Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who would think adding a monitor would be so hard?

I was asked today if I'd like an LCD Monitor. I was thinking, "Why not? I could extend my laptop's desktop in Windows XP to it." It's not a bad monitor either; a NEC MultiSync LCD 1970NX. Granted, it doesn't have a flashy widescreen or anything spectacular about it.

I plugged it in to my power strip and VGA port on my Lenovo T61p, and turned it on. Screen black. Oh yeah, need to change my display output settings with a couple toggles of Fn-F7. Still screen black. Huh. Looked at the Display Properties, and XP sees the other monitor and the monitor appears to get a signal. What gives?

I go to NEC's website and see there are drivers for Windows XP. Maybe Plug-and-Play doesn't work? Strange, but okay. Installed the drivers, the LCD 1970NX is detected, etc. Screen black. OK, reboot? Screen black. Went into the menu for the monitor and set it back to factory defaults. Screen still black.

OK, so I go back into Display Properties. Try to make it my default monitor. No dice. Cycle through the display out settings (Fn-F7) so that it only uses the video out. Denied. Change the resolution to something lower, like 800x600 and 16bit color. Still no video. Muck with the screen refresh rate, and change from 60 to 75 Hertz. Starting to lose my patience.

Quick search in Google doesn't yield any known issues, so I cave and ask our local desktop guy. He starts to go through the same steps I've outlined above, without any more success than I do. Then he notices something. My monitor is plugged into the VGA port on my laptop, instead of the VGA port on my port replicator/dock. Apparently, the VGA port on my laptop won't work when it's plugged into my dock, and I have to use the VGA port on it. Makes sense, but I wish XP didn't "detect" the monitor plugged in directly to the laptop, else I would have probably determined that I have to plug the monitor into the dock a lot quicker.

1 comment:

onlinelaptops said...
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