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Hardware Thread, Laptop/Smartboard display issue in Technical; I have a Latitude D505 which is fine in itself, but when I connect it to a smartboard the display ...
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    witch's Avatar
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    Laptop/Smartboard display issue

    I have a Latitude D505 which is fine in itself, but when I connect it to a smartboard the display is all distorted, offcentred and smeared. I have tried it on several smartboards and all are the same. If I connect it to an external monitor I can get no display up at all, although it has been set to dual display.
    I have updated the bios, the video drivers and everything else I can think of. Has anyone got any ideas? I am really hoping I can do something about it!

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    witch's Avatar
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    Yeah, sorry, not clear, am I?? Been a pig of a day, so far
    I am connecting it to a projector which happens to be with a smartboard. So it is a VGA not smart issue

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Just a thought - are you using the same cable each time?

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    witch's Avatar
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    No - not quite THAT dim -
    the first thing I did was change the cable for one from another set up and it made no difference, unfortunately!

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Sorry didn't mean to insult you, just checking to obvious first.

    If memory serves, this can also be related to an incorrect refresh rate, which why it might only show a black screen on a monitor incapable of displaying that refresh rate. Can't remember off the top of my head, but can you alter the refresh rate of a cloned display.

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    It sounds like the vga port on the laptop is buggered! Do you have another laptop of the same model you could try with the same settings?

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Can't remember off the top of my head, but can you alter the refresh rate of a cloned display.
    Hmm just had a play and you can alter the refresh rate of the cloned display, worth a try?

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    User3204's Avatar
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    Have you got another laptop of the same make/model, that you can swap the HD into, this will tell you if it is the hardware or something within windows.

    Have you checked that there isn't any "dust" or other metal objects in the pinholes on the VGA socket ?

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    Have you got a VGA Booster box or powered VGA Splitter? It might be that theres not enough ooomph to push the image down the cable properly. We had a few older laptops that needed that little extra help.

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    It is a Latitude D505 and it isnt very old - but out of guarantee, of course!! We have lots of others in the school that don't have a problem with the projector so I don't think it is related to the make of machine. I don't have any powered VGA stuff unfortunately.

    I have tried it with both a TFT and a CRT monitor, and unlike putting it through the projector where it produces mad distortion, it produces nothing on their screens no matter what I do.
    I will try the refresh rate just in case
    The pinholes are clean as far as I can see
    I don't want to believe that the VGA port is broken- but I think it might be
    Is it worth repairing?

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    Known issue

    We have exactly the same problem with some of our Dell D505 laptops, and what we have found is:

    When the VGA is plugged into a socket mounted in a METAL box, we get no signal; When it's plugged into a socket with just a metal faceplate, or a plastic box, it works fine.

    It only seems to affect the D505s, not the D510s.

    The only conclusion I can draw from this, is that the VGA output is too weak to travel down the extension to the projector, because of the extra signal attenuation or interference caused by the metal box. Why should it make a difference? Who knows, but it does.

    Solutions:
    a) Use a VGA extender ("booster") or splitter box
    b) Rewire the projector's extension socket into a plastic box
    c) Change the laptop for something different.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    From what you describe it sounds possibly like a screen resolution problem. Have you tried reducing it to 800 x 600 on the laptop, then specifying Advanced Display Properties to clone, using the same resolution? If it works, increase it to 1024 x 768.

    I have seen some projectors display resolutions higher than advertised and sometimes it does appear warped or stretched like you describe.

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    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    From what you describe it sounds possibly like a screen resolution problem. Have you tried reducing it to 800 x 600 on the laptop, then specifying Advanced Display Properties to clone, using the same resolution? If it works, increase it to 1024 x 768.

    I have seen some projectors display resolutions higher than advertised and sometimes it does appear warped or stretched like you describe.
    Thanks but I tried all this- and it doesnt work no matter which whiteboard I plug it into or what material the faceplate is made of!

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    It could well be the VGA port is faulty then. I think realistically your only solution would be to buy a USB to VGA adapter.

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    Yeah thanks

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