I dropped my laptop the other day :( sad times. The screen is cracked but I don't want to fork out loads to replace it so I have bought another monitor to attach to it and just use it that way. How do I attach it, as in what is the combination I need and does it matter that my computer is on some loading page and not logged on properly? Thank you for anyone who can help I'm feeling rather desperate!!
Check to see if you have a VGA connection on the back of the laptop. The plug has 3 rows of holes with 15 total connections. Most monitors have a VGA connector. A DVI or HDMI connector might be on the latest laptops. They require different cables but the following steps should work.
Most laptops do not use the external VGA port until you turn it on. Look for a Function key (on the top row) with CRT/LCD or an icon with a monitor in it. This key (+ Fn) is used to toggle the output between laptop and external monitor. Some times the laptop will switch between laptop only and external monitor or both depending on how many times the key is pressed. This should work because it's hardware based and does not need Windows to function.
Some people report that once Windows starts the active screen reverts to the broken laptop. If you have an Intel GMA video chip on the laptop. You could try <CTRL><ALT>F1 (that's 3 keys at once) to enable the external monitor.