OUR NETWORK:Dijit Community Explore3DTV My Open Router DVRplayground MediaSmart Home See all... About UsAdvertiseContact Us

Using a Projector to Display Your Laptop or Computer

Question: I am trying to connect my Dell Inspiron 6000 notebook to a Toshiba TDP-PX10 projector. When I turn on the projector, the projected image says there is no signal. I am trying to show a PowerPoint through the projector, but for some reason the computer is not connecting with the projector. Are they not compatible?? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

-submitted by ksharp

Answer:  For the most part, plugging a computer or laptop into a PC compatible projector is pretty straightforward. Typically, the one area where people run in to complications has to do with enabling the laptop to output to two displays simultaneously. Let's first walk through the physical setup, then we'll talk about the software and configuration side of things.

Physical Setup

For ksharp, the Dell Inspiron 6000 offers two different kinds of video outputs. One is an analog output designed to plug into TVs, the other is a VGA output designed for computer monitors and high-res projectors.

Depending on the make and model of the laptop and projector, the types of outputs and inputs will vary. For example, some laptops have DVI and analog, while newer laptops may have HDMI. You'll need a matching connection to plug into your laptop, or some kind of adapter to make the output of the laptop match up to the input on the projector.

For ksharp's situation, the Toshiba TDP-PX10 and the Dell Inspiron 6000 sport VGA connections. That's the best route to go in this case. Once that connection is made, we can boot up the laptop and work on the software and configuration.

Software Setup and Configuration

First thing's first, let's make sure the projector is looking at the right connection. Projectors (like TVs) have a number of different input options. You need to turn on the projector and select the connection the laptop is plugged in to using the input or source button on the remote or projector itself.

Once that's all set up, we need to tell the Dell laptop that you've plugged in an external monitor and want to display your picture on it. Some ntoebooks will automatically start using the projector when you turn it on, but that's not always the case.

As a quick shortcut, on many Dell laptops, you can hold the Fn key and press F8 to cycle through the various monitor modes. Your options are internal, external, or simultaneous. However, sometimes there's no choice but to head to the display settings and configure it manually the first time.

Manually configuring multiple displays will often vary from laptop to laptop, depending on the graphics chip and software installed. In most cases, you can navigate to the Control Panel, then click on Displays, and then on Settings.

On this screen you should see two numbered boxes, labeled 1 and 2. Clicking "Identify" should flash a number on the screen to indicate which monitor is which. Below this is a slider that set's the resolution and color depth of the output. The way this works, click the monitor (1 or 2) then make changes to the resolution and color depth (Don't forget to hit the Apply button after changes are made)

If there's no picture on the projector, most likely the VGA output to that projector is disabled. Click on the number that did not flash on the notebook screen. Right click this number, and select "Enable Display." In the resolution slider (in ksharp's case), slide it to 1024x768, and select 32 or 24 bit color depth. Hit Apply

If all is right in the world, your desktop background should appear on the projector. If you don't see your desktop image, click "Advanced" then the tab for your graphics adapter (Intel in ksharp's case). Find the area for setting up multiple displays, and walk through the similar steps in that area. If still nothing, check the projector and maybe replace the VGA cable.

I see desktop background, but nothing else! Help!

Depending on the options selected in the display settings area, it may be curious why only the desktop background is visible; there are no icons, and all your window applications are on the notebook screen.

Computers can handle multiple displays in a variety of ways (depending on the OS and graphics adapter), but here are the most common three. You'll need to change your settings to use the mode that best fits your needs depending on what the notebook allows. 

Cloning - Also known as mirroring. This display configuration is essentially one desktop space that is displayed on two monitors. What happens on one happens on the other.

Stretch Desktop - This mode creates one large monitor with a resolution doubled in width. You move your mouse and windows across the screen from one to the other. This drawback here is you can't configure each monitor individually. This mode may not be possible using Windows Vista.

