I don't see which laptop and since 2 were tried it's possible the cable is bad, the vga input port is "blown" or there are other issues. Make that call to IT next.
We have an NEC VE281X projector in a 5th grade classroom. It was connecting to the laptop when we first installed it. It will turn on and show the NEC screen, but will not show the laptop screen up on the board, even if you press Fn+F7. I tried resetting the projector back to factory defaults in case a student had messed with the remote. I also tried a different laptop in case the teacher's laptop was the cause. Still no connection showing the info from the laptop to the screen.
Any suggestions would be welcome!