cracked screen preventing connection of external monitor

Discussion in 'Laptops, Tablets and Smartphones' started by TG1, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. TG1

    TG1 New Member

    I have a Lenovo W520 laptop with Windows 7. In its previous life, it functioned as a controller for one of the test systems at my job. That is… until someone dropped it on the floor while performing upgrades to the test system. The laptop still functioned fine after the drop, but the impact damaged the screen and you can only see random colors on the display. That didn’t matter because we always used it with the lid closed, and displayed the output on an external monitor.

    Recently, we have replaced the W520 with a new laptop. The company was just going to scrap the old laptop, so I decided to bring it home. After all, it still works fine and I can put it in my son’s room (with a wireless mouse and keyboard) and he should be able to do his lessons and play his games. All this is predicated on being able to have video output to an external monitor, while keeping the lid closed.

    The problem is that I cannot use the laptop (in its current condition) outside of the company network. It won’t even let you log on. I would have to wipe the company image off the drive, and start over with a fresh install. But to wipe the hard drive deletes the video drivers and destroys the settings that tell the system to output video to the external monitor, as opposed to attempting to display it on the laptop screen. As soon as put in my boot CD/USB, all the installation instructions will be shown on the laptop screen itself. The external monitor display won’t be able to be configured until I actually get to a point where a functional version of Windows is actually installed. But I can’t install Windows, because I can’t see the installation instructions on the screen. I am caught in a circular situation.

    I have tried plugging in the VGA monitor directly into the laptop’s VGA-out to see if it will magically output (without having been told to do so) in the settings. It did not. I bought a USB-to-VGA adapter to see if the USB connection might output the video without needing to be configured. It does not. I tried the <Fn> + <F5> key sequence to see if that does anything. It does not. I tried pressing the ‘Windows’ key + <P>. I was told that might work. It didn’t. So I’m kind of stuck. I even went so far as opening up the laptop, and disconnecting the cable that runs from the screen to the motherboard.. hoping that would ‘force’ the computer to send video output to the external monitor. Now I have two blank screens. I would appreciate any ideas.
  2. johnb35

    johnb35 Administrator Staff Member

    Replace the cracked screen and wipe the drive then reinstall windows. Screens are a cheap fix.

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