Extend Desktop (most common) - Also known as Dual View. This mode creates two desktop spaces, and like stretching, allows you to move the mouse pointer and applications from one screen to the other. The advantage here is that each monitor can run at different resolutions.

Have a technology question? Join the TechLore Community and Ask The Experts today!  

More Computer/Notebook How Tos

Read More In: Televisions and Projectors Computers, Laptops, and Media Servers

Does your device have a feature that you're not sure how to use or what it does? Confused about a technology term? Did a salesman tell you something you don't think is true? Submit your question to the TechLore Experts for clear answers to your technology questions.


Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-25 of 60 | Latest Comment | 1 2 3 Next »

September 17, 2008 5:41 AM

hi, i learned something from this topic on how to connect the Dell 6000 to the projector. My problem now is that i press key Fn+F8 the firs thing to appear is that the LCD on my laptop is compressed (that's normal) but in the projector screen i cant see the display image from my laptop screen. If im going to press Fn + F8 again my latop screen is blank and the projector screen now has an image display (exchange).
But how can i control if i only see it in the projector screen?
Is it possible i the image display can be seen on both screen from the laptop to the projector screen?

Please help!
I'm using Dell 6000

September 17, 2008 4:34 PM

Zyra said: hi, i learned something from this topic on how to connect the Dell 6000 to the projector. My problem now is that i press key Fn+F8 the firs thing to appear is that the LCD on my laptop is compressed (that's normal) but in the projector screen i cant see the display image from my laptop screen. If im going to press Fn + F8 again my latop screen is blank and the projector screen now has an image display (exchange). But how can i control if i only see it in the projector screen? Is it possible i the image display can be seen on both screen from the laptop to the projector screen? Please help! I'm using Dell 6000

The fn+f8 command tyically runs through 3 modes: Extend desktop, Laptop only, Projector only.

Mirroring displays (meaning you see the exact same thing on both screens) is not always on option on a PC; the ability to do that is dependent  on the graphics card and drivers in the laptop. 

Not seeing the exact same thing on both screens is often the preferred way, but when you don't see all your desktop icons it can be a bit confusing. The trick here is that when you want something to show on the projector, you grab the window you're working with and drag it over to the other monitor. Why this is preferred is because you can be showing a powerpoint presentation on the projector, while you have a script or notes open in Word on your laptop display to read from. You see, you don't see anything but the desktop background on the projector because you haven't moved anything over there yet.

Try it now, bring up both your monitor and your projector at the same time, then simply move your mouse off the screen (which side depends on how it's configure, so try both) and you'll see your mouse jump from one screen to the next. Next, open an Explorer window and drag it off the screen. You'll see it appear on the projector.

Let me know once you try it.

September 17, 2008 6:08 PM

Matt Whitlock said:
Zyra said: hi, i learned something from this topic on how to connect the Dell 6000 to the projector. My problem now is that i press key Fn+F8 the firs thing to appear is that the LCD on my laptop is compressed (that's normal) but in the projector screen i cant see the display image from my laptop screen. If im going to press Fn + F8 again my latop screen is blank and the projector screen now has an image display (exchange). But how can i control if i only see it in the projector screen? Is it possible i the image display can be seen on both screen from the laptop to the projector screen? Please help! I'm using Dell 6000
The fn+f8 command tyically runs through 3 modes: Extend desktop, Laptop only, Projector only. Mirroring displays (meaning you see the exact same thing on both screens) is not always on option on a PC; the ability to do that is dependent  on the graphics card and drivers in the laptop.  Not seeing the exact same thing on both screens is often the preferred way, but when you don't see all your desktop icons it can be a bit confusing. The trick here is that when you want something to show on the projector, you grab the window you're working with and drag it over to the other monitor. Why this is preferred is because you can be showing a powerpoint presentation on the projector, while you have a script or notes open in Word on your laptop display to read from. You see, you don't see anything but the desktop background on the projector because you haven't moved anything over there yet. Try it now, bring up both your monitor and your projector at the same time, then simply move your mouse off the screen (which side depends on how it's configure, so try both) and you'll see your mouse jump from one screen to the next. Next, open an Explorer window and drag it off the screen. You'll see it appear on the projector. Let me know once you try it.
 Hi thanks for the tip. But i badly dont know how to do it on bringing up the projector and monitor that you can do the powerpoint presentation on the projector screen and having some microsoft words or notes on my latop screen. You see i cant use this Dell 6000 for having presentation on a projector because of when i plug it my laptop screen is empty and i only see my slides on the screen of the projector. 
I am using my aunt's laptop Dell 6400 as you said Mirroring display. But the bad news is when i open something else on my laptop screen same thing happend in the projector they also can see what am i editing. I badly dont know how to do the preferred way that you can show a powerpoint presentation on the projector, while you have a script or notes in Word on my laptop.
Am i going to use a commend or anything to do the preferred way? is it on a Control Panel or something to adjust. I only know Fn + F8. Please help everytime i have my presentation it's always a huge mess! Thanks helping and God Bless.

