How do I connect a monitor to my laptop?

By judicious · 12 replies
Jan 27, 2008
  1. Hi All!

    I was wondering if I had to purchase something extra to connect my laptop to another monitor? I want to use two screens at once, but just draw things around to the other screen so I can watch movies in one and do other things in another. Can someone tell me the name of the cord or thing I have to buy?

  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    The Connection:
    Your Laptop should have a VGA plug at the back, you may need an adaptor to convert 15Pin VGA to LCD connector

    The Settings:
    In Control Panel - Display Advanced settings, does your laptop support dual display?

    You may need to post your System Specs for more support on this, you can also update your Profile as well, with this information.
  3. judicious

    judicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    Windows: Windows XP5.1 (Build 2600) Service Pack 2
    Internet Explorer: 6.0.2900.2180
    Memory (RAM): 1016 MB
    CPU Info: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU T5500 @ 1.66GHz
    CPU Speed: 1660.5 MHz
    Sound card: SoundMAX HD Audio
    Display Adapters: Mobile Intel(R) 945GM Express Chipset Family | Mobile Intel(R) 945GM Express Chipset Family | NetMeeting driver | RDPDD Chained DD
    Screen Resolution: 1280 X 800 - 32 bit
    Network: Network Present
    Network Adapters: Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection - Packet Scheduler Miniport | Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet - Packet Scheduler Miniport | Nortel IPSECSHM Adapter - Packet Scheduler Miniport
    CD / DVD Drives: F: HL-DT-STRW/DVD GCC-4247N
    COM Ports: COM10 | COM3 | COM13
    LPT Ports: LPT1
    Mouse: 5 Button Wheel Mouse Present
    Hard Disks: C: 18.4GB | D: 36.8GB | E: 701.4MB
    Hard Disks - Free: C: 3.9GB | D: 27.9GB | E: 233.8MB
    USB Controllers: 5 host controllers.
    Firewire (1394): Not Detected
    PCMCIA (Laptops): Not Installed
    Manufacturer: Hewlett-Packard
    Product Make: HP Compaq nc6400 (RY015UP#ABA)
    AC Power Status: OnLine
    BIOS Info: AT/AT COMPATIBLE | 05/07/07 | HP - 17040720
    Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time
    Battery: High
    Motherboard: Hewlett-Packard 30AD
    Modem: Agere Systems HDA Modem
    Sony Ericsson W960 USB Modem

    I'm not sure if it supports dual do i find out? both monitors has i have to buy a converter or can I just buy a vga cord and use that? thanks!
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    You know you could have just updated your profile.
    After weeding through all this, I have worked out that you're running Xp

    When you say that you have two VGA monitors.
    I originally thought that you wanted to have 1 LCD and 1 External monitor as dual display. Using two monitors cannot work (unless you want to swith them - using a digital swithing box) but this won't show different screens.

    Please check the Advanced or full settings area of your Display settings in Control Panel. For dual display option.

    I may leave this for others with more specialist, dual displaying, information. As I'm limited in this area.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    You are currently using the Intel 945GM integrated chipset for graphics support. For starters, am pretty certain you need use a separate graphics card to support dual monitors (of any type).

    For a desktop, it's easy to add a graphics card to the desktop chassis. Not the case for notebooks where any graphics card is typically soldered into the motherboard making it difficult to change/add after the fact

    To clarify one thing, you CAN still connect a monitor to the laptop and have your desktop display appear on the laptop screen or the connected monitor or both... but that's the SAME desktop display appearing on each which is not what you're after.
  6. judicious

    judicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    yea...i pretty much would like to have dual screen on my laptop and monitor...
  7. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    You simply need to tell us if your laptop has a video output of some sort (VGA, DVI, HDMI, etc.). Can you link to a website displaying the technical specifications of your laptop ?
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

  9. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    This review of the HP nc6400 shows your laptop indeed has a VGA port. If your external display has a VGA input port, all you need to do is get a VGA cable & connect the two together. By default the same image will be replicated on both screens but you simply need to play around with the display options to set them up the way them to function.
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Good page find LookinAround; these links are so hard to find.
    Probably took you 30 secs though, no doubt. :)
  11. judicious

    judicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    thanks! i got it...i used the vga cable n plugged it in..and changed the settings on the Display properties through Control Panel. Thanks! :grinthumb
  12. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    you bet!

    glad i double checked on your graphics chipset. Learned more, myself, along the way. :approve:

    /* Edit */
    And kimsland, as they say "Google is your friend". Just a matter of keepin your friends focused on what you;re after
  13. shepanator

    shepanator TS Rookie

    I just attach my monitor with the cable thats on it, hold 'fn' and hit my F5 key, the 'fn' key should be a different color, there will be little pictures the same color on your 'F' keys, look for one thats a picture of a monitor, hold 'fn', and hit that key. It works for me, maby not you though.
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