Possible to use a laptop while closed (with separate monitor, mouse, etc)?

I have aDell 1720 laptop here hooked up to a separate monitor, mouse, keyboard, etc. I’m using it as my desktop while my desktop is in the shop. My cat keeps jumping onto the open laptop. Can I close the lid of my laptop and continue using it somehow?

Theoretically, but I’ve never tried it. Have settings to “do nothing” when the lid is closed, then try it.

Mine can. The settings are under Power on Windows XP. I haven’t tried it on Linux yet. I tend to leave mine open at least partway, for cooling.

And where do you adjust this setting?

I believe it’s only in Vista or later, maybe ZenBeam can help with xp.

In Vista or W7, right click or double click on the battery icon, and go to “change power settings->advanced.”

From memory (I hardly boot XP any more): right click on desktop and select settings, then go to the screensaver tab. There, there’s an advanced power settings button you have to push, I think. In mine, there are drop down choices on actions to perform when closing the lid, and also when pushing the power button.

Nifty, thanks. No more cat-induced typos.

You might not want your cat jumping on it (breakage) or sleeping on it (overheating) though.

If you can get it to work, I would advise putting it on it’s spine like a book, which will improve cooling as well.

On some laptops you have to do this from the BIOS instead of doing it from within windows, but on most laptops you can make it work one way or another.

The laptop will be more likely to overheat with the lid closed. Make sure you keep the cat off of it and you may need to stick a book or something under one end of the laptop or stick it up on end like Superhal suggested so that you’ll get enough air flow through the vents for it to cool properly.

Not directly relevant to your question, but you might be interested in PawSense.

That is pretty nifty! I wonder how well it would work with my dogs. They don’t so much type on the keyboard as knock it down.