Hooking up an extra monitor to my laptop--How?

I think I have all the parts–laptop, old monitor, appropriate cables–and I heard that having a second monitor hooked up beats the hell out of running two half-sized windows on the laptop screen.

So what else do I need to have two separate screens running at once? Seems to me that once I plug both machines in, and plug the old monitor into the extra monitor jack on the laptop, the laptop’s display is going to be just the normal display and the monitor screen is going to be blank. (Just checked it–yup, that’s what I have.)

What’s the next step?

Assuming that your display driver knows your card can do dual monitors (and that you’re running Windows), you want to go in to display properties from the control panel, and select the “settings” tab. There should be a way of selecting which monitor you’re adjusting on this tab. Select the second one, and check the “extend my Windows desktop on to this monitor” box. You can then pick a resolution for this monitor that suits you, and also “position” the new monitor in a way that you like (i.e. choose which side of the screen your mouse switches monitors). You may also have to go in to the “advanced” options to tell it what sort of monitor you’ve plugged in on the second port, although it’s possible that it will auto-detect it.

If you don’t get the second monitor option in the display properties, you’ll probably need new drivers, so it’s a trip to the manufacturer’s website. If you’re not running Windows, then I’m not the man to help. :slight_smile:

No, I think you da man. I’ll hook em up again and see what happens. Thanks.

Many laptops also have a special separate program provided by the manufacturer for handling dual monitors, or switching between an internal and external monitor.

I agree with Dead badger’s advice, but I’d suggest rooting around for that special managemetn program first. Frequently they run as an icon in the system tray.

Mine is accessed through: Contol Panel>Display>Settings>Advanced>nView tab. The program comes with the laptop, and it will depend on the video card.

On notebooks you normally do not need to fiddle with software to do dual display

99% of the time on notebooks there will be a Function key on the top row (press the Fn key then press the desired function key at the same time) that cycles between notebook display panel only - panel + external CRT - external CRT only. It usually has a symbol that looks like one or two squares on it.

Function keys on notebooks are the feature keys that are the same keys as the top row of number keys. Look at those keys - there will be shaded symbols imprinted on them.

I know some daytraders that use this. Not sure if its what you’re looking for.