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External display does not work
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:24
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Sep 23, 2008

My flatscreen was connected to my old Win2000 pc, and I had been working exclusively on my laptop since 2006.
Now I tried to connect the external screen (a 2003 model) to the external port of the laptop.
I had the laptop switched off, connected the external screen, switched it on and started XP Pro.

At first the initial screen appeared on the external screen, but suddenly it went dark and an icon with a pc and a screen and a broken wire appeared. In the display menu the laptop is display 1 and display 2 is not in use.

So I don't know, if my external screen is an outdated model that is not compatible with XP or what is the reason. I had expected XP would find a new device, install it and so on, but no.
I tried twice, the same result.

Is anybody of you able to suggest what I should do? This is not important, I just wanted to try this out.


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 11:24
+ ...
Check your display settings Sep 23, 2008

You should be able to set up the 2nd display via the Windows Control Panel. This usually allows you to specify whether you want the desktop to span two displays, clone the desktop, or enable only one of the displays at a time.


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:24
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
2nd screen might need activation Sep 23, 2008

Hi Heinrich,
in your display menu, did you check if there is a box saying "extend desktop to this screen" or something similar. On my German Vista it is called ""Desktop auf diesen Monitor erweitern". If this is the case, just mark it with a mouse click and everything should be fine.

[Edited at 2008-09-23 11:56]

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Simon Mountifield  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:24
French to English
Resolution Sep 23, 2008

I had a similar problem when connecting more than one monitor to my PC, which caused one of the screens to go blank. First of all, I updated the graphics card, but I still had the same problem. Afterwards, I found that the solution was to lower the resolution. Apparently, the graphics card was not very powerful to begin with, so it struggled even more with two monitors. After lowering the resolution, the second monitor "came to life".

To alter the resolution, right-click in Windows desktop, select "Properties" and then choose the "Setting" tab. There's a section called "Screen Resolution." Try lowering the resolution and see what happens. It might not work, but it's worth a try.


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RieM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:24
English to Japanese
+ ...
Just a thought Sep 23, 2008

Hi Heinrich,

I also have an old Sony flatpanel (probably 2001 or 02) connected to a laptop, and it works ok with Vista and XP.. But, it dosen't mean your FP works as well. It is always easier for a graphic card to identify one or the other. Is "an icon with a pc with a broken wire" coming from the monitor or the PC? Do you see the same icon when the monitor is not connected to a PC at all?

Usually, the graphic card's own program identifies an external monitor and performs better (color and resolurion-wise) than the native Windows "Display properties - setting" page. If your XP is factory-installed, chances are that a display control app from the graphic card manufacturer is also installed. Is there anything related listed when you right-click a screen - usually above "New". Or, from the Start menu or the Control Panel, you might spot such a program.

Or, if you know the card model, check the manufacturer's website to see if your monitor is supported.



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