How to Use a KVM Switch With 2 Computers

by eHow Computers Editor

Keyboard, Video and Mouse (KVM) switches allow you to manage several computers while using only 1 keyboard, video and monitor. The process to connect a KVM switch to 2 computers takes a few minutes. Here is how to use a KVM switch with 2 computers.

Keep in mind that KVM switches are of different types. Ensure that you have a KVM switch that supports both computers. Make sure that the KVM interface ports are compatible with both computers and devices to be shared.

Ensure that you have all the equipment required for connecting the KVM switch to the computers. This would typically include the KVM power cable (if required) and all cables required to interface with the computers and devices to be shared. For instance, USB cables, VGA cables and adapters, and PS/2 cables.

Ensure that both the PCs are shut down before you start installation.

Hook up the monitor, keyboard and mouse into the relevant input ports of the KVM switch. Note that you must connect all the devices that have to be shared on the computers. For instance, if you only wish to share the keyboard, connect the keyboard to the input port. If your KVM switch includes speaker output, you may also connect your speaker cables to the switch. This will allow you to share speakers on the computers.

Ensure that you have enough sets of cables for both computers. Usually, 2 identical cables-one for the keyboard and the other for the mouse-form a set of cables. Each computer will have a set of cables. In other words, you should have at least 2 sets of cables for 2 computers.

Plug in the keyboard cable of each set to the keyboard port of the computer and the mouse cable of each set to the mouse port of the same computer.

Plug in the monitor cable to each computer. These are separate from the set of cables mentioned above. Again, each computer will have 1 monitor cable.

Boot both computers. The computers connected to the KVM switch should automatically identify the switch. Check if all devices shared are working on the computers. If not, switch off the KVM switch, unplug and re-plug the cables. If any of the computers still do not identify the KVM switch, restart that computer. If the problem persists, contact your vendor.

Tips

  • check Label the ports of the computers in order to avoid confusion.
  • check Sharing a set of speakers between 2 computers is also possible with the built-in audio support. You can allocate one of the computers as a music server.

Warning

  • close Do not keep the cable connection crossed. This will result in sending the keyboard command to one computer and the mouse command to the other.

Items you will need