On the web, I have seen many articles written by people having trouble creating monitor profiles using hardware such as the Spyder3 when they have 2 video cards with a monitor on each and are using Vista 64-bit. I have used the Spyder 2 and Spyder3 on Windows XP 32-bit and Vista Ultimate 32-bit without any problems. However, getting it to work using Vista 64-bit was a hassle, to say the least. Since I was finally able to do it, I wanted to share my experiences and, for those who were having trouble, maybe this will help. On the 32-bit systems I didn't have two video cards.

Firstly, I could not load any profiles while my monitors were plug and play. Since they are CRTs that are a few years old, I looked to update the drivers for the correct OS. For some reason the software from the manufacturer's website did not work even though it was generic and for Vista 64-bit. Neither the signed nor unsigned drivers worked. I finally was able to locate profiles on a "drivers" website. This particular piece of software was older than from the manufacturer of my monitors, 2007, and unsigned so I did not think it would work. But I was able to install it and the monitors now reflected the manufacturer's profile.

The reason that monitors 1 and 3 appear differently is that number 1 is on one video card and number 3 is on the other. If I had 4 monitors, one video card would have 1 and 2 attached and the other 3 and 4.

When I ran the Spyder3Elite software program, it created 2 separate profiles. It had done that in the past, but they never loaded. Now they loaded. If I restarted my machine, they said "Loading" and the screen color changed. So I thought I was finally finished. Below is a screen capture from the ProfileChooser that is a part of Spyder3Elite Software. Notice that I have a profile for each monitor.

However, almost every time I set the monitor in sleep mode, restart, or started it after I had shut it off, I got a statement saying that the Spyder Utility has an error and the profiles cannot load.

I checked all over to see if there was a separate utility program within the Datacolor folder on drive C and finally found one. I created a shortcut on my desktop. Now when this happens, I just click on the Spyder3EliteUtility.exe file and it loads the 2 profiles, distinct ones for each monitor. C:/program files (x86)/Datacolor/Spyder3Elite/Utility/Spyder3Utility.exe.

Now I have two profiles listed in Color Management with the one created as the Spyder3 marked as the default. Below is a picture for monitor 3. I have a similar one for monitor 1.

If you leave the SpyderUtility with its default settings, the screen saver will not come on. I clicked on the icon, opened the preferences and changed almost all to never since I did not want it to read ambient light anyway or notify me for recalibrating, etc. I kept a record of the default settings so if I had to I could go back to them. Whether changing them all to never was necessary, I do not know. Perhaps I could have changed just some. As a note, I had used the latest update for the Spyder3Elite which was 3.0.7. I tried it a number of times but since I kept getting the same Utility error message, I switched to 3.0.6 thinking that might help. I had the same problems so I don't think the newest version addresses these. I did not switch back because I was able to configure this version and didn't want to take the chance that I couldn't configure 3.0.7.

Now, I can use my screen saver without a problem and set the computer mode to sleep without losing the profiles most of the time. However, if I restart it or shut it off and start it, they will not load and I get the Utility error message. I, then, have to click on the Spyder3EliteUtility.exe file to load them. This does load them.

What still puzzles me is why when I load a profile into the Color Management part of Windows (right click on the screen/Personalize/Display Settings/Color Management/Color Management/Devices) and set it as default it doesn't load automatically. Theoretically, it looks as if any profile chosen as the default profile should work automatically and be loaded. They all reside in the same folder. (C:/Windows/System 32/ Spool/ Drivers/ Color.)

I am glad to have found a work-around even and the inconvenience is very minor. As I stated in the beginning, I do not have this problem on my laptop which does not use an external monitor and uses Vista 32-bit nor did I have it on XP with two monitors, but only one video card. However, I could only calibrate one monitor.