, you'd probably need something providing DDM.  It's more stable in the sense that Windows doesn't have to constantly re-recognize your USB devices every time you switch ports - like is required with most standard switches.

    • Proposed as answer by KVM PRO Monday, December 24, 2012 4:09 PM
    Wednesday, March 24, 2010 4:07 PM
  • This isn't an answer. If Richard designed KVM switches, it would be an answer... he's an individual user. The protocols to test out KVM switches are useless to him.

     

    Is there a source where he (and I) can find KVM switches that are available that will work with Windows 7. The Hardware Compatibility page is just about worthless in searching for such a device.

    Saturday, April 24, 2010 6:37 AM
  • Hi Pete

    Compatibility is the responsibility of the hardware/software manufacturer.

    All of the items on the compatibility list are placed there by the manufacturer of the product. The items that carry the Windows 7 logo are items that have been submitted to Microsoft for compatibility testing and have been found to work with Windows 7.

    Your best source for making sure that a device is compatible with a particular OS, when shopping for hardware, is the manufacturer. They will always publish which operating systems the item has been tested on and found to be compatible.

    Hope this helps.

    Thank You for using Windows 7


    Ronnie Vernon MVP

     

    Saturday, April 24, 2010 9:01 AM
    Moderator
  • I apologize, I wasn't intending to inform him of how to test various KVM switches, I was simply saying you need a KVM that provides full DDC/EDID communication, making it compatible with Windows 7.  KVM manufacturers should advertise that, so you'd need to find one that advertises that.  If you're looking for a specific manufacturer/model, I can tell you that ConnectPRO has 2 and 4-port USB KVM switches that provide full compatibility.  The UR-12-PRO and UR-14-PRO to be specific.
    Thursday, April 29, 2010 5:24 PM
  • "Compatibility is the responsibility of the hardware/software manufacturer."

    In this case the software manufacturer is Microsoft... I also have an existing KVM that works fine with several different operating systems including previous versions of Windows. Somehow, this issue seems to be clouded under the misunderstanding that there's something wrong with the hardware. The KVM is working as designed and there's nothing wrong with it. It's Windows 7 that has a bug/feature that we need a fix for.

    As an aside my frustration is that I've now tried 2 other KVM solutions under $100 that were labeled win7 compatible on the box and they either didn't work or didn't fix this issue.

     

     

     

     

     

    Monday, August 30, 2010 6:02 PM
  • Not a windows issue as long as you are using devices which support win 7 even a little cheapo (30.00) IOgear works.

    I THINK it is this one I have used .......   IOGear GCS632U 2-port compact USB kvm switch w/built-in

    You need to look for devices which state they support windows 7

    The specs said.... Display Emulation Technology provides the EDID support for Windows 7.

    Now you DO have the drivers for your monitors installed.. right?? I have found that NOT having a true PNP monitor or not having the drivers installed can cause issues when switching.

    Monday, August 30, 2010 6:55 PM
  • Not a windows issue as long as you are using devices which support win 7 even a little cheapo (30.00) IOgear works.

    I THINK it is this one I have used .......   IOGear GCS632U 2-port compact USB kvm switch w/built-in

    You need to look for devices which state they support windows 7

    The specs said.... Display Emulation Technology provides the EDID support for Windows 7.

    Now you DO have the drivers for your monitors installed.. right?? I have found that NOT having a true PNP monitor or not having the drivers installed can cause issues when switching.

     

    I have the latest Nvidia and monitor drivers installed. Window 2k, Windows ME, Linux, and Solaris work. Windows 7 is the *only* OS so far I've encountered that has issues with my KVM (Airlink 101: 4 port KVM 5ish years old). That makes it a pretty clear it's a Windows 7 issue.

    As for the issues with new switches the first new periodically lost (every 3-4 times I switched away) the USB keyboard/mouse both on Win7 and Win 2k. The second had the same issue with Win 7 shifting my windows to the upper left hand corner.

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 12:43 AM
  • A 5 year old KVM and you think it should work with win 7??? Come on now.

    as stated above by Ronnie it is the KVM switch which must support windows 7 NOT windows 7 which must support the switch.

    spend the 30.00 and get over that OLD switch

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 1:30 AM
  • A 5 year old KVM and you think it should work with win 7??? Come on now.

    as stated above by Ronnie it is the KVM switch which must support windows 7 NOT windows 7 which must support the switch.

    spend the 30.00 and get over that OLD switch

    First off, suggest a 4 port $30 switch that works and I might. The cheapest I found was $50 and it did not work.

    Second, yes I expect it to work. If it works on every other OS so the problem is just with Window 7. What's with the attitude that Microsoft should dictate new standards just to make older hardware obsolete? 

    Most users won't be switching monitors while their system is running. For those of us that do, this new feature isn't performing properly. It's just a nuisance that you should be able to disable. I'm hardly the only one clamoring for a fix that doesn't involve spending as much as the OS costs. How is that unreasonable?

