How do I switch to external monitor when internal screen won't work and I can't see what's going on? I know Fn/F8 switches to external monitor head but I don't know where computer is in boot up cycle because I can't see what the heck is going on. This machine was not mine so I don't know if it is asking for a login password or what. What should I do? Here's some background on the entire problem: Got hold of this Dell Inspiron 1100 laptop that was supposedly working running WinXP but 14.1" XGA monitor was broken and detached. I tried using an external monitor at this point but couldn't get signal to external head. Replaced with 15" screen/lid assembly (could not track down 14.1" screen) fired it up and the screen works but cycles continuously from a completely red, then green, then blue, black and white screen over and over again. I tried again to hook up an external monitor but still can't get Fn/F8 to switch the signal. My plan was to flash the BIOS to update the drivers hoping it would allow the internal screen to work, as it turns out the 15" screen is SXGA and the original 14.1" screen was XGA. I still can't see what the heck is happening and I'm stuck...any ideas? Please help me, this is driving me nuckin' futs!! Thanks folks,
ok, to make thing worst I'll tell you what's wrong, you are one of the victims of the nvidia chip problem, your video chip overheated and moved a little causing your issues. it needs a new chip but there arent many out there who this job "apart from me" but there are many who do the reflow fix which lasts a couple of month before it returns.
Thanks pcfixed, checked it out, but I don't think that's the problem...
The previous screen worked fine before it went out due to other causes. Furthermore, the laptop was used for several months with an external monitor right before it was given to me. I just can't get it to switch to the external head in it's current state (see original post).
Now, I do realize that your prognosis is possible if it took effect in the period of time in between it's previous owner's use and when I attempted the repair, but somehow I doubt that is the case.
Seems to me, the only way to prove it either way is to get the laptop to switch to the external monitor head and see if the connection works.