September 18, 2008 9:34 AM

 Hi thanks for the tip. But i badly dont know how to do it on bringing up the projector and monitor that you can do the powerpoint presentation on the projector screen and having some microsoft words or notes on my latop screen. You see i cant use this Dell 6000 for having presentation on a projector because of when i plug it my laptop screen is empty and i only see my slides on the screen of the projector.  I am using my aunt's laptop Dell 6400 as you said Mirroring display. But the bad news is when i open something else on my laptop screen same thing happend in the projector they also can see what am i editing. I badly dont know how to do the preferred way that you can show a powerpoint presentation on the projector, while you have a script or notes in Word on my laptop. Am i going to use a commend or anything to do the preferred way? is it on a Control Panel or something to adjust. I only know Fn + F8. Please help everytime i have my presentation it's always a huge mess! Thanks helping and God Bless.

Okay, I think I'm following what you're asking. The problem for giving advice here is that every laptop is a bit different when it comes to graphics capabilities; some are ATI based, some Intel, some NVidia. They all have a different approach. 

If you hit the settings tab in your display area (like the picture above) you'll get some abilities to change how it handles different monitors. However, there may be settings specific to your graphics card that is affecting how it handles dual displays. If you hit "advanced" on the settings screen, there should be a tab for either Intel, ATI, or Nvidia with specific setup screens. Typically you'll find adjustments for how it handles dual displays there. 

If you can tell me the brand of graphics chip, I may be able to get more specific instructions for you.

September 19, 2008 9:27 AM

Intel Centrino has to do with processor, core logic, and wireless networking. Unfortunately, not about graphics.

Do this: (assuming you're using XP based on the model of your laptop)

Start --> Control Panel --> System --> Hardware tab --> Device Manager

You'll see a big list of stuff. Click the little plus next to "Display Adapters" and tell me what you see listed.

September 19, 2008 8:49 PM

here are the list:
*Batteries
*computer
*disk drives
*display adapter
*DVD/CD-Rom drive
*human interface devices
*IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers
*IEEE 1394 Bus Host controllers
*keyboards
*mice and other pointing deivices
*Modems
*Monitors
*Network adapters
*PCMCIA adapters
*Ports (COM & LPT)
*processors
*secure Digital host contorllers
Sound, video and game controllers
*system devices
*universal serial Bus controllers

September 19, 2008 9:22 PM

Okay cool. You've found the right section. Next to display adapters there's a little plus sign. When you click it, you should see one or two things listed underneath it. That's what I'll need to know. :)

-Matt

September 21, 2008 12:43 AM

ok i found it, under the display adapters this is the only thing

* RADEON MOBILITY (Microsoft Corporation)

Thanks!

September 26, 2008 11:59 PM

We have a Sharp Multimedia Projector XG MB55X for our community events.
User of the projector brings their own laptops to make their PP presentations to audiences. The problem is that there are as many laptop models as users; and we often run on compatibility issues between the equipment....is there something specific and common to all laptops that I should look for when connecting them to the projector?...I would call it a Minimum Common Compatibility...or something like that.