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 5:33 AM
  • No the probelm is not with windows, the problem is that you are refusing to understand that windows 7 is NOT any other OS.

    Things change, life moves on, in the past we put lead in our paint, lead in our cars..things change.. you can change with us or be left behind.

    To think that it is windows 7 issue will get you nowhere, windows 7 has requirements, just as ALL other OS's to use windows 7 you MUST meet those. 

    yes it is unreasonable to think you can run the lastest OS on OLD outdated gear without issues.

    And yes it does work properly when you follow the rules.

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 11:10 AM
  • No the probelm is not with windows, the problem is that you are refusing to understand that windows 7 is NOT any other OS.

    Things change, life moves on, in the past we put lead in our paint, lead in our cars..things change.. you can change with us or be left behind.

    To think that it is windows 7 issue will get you nowhere, windows 7 has requirements, just as ALL other OS's to use windows 7 you MUST meet those. 

    yes it is unreasonable to think you can run the lastest OS on OLD outdated gear without issues.

    And yes it does work properly when you follow the rules.

    So you're comparing the use of lead in paint (outlawed in 1977, more than 30 years ago) with a piece of hardware purchased in between the current OS release (Win7) and after the previous flop (Vista)? By that standard Windows 7 is nearly almost obsolete itself. In another year will you suggest that Win7 is so old and outdated that you should issues using new hardware with it?

    Frankly, I'm at a loss with your attitude. There's a support that Window 7 lacks. I've clearly stated what it is, what it does, and why it would be helpful. This deficiency is hindering myself and others. The behavior was introduced late in the build process of Windows 7. It may not even be working as desired and it's certainly not obvious what benefit (if any) it gives users. All I can really say for certain is that it arbitrarily prevents some hardware from working well. Rather than handle this deficiency Microsoft has taken the disappointing "rather than fix software, you need to spend $$$ to replace working equipment" attitude.

    PS/2 keyboards and mice, DVDs, CDs, and other much older hardware have support. It would be serious deficiency if Win7 didn't support these. The other requirements (1gig of ram, 1ghz cpu, 16g) were available around year 2000 (almost a decade ago). The underlying theme here is that other computer equipment purchased after the release of Vista will generally work with Window 7.

    EDIT: Actually all of this is entirely redundant. The frustration here is that Windows 7 doesn't worth with many (if not most) KVMs currently on sale and whether or not they will work often isn't clearly marked. It's entirely a situation that Microsoft created with Windows 7. It's absurd to claim it's not a Windows 7 issue.

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 12:53 PM
  • Ok it is plain to see you are just not getting it, there is no help for you.

    Again as I have a KVM switch which works just fine (it supports win 7 which why I got it), your argument just does not hold up.

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 2:41 PM
  • Ok it is plain to see you are just not getting it, there is no help for you.

    Again as I have a KVM switch which works just fine (it supports win 7 which why I got it), your argument just does not hold up.

    Microsoft has done a lousy job supporting existing KVMs with Window 7 and also a lousy job making obvious which KVMs are supported by Window 7. Somehow it seems like you're disagreeing even though most of your statements support that Win7 does not work properly with a KVM that will works with (all?) other OSes.

     

    I fully get what you're saying: hardware should be designed around the OS and replaced at the OS maker's whims. I just don't believe it. If I have to upgrade my hardware in some fashion there should be a tangible benefit to upgrading. Examples would include more memory or a faster CPU both which offer performance improvements. In this case, it looks like I would be spending money just to get back what I had pre-Win7.

    If yours works, great for you. I don't see why you're trying to make it harder for anyone else to get support. Do you have stock in KVM manufacturers that support Win7? I see you've backed off on the claim that I can replace my 4 port for $30.

    Perhaps the biggest misconception is that there's an "arguement" you can disagree with. It's a simple statement of fact that my KVM isn't working properly with Win7. It's *my* opinion that Win7 should support it. It's my experience that replacing it will either be costly or time consuming (as I have to figure out which sub $100 KVMs work by trial and error) or expensive.

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 9:35 PM
  • You can try www.connectpro.com.  I have their UR-12+ that works beautifully.  I found about this "new" feature in Windows 7 and was upset too.  ConnectPro has a $60 UR-12 that indicates Windows 7 compatibility.   I wanted the hot-key and other features the + has.
    Tuesday, November 02, 2010 5:19 PM
  • The problem is with microsoft. I have 5 XP machines in my home and added 2 win-7 machines. The default "homegroup" didn't see my XP workgroup. I finally found workgroup but it was hidden in some obscure submenu some place. Don't you realize everyone isn't a grandma with their first computer? Microsoft has no clue about compatability or understanding that the user interface (as is) is important. I expected to plug my new win-7 into my network and into my KVM and have it work. I am now building an ubuntu machine. win-7 is a joke and so is MS
    Thursday, July 05, 2012 9:36 AM