How to connect external LCD monitor to laptop (IBM ThinkPad R50e)?

By Nathan123 ยท 11 replies
Jan 22, 2009
  1. Dear all,

    I am encountering the following problem and would very much appreciate your help with it: I am using an somewhat dated IBM ThinkPad (R50e), which I'd like to run with an external monitor.

    Now, I have connected the monitor (Fujitsu Siemens Scenicview A19-3A) to the external monitor connector using a DVI - VGA/SVGA/XVGA monitor adapter. I have then switched the display output location to "LCD & external (CRT) monitor" using the Fn+F7 key combination, but the external monitor seems not to receive a signal (at least none that he'd be willing to transform into some type of display) -- it remains all black.

    I also installed the monitor device drivers from Fujitsu on my laptop, but to no avail.

    Any suggestions on what the problem might be and how I might be able to get the external monitor to work with my laptop?

    Thanks a lot in advance!

  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    You just need to push the plug in securely (even tighten the thumb screws, if it has any)
    Then turn on

    It should default to the external, straight away
    If not use the Fn+F7 keys as you said (note: I haven't downloaded your manual to confirm this)

    By the way, the monitor works normally, and all, doesn't it ?
  3. Nathan123

    Nathan123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your reply! The plug is pushed in firmly, including tightened thumb screws. Still, the monitor doesn't work/is black. The only reaction it shows is that when I plug it in OR unplug it from the laptop (or the DVI-to-VGA adapter), it displays "No signal - Going to sleep". Any thoughts on what that could mean?
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Have to say the basics :rolleyes:

    Is this a known working Monitor?
    Was the laptop off before you plugged it in?
    Have you checked the manual on correct key press?
    Have you tried another external Monitor?
    Are any pins bent?
    Is the connection loose?
    etc etc?
  5. Nathan123

    Nathan123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    These VGA-to-DVI adapters usually work, don't they? Why wouldn't it be possible to properly connect an external LCD monitor to a laptop?

    More thoughts?
  6. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

  7. User Zero

    User Zero TS Rookie

    Check specs for the Fujitsu. I have found that sometimes the resolution for the second monitor is way too high for the first and no cables. cords, gadgets or gizmos will help. Resolution is 1 and then the Hertz is the other. Some monitors don't show higher hertz with some of the newer laptops. My T30 does great but the old Sanyo Monitor that I had it hooked to wouldn't accept over 60 hertz and never showed on standard res. Good luck

  8. Nathan123

    Nathan123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the tip, I tried, but it did not help. :(

    I'll go and see what the specs are - that would mean, I could just downscale the resolution of the second monitor for it to work? The hertz possibility seems less likely if it applies to new laptops only. Mine is getting close to his fourth bday. ;)

    Btw, should I be able to find the external monitor in the device manager? Because it just says ThinkPad LCD Panel (the built-in screen) and "standard monitor". Would I have to install the monitor in some way or should it be strictly plug'n play?

    I've been thinking about whether the DVI adapter does bad in some way. There seem to be different types of such adapters (DVI-I, DVI-D), and it doesn't say which is mine on the package. Could that be a problem?

    Or do you know any other possibilities I've not thought about as yet?
  9. User Zero

    User Zero TS Rookie

    DVI-I or D could be a real culprit.

    For the LCD in the monitor, try using Windows. See what it says. I have found a lot of times with these, unless Windows knows, the TP center stuff doesn't.

  10. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Posts: 246

    Okay wait a moment.
    You said that you are using an adapter to get from a DVI port to a VGA, right?
    Which end is the adapter on?
    To clarify, here's some text art:

    1) [Computer] > [DVI-adapter] -----VGA cable----- [Monitor]
    2) [Computer] -----VGA cable----- [DVI-adapter] > [Monitor]

    From my experience, 2 doesn't work too well a lot of the time.
  11. Nathan123

    Nathan123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    User Zero, pyro,

    the problem is solved now! My setup looked like the following:

    [Computer (VGA, D-sub out] > [DVI-adapter] -----DVI cable----- [Monitor]

    And that didn't work out, seemingly because the monitor cannot handle DVI-A signals but only DVI-D (a difference that, I admittedly wasn't aware of). So both of you were right, the DVI-to-VGA adapter was the culprit. I now just got myself a regular end-to-end VGA (D-sub) cable using the alternative connector of the monitor for this.

    So no DVI connection right now, but I guess that doesn't decrease the picture quality too much!? At first glance, I can't find any major differences to when I use the monitor with my desktop using the DVI connection...
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Oh, I learned something new :grinthumb

    I presently have a DVI-I connector, that would have worked instead of your DVI-A adapter

    Anyway, I found a good page and read the lot: What is DVI? - A Guide to the Digital World

    It would seem that DVI-D is better if your Monitor handles that (as it does)
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