I've got an old Vostro 1500 with a broken screen, but it's been great as a media server in my house and I can attach an old Sony monitor to it when I need to update things.
Trouble is, it's been locking up recently. I first thought it was a fan problem causing overheating, but all the diagnostics indicate that things are OK.
Anyway, I was going to try a full re-install of Vista or maybe Ubuntu, except the BIOS is obviously set to bood from the HD first, so CDs won't autorun from booting.
Also, the monitor doesn't display anything on the screen until Windows starts up, so I can't see what to press or where to get into the BIOS, let alone make any changes.
Has anyone else got around a problem like this? I'd buy a replacement screen (they are actually not too expensive), but don't want to if there are other hardware problems and a re-install doesn't work.
He won't see the screen as the BIOS will attempt to show up on the laptop screen even if you hit the correct BIOS button.
I suggested this in another post to another user. Get an external mouse and keyboard, turn on the laptop, close the case right after that. If it does not go to sleep immediately, it should boot up and see the external monitor as the main one, and send the BIOS display to that.
If that does not work, you may need to get a docking station for your model, they usually give you a power button on the dock so you can turn on the laptop without even opening it. Then for sure the laptop will only output to the external monitor. I have seen used docks on ebay for as low as $20 for some systems.