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Dual Display Function Won't Work


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#1
obewan2

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I am having problems getting my laptop to simultaneously display on a 32" LCD HDTV and the laptop screen using S-video out.

It is a Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop with Windows XP Professional, SP3 I think. It has an Intel R 82845 G/GL/GE/PE/GV graphics controller.

I want to connect my laptop in the office to the TV in the living room with a 50' S-video cable to watch web tv.

I do not have an icon in display properties for a second monitor or dual monitor set-up. I can only set it to CRT or LCD, which means it is one or the other but not both at the same time.

If I set it to CRT in my office and save properties, the laptop screen goes black and the display switches to the living room which I can then not see to work the mouse with.

I am supposed to be able to toggle using CNTRL-F8, but it won't toggle. I have the bios set to display on one or both screens either or, but the op sys does not seem to agree with the bios. Supposedly, 3 toggles of F8 will set it to display on both screens at the same time? yada yadda?
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#2
Mark D

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Howszit?

Are you sure that its Cntrl-F8? Most notebooks have a Fn key in a different colour, (like light blue normally), which matches the colour of the symbol on the F8 key...

Hope this helps...
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#3
obewan2

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Howszit?

Are you sure that its Cntrl-F8? Most notebooks have a Fn key in a different colour, (like light blue normally), which matches the colour of the symbol on the F8 key...

Hope this helps...


You are correct, but it still doesnt work. Dell says FN F8 I think, but others say cntrl F8 or alt-CNTRL-F8. I tried all of those to no avail. I should have made it more clear in my OP. I even tried playing with the hot-key set-up in XP display properties advanced settings. Thanks anyway, maybe someone else will learn from our efforts.
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#4
Mark D

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Sorry but if Dell says the Fn key, then that is what you're supposed to use. Hold down the FN key while pressing the F8 3 times. Both displays will then be active...
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#5
obewan2

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Sorry but if Dell says the Fn key, then that is what you're supposed to use. Hold down the FN key while pressing the F8 3 times. Both displays will then be active...


I tried again many times holding down fn and pressing f8. It won't toggle the display. The laptop screen sometimes goes black for 1 sec and comes back. Sometimes it wrecks the mouse and the cursor starts shaking and it has to be rebooted to fix the cursor, but usually it does nothing. I am wondering if something is wrong in the config or video card or with drivers.

The only way to get it to display on the TV is to set it manually in XP advanced properties and save the config. Then it won't display on the laptop until it is switched back in properties and re-saved.
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#6
Mark D

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Does the FN key work with other options? Screen brightness, WiFi antennae? If the FN key works on other system options, perhaps only your F8 key is faulty. Then you might be able to attach an USB keyboard and press that F8 while holding down the Fn key..

If your Fn key doesn't activate anything else.. well what is the warranty status?
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#7
obewan2

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Does the FN key work with other options? Screen brightness, WiFi antennae? If the FN key works on other system options, perhaps only your F8 key is faulty. Then you might be able to attach an USB keyboard and press that F8 while holding down the Fn key..

If your Fn key doesn't activate anything else.. well what is the warranty status?


FN works with num lock and cd eject and scroll lock. I don't know of a way to test f8. Maybe the system diagnostic disc can check it. My laptop is 5 years old and long out of warranty. I know a good shop, but hate to sink more money into repairs on such an old system. I just spent $200 on a new hard drive and op sys reinstall.
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#8
Mark D

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You could try to press F8 when you 1st start up your system. It should give you the MS start up menu if you time it right, (before the XP screen appears).

Not many programs use F8 anymore, but it sounds like it could be the F8 key has a problem. If you can find an USB keyboard, (or PS2, as your NB may have a PS2 port, being that old), you would be able to press the FN on the NB keyboard and then the F8 on the attached one. Given that your NB is old that may be the best approach. You do not want to pour more money into it for sure..
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#9
obewan2

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I could not get f8 to work on boot. I seem to remember a warning about a bad key last time I ran system diagnostics with the Dell CD. I blew it off because I had never had any problems with keys.

My other solution is to just give up and use a 50' DSL cable to move my laptop next to my 32" LCD. It would be cheaper since I can get one for about $12 + shipping. I have not shopped for a USB keyboard yet. Maybe they are cheap too at Compusa though.

I checked Compusa. They have a Microsoft ergonomic USB keyboard for only $14. That is less than the cost of a DSL cable with shipping. It is something I can really put to good use anyway since it is an upgrade. I will recheck the Dell diagnostics for the keyboard test, and run to Compusa tomorrow.

Thanks for the idea.

More news. I ran the Dell diganostics disc and the laptop keyboard passed all tests. It looks like f8 is working. Someone at another blog suggested that the problem is the s-video cable is too long at 50', but I tried it right in front of the TV with a 3' cord and it still would not toggle. It only works with a manual switch in the xp config. I don't think my chip will toggle the display. Some people at other blogs said having that option depends on drivers and chips. I don't know what is required, so I don't know if mine will even do it when it is new and working properly. The Dell forum sucks, they won't let me post a message, and to get help from Dell you have to pay - even to have a simple question answered.

Edited by obewan2, 11 July 2009 - 07:19 PM.

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#10
Mark D

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Dell is used to a more corporate client base and pretty soon all IT suppliers will be probably charging for help. As long as they let us download drivers for free, I'll be happy. Common sense goes a long way with most things. Since you're able to set the video through the display settings, I don't think that the S-video being too long is the issue. It does sound more like a problem with the F8 key. I had a case where the ` key eventually kept repeating, (which meant you could not type in your password or anything in a field without ` filling up everything). At least the F8 key is not stopping normal keystroke input. Hope the USB keyboard will get you through, (you may want to use it as your keyboard to prevent further problems on the built in Dell...)

Good luck
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#11
obewan2

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The documentation at the Dell website says that the only way to switch for an external TV is in XP properties. It will not toggle if connected to a TV. It also says that f8 toggle is disabled for streaming video which is what I want to do with it.

I should have checked the Dell instructions first before spending $35 on a 50' s-video cord that I now have no use for.

The only way out now is to use a 50' DSL cable and locate the laptop in front of the TV.

Thanks anyway, it pays to read the directions first before $$$. LOL
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