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Hardware Thread, Laptop/Whiteboard problem in Technical; 7 year old Dell teacher laptop - worked fine with whiteboard up until last week. Now, I cannot get the ...
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    Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    7 year old Dell teacher laptop - worked fine with whiteboard up until last week. Now, I cannot get the display up on the whiteboard no matter what I do. I have reinstalled the drivers, replicated exactly the settings on an identical machine, tried it on another board (no go). I have tried another laptop on this whiteboard -no problem
    Has anyone got any ideas, please? Dell say it is the whiteboard, Promethean say it is the Dell
    All help very gratefully received

  2. #2
    richard
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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    Silly question but have you you tried the laptop on a different board?

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    PEO
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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    or even tried connecting a monitor to the laptop?

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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    Yes and yes

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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    I've seen a similar thing with old Viglen Dossier NS laptops. For some reason, the monitor config in display settings was altering.

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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    Have you tried outputting to the projector via the display output either in Control panel or in the task bar... Usually on the Toshs it is FN and F5. or you could go the full hog and re-install XP to see what that does... but that is the last option. Could it be the able has been swapped. I know that we have had some really cheap cables and they produced a "ghosting" effect on the board. the resolution on the laptop??

    Sorry to sound patronising.

    Tim

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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    Further to timbo's post, worth checking to see if the VGA output has been accidentally disabled by the teacher. Should be a key in the number row which has two small monitor icons on it, and you can toggle the display outputs using this key and the function key so that the laptop outputs to it's own display, the VGA one only, or both.

    ... I think WITCH definitely has the best siggy on this forum!

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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    We have had numerous laptop VGA ports fail. They display fine on their own screen, but don't detect any form of external display connected to it.

    My theory is the soldered joints on the between the mainboard and the VGA port eventually break. With the contant plugging and unplugging of the VGA plug, there's an enevertable small amount of pressure you put on the plug each time you plug it in moving the plug against the board. Not normally a problem, but the cumulative effect of un-plugging and plugging it in a lot adds up and weaken and eventually breaks the solderd joints. This is only a theory, but seems logical to me.

    Mike.

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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    Oh, boy! Don't you just love laptops and whiteboards, and the wonderful time we all have trying to work out whether it is the laptop or the whiteboard just so we can convince the supplier to fix it!

    You said you had connected a monitor to the problem laptop, but didn't say whether or not it worked. You also said that you had tried the laptop on another board, but it wouldn't work with that either. But the original board will work with a different laptop.

    So I don't think it's the board. If the monitor wouldn't display from the laptop, then I would guess it is one of two things:

    1. Dual display mode has been unset on the laptop, as mentioned above (Fn + whatever function key does it on that laptop - but I'm sure you would have tried this already) or some setting for this is disabled, but you said you had copied all the settings from another laptop and that didn't work.
    2. Faulty connection to second display - RGB connector pins, faulty monitor cable, or faulty hardware inside the laptop where the RGB port is attached.

    Also, can you tell if the board itself is picking up the laptop? On the SMARTboards there is usually a red light that turns to green when the laptop connects. This is through the serial/USB cable connection and not the monitor cable connection. If the serial/USB connection is OK, then it is definitely just an issue with displaying to another monitor (or in this case to the projector) and not an issue with other connections between the laptop and the board.

    Sorry if this is long-winded. I was just trying to work through what you said you had tried and what has been suggested here.

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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    if you do find it's the vga connection, you could give one of these a wirl

    http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Product...roductID=12852

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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    Used one of those vga-usb 2.0 adapters that kyle suggests for a teacher who damaged the vga port on their laptop. Works fine for most stuff though could be a bit jerky with full-screen video. No complaints from teacher since and that was 6 months ago...a new record

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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    Thanks guys
    I did of course try the dual display thingy - its Fn and F8 on Dells, (been doing this a while!) and I am leaning towards the VGA being duff.
    On the prometheans the only way of telling that the laptop sees the board is the icon on the taskbar, and that is fine which would also indicate that the actual system is working, but it is just the display that isn't, wouldnt it?
    Connecting a monitor did work, but I havent fiddled with the connection so I will go and do same
    Interestingly, I have seen one of those usb to vga adaptors lying around somewhere in one of the schools I work in - now I just have to find it!!
    The laptop is over 7 years old so it isn't really worth mending, I don't think
    Thanks for the help, people, and thanks for the kind comment, busybub!

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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    Oh blast it!
    I found the vga USB adaptor but it won't be any good as the laptop is so old it only has one USB port and it needs that for the whiteboard connection.
    I will try it on an external monitor just to confirm the problem though

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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    Some projectors allow you to change the input type of the vga port, for example NEC's let you input a component or even composite scart signal to the VGA port. Check in the menu for the projector.

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    Re: Laptop/Whiteboard problem

    It gets worse!
    I can now get the display up on an external monitor, toggling happily using Fn F8 - but if I connect it to the whiteboard, the toggle function is disabled (you can see that it doesn't even flicker). This is done without switching off the machine or changing any settings.
    The identical machine works fine on the whiteboard
    I have found one difference in the advanced settings relating to the display but I don't understand why that would affect it when attached to a whiteboard but not a monitor.
    It won't let me delete the setting so it matches the other machine.
    Argghhhhh!!!

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