This procedure is fixing the following problem:
Second Display shows "Out of Range" when Laptop lid is closed or you accidently lost access to the Control Panel as a result of changing display resolution.
This is what happened to me. I setup my older NEC Flat Screen monitor (supports up to 1280 x 1024 resolution) as a secondary display to my laptop with nVIDIA Quardro FX360M video card. My laptop was configured in a way that when the lid was closed it continued to run. NEC monitor was setup as an exact clone of my laptop’s display so I could close my laptop and work only with the secondary screen and external keyboard/mouse. When the lid was closed the secondary monitor continued showing the 1280 x 1024 resolution screen. Everything was OK until I changed the resolution to a higher number on my NEC flat screen WHILE THE LID WAS CLOSED! You should realize that there is a difference between changing the resolution while the laptop’s lid is open and while it’s closed. When the lid is closed the secondary monitor acts as it’s the only one available, as with the lid open you would see both monitors’ configurations (this applies to setting the secondary monitor as a clone of the primary one). The worst part is that the system remembers this new resolution for the closed lid situation and it is different from the open lid case.
In my case I lost access to the configuration with the lid closed. The display would turn black with the blinking “Out of range” message. NO REBOOT, SAFE MODE, RESTORE CONFIGURATION WORKED FOR ME. I even tried to hookup a newer monitor that I borrowed (which supported this higher resolution and would allow me to get to the display configuration dialog box) and change the resolution back to 1280 x 1024 with the lid closed. It did not work. As soon as I hooked up my NEC monitor and closed the lid it went back to the black screen. The system remembers settings per a particular monitor!
When the lid was open I could see both desktops but my goal was to get back to working with the lid closed and avoid the distraction of a constantly blinking light from under the lid while browsing.
So, before setting up the second monitor, perform the following procedure and write down (on paper) what keys you had to press to get to the Control Panel/Display Resolution
1. Open the Start menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard (the key has a picture of the Windows logo). If your keyboard does not have this key, press Ctrl+Esc.
2. If you could see the Start menu, you would be able to use the arrow keys to select Control Panel on the Start menu and press Enter. (If you do not have a Control Panel option on your menu, you probably have a Settings option or equivalent, which can get you to Control Panel.) But you won’t be able to see the Start menu if you are working blind, so instead press the accelerator key (the key matching the underlined letter on the menu item you want) or the first letter of the menu option. Depending on your settings, you will probably press the C key for Control Panel; for Settings, the S key.
3. You may need to press the key multiple times as Windows cycles through all the options on the Start menu that respond to that key. Remember to write down how many times you had to press the key.
Once you get Control Panel open write down any additional keys you had to press to get there.
Here is my list of clicks that I had to perform while the laptop’s lid was closed:
1. Start menu button
2. 12 times letter “S” (to cycle to Settings)
3. Enter (to open Settings)
4. Enter(to open Control Panel)
5. 6 times Arrow down (to get to Display)
7. Shift+Tab (to get the focus up to the tabs on Display Properties dialog box)
8. 4 times Right Arrow (to get to Settings tab)
9. 3 times Tab (to get to the sliding bar for the resolution)
10. 5 times Left Arrow (to lower the resolution – this number might be different for you, depending on how high you initial resolution was)
11. 7 times Tab (to get to Apply button)
It worked for me. Good luck with your situation.