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What is the easiest way to extend my Windows 7 desktop to my netbook screen running Windows XP?

Restriction: I have programs running in the background in Windows XP (netbook), which I do not want to interrupt.

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3 Answers 3

Synergy.

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Synergy will share the keyboard and the mouse across computers. It will not "extend the Windows 7 Desktop" in one of the possible interpretations. –  Jader Dias May 27 '11 at 11:51
    
Wow! This is an awesome tool. Glad you mentioned it. Just not what @Max888 asked for... –  uSlackr May 27 '11 at 21:33

There are a couple of projects around which purport to allow you to do this, usually involving some form of modified VNC server which the computer sees as an additional graphics card. Your 'extra' computer would then run a VNC client to display the extended desktop area.

I can't recall off hand what the projects I came across were, but I do remember that I had absolutely zero luck getting any of them to work.

As xciter so briefly said, Synergy is probably the best you can hope for. Synergy is a system to share your keyboard and mouse out across the network to remotely control the other computers on your desk - saves having multiple keyboards and mice around. It also has a shared clipboard as well. There are plans in a future version to allow drag-and-drop between computers as well, which is going to be a really nice addition.

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I just stumbled upon ZoneOS ZoneScreen which is free for non-commercial use even. It looks like it fulfills your requirements.

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