December 1, 2008 12:20 AM

Hi Matt, Quick question along these lines except about sound. Im running a Alienware M17 to my yamaha reciever via HDMI then to my HD projector also HDMI. As I cycle through the different "modes" I get my picture on the projector only, and I have sound. But when Im in the mode that has both laptop monitor and projector, no sound. As you mentioned I need to see the laptop display as I cue up my presentation and get things ready. Its almost like, when in dual monitor mode my laptop thinks it should send the sound through the laptop speakers as opposed to the Yamaha. When I switch to the projector only it then sends the audio to the Yamaha. Guess that wasnt so quick...Thanks in advance Marcus

December 1, 2008 10:27 AM

Scarab30 said: Hi Matt, Quick question along these lines except about sound. Im running a Alienware M17 to my yamaha reciever via HDMI then to my HD projector also HDMI. As I cycle through the different "modes" I get my picture on the projector only, and I have sound. But when Im in the mode that has both laptop monitor and projector, no sound. As you mentioned I need to see the laptop display as I cue up my presentation and get things ready. Its almost like, when in dual monitor mode my laptop thinks it should send the sound through the laptop speakers as opposed to the Yamaha. When I switch to the projector only it then sends the audio to the Yamaha. Guess that wasnt so quick...Thanks in advance Marcus

That doesn't sound strange, and I've heard about this from others. I'm not sure there's a workaround, but you can check the audio settings area for your sound adapter in the config menu. 

Random thought, it probably defaluts to sending audio to the primary display when active. If you set your projector screen as the primary display when both are active, does the sound follow?

December 1, 2008 10:30 AM

Sharp Projector said: We have a Sharp Multimedia Projector XG MB55X for our community events. User of the projector brings their own laptops to make their PP presentations to audiences. The problem is that there are as many laptop models as users; and we often run on compatibility issues between the equipment....is there something specific and common to all laptops that I should look for when connecting them to the projector?...I would call it a Minimum Common Compatibility...or something like that.

I know your question is a bit older, but it is a good one.

Most of your compatibility issues will be with the connector. If your projector only sports DVI, but your laptop only has VGA, then you have a problem. Ideally, look for a projector with all three common PC connections: VGA, DVI, and HDMI. Don't worry too much about HDMI though, you can easily adapt an HDMI notebook to fit a DVI port with a cheap accessory.

Provided the projector is PC capable at any standard resolution (640x480, 800x600, 1024x7768), then you should have no problems. 

March 11, 2009 7:41 PM

I just finished doing a presentation using my Dell Inspiron plugged into a projector. After unplugging everything, my screen is now kind of squished - not normal. This helped the presentation to be displayed properly but now I don't know how to get my screen back to normal! Do you have any advice for me?

March 11, 2009 8:32 PM

Try going to Control Panel => Display and change the screen resolution to match the native resolution of your laptop as a first step.

Peter Redmer
Administrator
Blog | Twitter

July 7, 2009 2:11 PM

Hi, I am using a compaq presario V2000 laptop. The problem is whenever i a make a powerpoint presentation on a projector; (hitachi etc), the presentation goes on smoothly only till i show slides with still images. The moment i show a slide with moving image, the projector screen goes blank. however i am able to see the image properly on my laptop. Please help..

July 8, 2009 10:54 AM

Manish said: Hi, I am using a compaq presario V2000 laptop. The problem is whenever i a make a powerpoint presentation on a projector; (hitachi etc), the presentation goes on smoothly only till i show slides with still images. The moment i show a slide with moving image, the projector screen goes blank. however i am able to see the image properly on my laptop. Please help..
When you say "moving image" do you mean a static image moving from an animation, or a video?

