Laptops forum

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Laptop won't show display on external monitor.

by wearwolf2500 / February 2, 2008 5:22 AM PST

I have a Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop with a Nvidia 8600M GT graphics card and windows vista. It has been working fine for a while now, but just the other day it stoped working with external monitors. I've tried other monitors with no luck, and those monitors all work fine with other computers. The laptop works fine, but the external monitor just stays in "Power Save Mode" when I plug it in, and no matter what I do I can't get it to display.

Please help.

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No matter what I do?
by Coryphaeus / February 2, 2008 5:35 AM PST

What did you do? Did you go into video properties and enable the external port?

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What I've tried
by wearwolf2500 / February 2, 2008 5:47 AM PST
In reply to: No matter what I do?

I don't remember a "Video Properties" anywhere, and I can't find the "clone" settings for windows Vista. It is however Set up that way in the Nvidia Control Center. I have also tried reinstalling the display drivers a few times with no luck.

In display settings it says the monitor is "Not Active", the only option available in the right click menu is to set it to "Attached"

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same propblem here
by naughtical / February 25, 2009 12:43 AM PST
In reply to: What I've tried

im having the same problem as you but i'm working from a dell inspiron 1525. one day external monitors work the next it wont recognize its there. its really frustrating have you found a solution yet?

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Things to check when your laptop has display problems
by gary_hend / February 2, 2008 12:18 PM PST


I've got some tips and tricks for fixing and addressing laptop video problems - try out the following troubleshooting guide and let me know how it goes.

1. Check for a faint image on the screen
Now, you need to check if you can see a faint image on the screen. It is very possible that after the lid is closed, the backlight stays off even when you open the screen again.

2. Check for a solid color
The next thing to check is if the screen is a solid white color. If so, it is very likely a bad connection between the LCD display and the system board.

3. Connect the LCD screen to an external monitor.
If the external video is fine, then you definitely have a problem with the LCD screen or the LCD video cable.

In most cases, if your LCD screen is damaged, it is hard to avoid a trip down to the manufacturer. However, the above are just some general troubleshooting tips that you should always try before calling the manufacturer's support line.

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by wearwolf2500 / February 2, 2008 12:42 PM PST

The monitor attached to the laptop is working fine, it's external monitors that aren't working. Any external monitor, and I've tried all of them on other computers and they work fine.

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Re: Things to check when your laptop has display problems
by Big Steve / February 2, 2008 7:30 PM PST

I have a 2 year old Dell Inspiron 1300 laptop which I accidentally dropped a few nights ago landing on my hardwood floors and in doing so I messed up the monitor on the laptop. Should I try to do what has been recommended here? I still can see on my monitor but it's not as bright nor are the colors as vivid as they were before I dropped it.

I've had no luck with Dell yet as to finding out exactly how much it might cost to fix the laptop nor have I been able to find out from Dell where I would need to ship it to and get it checked. The warranty expired last year and there was no accidental damage warranty taken out on the laptop either.

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A drop is easy to figure the costs.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 2, 2008 8:59 PM PST

It doesn't matter if it's LCD or Motherboard. The cost will exceed 600 and could be about 900 or a bit more if both have to be replaced. Since you can't give an exact number till the machine is fixed the better shops should give you the 900 plus number. The real number will come in lower if you are LUCKY! No shop I know has spare luck to get you the exact repair price.


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Re: A drop is easy to figure the costs.
by Big Steve / February 4, 2008 4:08 PM PST

I spoke to Dell yesterday; they quoted me a flat rate price of $368.00 USD to fix the monitor on my Inspiron 1300 notebook; I thanked them and told them no. The notebook will soon be 2 years old; I might as well invest $368.00 in a new one.

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That's a good number.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 4, 2008 10:04 PM PST

If it was one of the more pricey laptops then it's worth fixing. If you paid near or below 1K I can see why you would pass. Now you can add a few dollars to your next laptop by ebaying off the old laptop. I get 99 bucks for a dead laptop no matter how dead.


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Re: That's a good number.
by Big Steve / February 4, 2008 10:52 PM PST
In reply to: That's a good number.

Well first of all my brother's company purchased this notebook new for me from Dell's Small Business unit almost 2 years ago and I have no idea what they paid for it but if I had made the purchase myself and now knowing what Dell wants to charge me to fix it which I'm not; are you saying that someone on Ebay would buy this notebook in it's now damaged condition?

Now here's one for you; there are two guys on Ebay who are attempting to sell what they claim to be are brand new HP dv6700z notebooks, one has started his bidding at less than $10.00 and the other guy has one and the price has reached the $300.00 price range.

