What you can do, if you're daring enough, is to open the case and disconnect the LVDS cable from the MLB. Then just wrap it in some electrical tape or something to keep it from accidentally completing a circuit, and close things back up with the LVDS cable just floating loose inside the case. That way, the EFI won't find an internal display, broken or otherwise, and will automatically default to external video. It's a trick most techs learn pretty quickly, not that Apple ever bothers putting it into the ACMT training material.
As for your other issue, I wouldn't be surprised if your HDD is on its way out. In any event, if you can get video on the external display, you should be able to just hold option down to get the boot menu.
I have an MBP A1226 running OS X 10.6.8
I just had my screen break on me and have it running in clamshell. Is it possible to have the computer ALWAYS boot with clamshell without having to close it while it's booting?
Furthermore, I would like to run a disk utility that requires an external drive boot (disk warrior). I've had some major problems with disk speed lately, and I just wanted to do some tests. I guess my question there is: with this busted monitor, how could i booth from the external drive AND clamshell mode at the same time?
The first question would probably answer the second as well, but I thought I would just lay out all my queries at once all the same.
Thanks in advance!