July 8, 2009 9:20 PM

I am unable to show short videos within my powerpoint presentation. The video is in avi format. The properties of the video file show image widthxheight as 800x600 pixels;frame rate 30 frames/sec for the files..

July 9, 2009 9:35 AM

Manish said: I am unable to show short videos within my powerpoint presentation. The video is in avi format. The properties of the video file show image widthxheight as 800x600 pixels;frame rate 30 frames/sec for the files..

This is normal, particularly if you've mirrored your displays. You have three options:

Enter the display settings area and you should see a button labled "Identify." This will flash some numbers up on each monitor: 1 and 2.  Number 2 should have flashed on the projector. Right click the number 2 box, and check "Primary." Hit Apply, then adjust your resolutions if necessary. Your projector isnow your primary display in mirrored mode. Videos should appear on it instead of the laptop screen.

Exit mirrored mode and use extend mode. Drag your Powerpoint presentation off the screeen and over to the other display.

Disable your laptop screen and only run the projector.

August 12, 2009 11:20 PM

Recently I had upgraded my Acer TravelMate 3230 laptop to Windows Vista Ultimate from XP. Now I want to give presentation using projector Acer XD1150. The problem is only background wallpaper is displayed and I cannnot see any desktop icons or program on proector screen not even my pointer. I tried all sort of help from Internet but not successful. It is very urgent and I need ur help. Can u help me on this problem please.

View unverified member's comment - posted by computer illiterate

August 24, 2009 8:29 PM

When I'm using my MacBook and a projector I pull up what I want to display on my laptop. It appears on the projector screen but not my laptop. When I move my mouse off of the screen on the right side I can then grab the image and it appears on my laptop. How do I get it so I can see the same image on my laptop as the projector screen simultaneously? Thanks!

August 25, 2009 10:03 AM updated: August 25, 2009 10:04 AM

Kumten said: Recently I had upgraded my Acer TravelMate 3230 laptop to Windows Vista Ultimate from XP. Now I want to give presentation using projector Acer XD1150. The problem is only background wallpaper is displayed and I cannnot see any desktop icons or program on proector screen not even my pointer. I tried all sort of help from Internet but not successful. It is very urgent and I need ur help. Can u help me on this problem please.

This has been answered several times in this thread, just above actually. http://www.techlore.com/blog/entry/23182/Using-a-Projector-to-Display-Your-La...

It's also answered in the article text above under the section "I see desktop background, but nothing else! Help!"

August 25, 2009 10:09 AM

computer illiterate said: I have a Dell Latitude D620 and can't get it into presentation mode for a powerpoint presentation. I've tried your suggestion of going to control, display and settings but no boxes come up - just a picture of a computer monitor. There used to be a little icon in the lower right hand corner of my screen to set the powerpoint presentation mode on but it is no longer there. Any ideas?? Thanks, Kathy
Your laptop can be equipped with two different graphics solutions, but the keyboard shortcut to cycle through video modes should be the same. On your laptop Kathy, it should be as easy as connecting your PC to a projector using a VGA cable, then press Fn+F8 on your keyboard to cycle through the different display modes.

August 25, 2009 10:12 AM

regal said: When I'm using my MacBook and a projector I pull up what I want to display on my laptop. It appears on the projector screen but not my laptop. When I move my mouse off of the screen on the right side I can then grab the image and it appears on my laptop. How do I get it so I can see the same image on my laptop as the projector screen simultaneously? Thanks!

Try this:

   1. Open Apple ▸ System Preferences..
   2. Select Displays with its big blue screen icon
   3. Go under Arrangement section
   4. Check the Mirror Displays checkbox
 

View unverified member's comment - posted by computer illiterate

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Back to Top | Comments 1-25 of 60 | Latest Comment | 1 2 3 Next »

Add Your Reply

(will not be displayed)

Email me when comments are added to this thread

 
 

Please log in or register to participate in this community!

Log In

Remember

Not a member? Sign up!

Did you forget your password?

You can also log in using OpenID.

close this window
close this window