I recently picked up for very little money a broken Toshiba laptop, an E105 series. The LCD panel is unusable, but it has HDMI output (no VGA or DVI), I figured it wouldn't make a bad little media center computer.
The problem has been that on boot, I can't get it to use an external monitor. I can get it to start up from a linux live CD, so I know the HDMI output is working, but I'd rather have it running Windows 7 as a media server.
When I boot from Windows 7, I can tell that it is using the disc, but no video comes to the external screen, just the internal. The hotkeys to change display modes don't seem to work when in the installer, though they work fine again when I'm in Ubuntu.
Does anyone know of a way to get the installer to use just the external display? Booting, then closing the lid and pressing a key on an external keyboard doesn't do it, either.
If it comes to it, I can salvage the RAM and HD and still make up for what I'd paid, but I'd still rather use this as a media center if possible.
Sorry if I wasn't clear. The Windows setup only outputs to the internal LCD. I can only just barely tell, I mainly see some blue (as opposed to the brown I normally saw for Ubuntu. The difference being that Ubuntu recognized the external display as well, so I could switch to it. Windows (so far tried using 7 and XP) install discs do not.
Have you tried booting with Ubuntu, or any other linux, restarting and going into the BIOS screen? If you can, try to check the BIOS and see if you can disable the internal video card so it only outputs to the HDMI output. If that doesnt work, download the bios on another computer for the laptop and check again to see if there is an option to disable the internal video card.
The BIOS screen doesn't display to the external monitor at all, unfortunately, regardless of what boot OS is installed or not. I may try to see if there's a visual guide to the BIOS, and possibly go in blind if such an option exists.
As another thought, do you think it might work if I were to open it up and disconnect the internal LCD connection? It's not a very easy to open design, so I'm saving this as one of my last options, but does anyone think that might work? I'm assuming the issue is that HDMI output isn't part of the generic GPU driver, though...
One last thing you could try....since you know it is installing, possibly try a "blind" install. If possible use another computer and follow both so you know what to do during the install. Just a thought but its up to you.