I configured one of these machines on HP's website last night exactly as their notebooks were configured and my final price on both notebooks was just under $1,000.00. I contacted both sellers about their notebooks, one said he bought his from a friend who bought it recently but didn't like it; the other bought his himself but didn't like it. Both stories smell fishy to me.

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Easy & cheap fix
by lisa-777 / September 3, 2011 5:44 AM PDT

I'm sure that this person has found his solution by now but for anyone else who dropped their laptop like I did and know that the problem is only the monitor then that there is an easy and cost effective way to fix it instead of paying hundreds. I googled how to replace a laptop screen and purchased a new LCD screen on It literally cost me about $80 when a repair center told me it would be about $2-350 to do so. It was also a Dell computer so unless you have their extended warranty past a year they are no help.

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Dell 1720 Inspiron wont display on my LCD TV
by dfedx88 / February 28, 2009 12:37 AM PST

I used to be able to hook up my laptop to any tv's with the s-video cables, and then after about 2 months it quit working, something to do with the display drivers.

I then went out and bought a cable for the RGB connnection, and that was working fine for about 2 months, and then that stopped working as well.

when I go to the control panel for the NVIDIA control panel, it displays the LG tv in there, and says it works, etc... but it doesn't display the movie on the tv. I check the input, and it says:No Input, and then when I used the Function keys and crt/lcd, it reads Not available.

I go to the Problem reports & solutions, under the windows secition, it says "video hardware problem"... and then if you click on details, it says : A problem with your video hardware caused Windows to stop working correctly.

There is no solution for this problem.
I am using Windows Vista.. which is a piece of **** and not compatible with a lot of software.
Using a GeForce 8600M GT
Tried using the NVIDIA control panel, and using all the differnt modes, single, clone, both with no avail.

thinking that it is a video card problem.. but not sure

If anyone can offer solutions that would be great

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So you dropped your laptop too?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 28, 2009 1:25 AM PST

This is a discussion about costs to repair such a machine. If your post differs from the topic, try making your own topic.

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There are 2 subjects in this forum
by sugafree23 / March 26, 2009 3:11 AM PDT

I was glad to see how the topic of this forum started off. Laptop cannot connect to external monitor. Then someone posts an issue about dropping their laptop, spinning the topic off kilter. It would be great if this topic continued how it started. Laptop works fine using external monitor, then suddenly, one day the monitor stops working, cannot connect. Laptop works fine, monitor is fine, it just won't connect anymore. Motherboard was replaced, same issue. If this is no longer the topic, please steer me in the direction to the forum that is for me.

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This forum has many topics.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 26, 2009 5:57 AM PDT

Including your very own. Just click on the Laptops word after the CNET forums: link on this page and you can start your own new discussion rather than burying your new discussion under an aging discussion.

Next time they replace the board, have them show you it working with your laptop. They may need to teach some about the FnKeys.

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Laptop and external monitor or LCD Projector
by iavnj / February 25, 2010 10:37 PM PST

I just came across this message, so this may help out future users. To start, I have a Tutorial Video on You Tube that may help out. Go to If this doesn't work for you, then you should go into the computer/laptop and go to the Control Panel - Personalization - Display Settings and reset for a 2 monitor configuration. A shortcut to this would be right click on your desktop and click on Personalization or Display Settings. Each computer settings are different so you may have to play around with it a bit. Good Luck!

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I Need Help
by dcypherz / July 3, 2011 3:24 AM PDT

My laptop EQ62-215DX a compaq presario laptop lcd screen broke, so I added an external hp monitor. Then I tapped the windows icon on my keyboard while tapping p and this allowed me to turn off the broken laptop screen and view the monitor. But after moving and restarting, the monitor is now blank and I cannot get either monitor to do anything. My techno geek son has passed away and now I can't fix it!! I need some help. I tried to restart the laptop and held the fn key pressing f4 and f5, nothing... Where should I look? I have another monitor, maybe I should try it. Thanks!

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Sad news.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 3, 2011 7:12 AM PDT
In reply to: I Need Help

The bios appears to thwart such an idea today. This means we fix the machine.

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Laptop won't show display
by michelsmith / August 23, 2011 8:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Sad news.

If the drivers are not compatible, the system fails to communicate with the display device. For the proper working of monitor you need to install flexible drivers. You might download the proper drivers from the genuine websites. And always update the driver. Using outdated display driver might cause the screen problem. The driver should satisfy the requirements for the system.

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Remember that we are talking about the display before Window
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 24, 2011 1:54 AM PDT

Read it again. The BIOS does not use drivers. If you can't see the screen with the usual FN+Fkey then the BIOS does not allow this and we get to repair the machine.

Hope this helps you catch up on the technology. No BIOS today has us installing a driver.

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