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External display is detected but will not show

hey :P

i have a dell inspiron 1520 vista 32bit sp1, t7500 cpu with 2 gb ram and the 256gb nvidia 8600gt.

for years i have connected this laptop to an external monitor, a dell e207wfp.

all of a sudden, the laptop cannot display on the external monitor. it IS detected by the computer (in both the nvidia control panel > dual monitor and in display settings). as in, the computer sees the external monitor and it lets me extend or mirror the desktop to the external monitor, it's just that the monitor doesn't actually DISPLAY anything. it's continually on power save mode.

when the vga cable is not plugged into the monitor the monitor shows the analog input 'self test feature check'. when the vga cable IS plugged in, it goes in power save mode.

i have connected a different external monitor to this puter by vga cable and the same issue occurs with that monitor, too. also, my other laptop CAN display just fine on the problem monitor, so the problem is definitely the laptop and not the monitor.

i have tried:
updating video card
function f8 (crt/lcd)
making sure monitor is accepting analog input
switching vga cables
freaking reinstalling OS :(

still, this laptop is not displaying on the external monitor. obviously, this seems to be a hardware issue. but what piece of hardware? motherboard?

i truly appreciate your help :D
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about external display detected show
  1. Best answer
    I would think it is likely the VGA port the is the issue here. The only real way to check it is to take it in for diagnostic testing.
  2. Best answer selected by Aislar.
  3. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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