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External monitor not recognized - hardware or software issue?

  • Drivers
  • Hardware
  • External Monitor
  • Software
  • Windows 7
Last response: in Windows 7
September 29, 2010 9:13:42 PM

I recently installed Windows 7 - 64 bit on my Dell Precision M4400. Now the computer does not recognize any external monitors. It does not detect the external monitor as connected. I tried FunctionF8, and also tried to find if there were missing or outdated drivers and have had no luck. Any ideas? I don't know how to tell if is it a hardware or software problem.

More about : external monitor recognized hardware software issue

September 29, 2010 9:27:32 PM

Have you tried this? Physically connect your external monitor through your VGA port or some other port and hit Win+P on your keyboard.

A little pop-up will appear on your desktop and you will be asked to choose between four options:

1. Show destop only on computer display
2. Duplicate desktop onto projector
3. Extend desktop to projector
4. Show desktop only on projector

I hope this helps!

Brett M,
Windows Outreach Team
September 30, 2010 1:38:27 AM

I tried your idea Brett. I connected the monitor through the VGA port and hit Win+P. I did not get a box. It is as if the VGA port is not working. Is there a possibility that that is software?

I guess I can also try the other suggestion, but I don't understand how a keyboard driver would cause this.
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September 30, 2010 10:17:50 PM

Ok, It could be that your Windows is set to run at a resolution too high for your external monitor to handle. When a monitor encounters a resolution it cannot display, it will display nothing.

So try changing your Windows resolution to something lower.

I hope this helps!

Brett M,
Windows Outreach Team
a b \ Driver
a b $ Windows 7
October 1, 2010 3:26:53 AM

I would unplug my monitor and plug it in again.
October 2, 2010 1:51:28 AM

I have a similar problem. I have discovered that by going trough these steps I can get the monitor to be recognized:

1. Log into an administrative account (may not be necessary but I think so).
2. Disconnect and reconnect monitor (or undock and redock) -- I'm not 100% sure this step is required.
3. Shutdown computer - do not restart.
4. Wait. This is definitely the critical part. I don't know if it allows hardware profile to discharge from memory or what.
5. Turn on computer. If you gave it enough time turned off, your monitor should show up.

FYI a restart will make your monitor disappear again. If you restart after, say, running updates, you will have to actually log into an account before going through the process or it will not work.

This seems really ridiculous. We should not have to go through all of this to see an external monitor.

To Brett, I have the latest drivers installed for my external monitor and it is higher resolution than my laptop monitor.
October 9, 2010 7:49:25 PM

I found the solution. I looked at the bios to find exactly what video card I have. Is is a NVIDEA Quadro FX 770M. I went to the NVIDEA site and downloaded the driver for windows 7 - 64 bit and installed it. Problem solved (as well as a problem with Google Earth).
October 2, 2012 1:11:21 AM

Problem: Lenovo T410 will display on LCD monitor or External monitor depending on which one is connected on bootup. Unable to switch between the two using Fn/F7. If booted up in dock station with external monitor and remove from dock station to display on overhead in conference room I have to reboot.

Actions Taken:
Updated System Bios
Confirmed problem occurred with both external monitor and external projectors
Moved drive into spare T410 to confirm not a hardware issue
Others in Company with T410 not having issue

Upgraded Microsoft Standard VGA Driver

Right Click on display and select Screen Resolution
Select the Advanced Settings
Select Properties button on Adapter Tab
Select Driver Tab
Select Udpate Driver