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Laptop and projector need to play together nicely.
March 4, 2009 12:02 AM   Subscribe

Managing a projector with a laptop at a different resolution. The short: classroom training sessions with a Dell laptop hooked up to a projector is giving me some issues, looking for advice on how to rectify the situation.

Windows Vista Ultimate
Dell Vostro 1400 w/ embedded Intel video card (temporary, my Nvidia motherboard blew up, long story)
2gig Ram
2.0ghz Core 2 duo
VGA output

Half of my time is spent in a classroom training on how to use a particular software. The classroom changes weekly, so cannot give specs on the projector, but all are generic classroom projectors that take a VGA input on them.

When I hook up my laptop to the projector, it takes me out of my 1440x900 default resolution, and kicks me back to 800x600. If I try to change it back to 1440x900 it refuses as the projector cannot handle the resolution, even if I have it set up to not share my desktop. I can get it to work with 1280x768, but since this is not my default resolution, it annoys me to screw up all my settings on my laptop during the session.

So my question is this: Is there a way to better manage all of this, since I spend most of my time dealing with this? Are there programs to aid in this? I have briefly looked into Displayfusion and Ultramon, but they seem to be more aimed at permanent multi monitor setups. Whereas my situation tends to only be during 9-5 every other week or so.

It just seems the management utility that is in my laptop now cannot be the best thing. I would like to have some real control over what happens, not just resolution if possible. Like I would like to share certain windows on my screen with the projector, but not all.

Well anyway, if anybody has some insight into this, I would appreciate the help.

I will be checking this throughout the day, so any info I left out, feel free to ask and I will supply the answer if I have it.
posted by wile e to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
ok... this may not be a whole lot of help, but the simplest thing I can think of would be to have two different windows usernames. one would be specifically for when you're giving presentations and the other would be when your using the machine personally. each user would have your preferred resolution settings (personal: 1440x900, presentation: 800x600).
posted by eli_d at 12:59 AM on March 4, 2009

Some video cards won't support different resolutions for the additional displays, so you might just be out of luck. Were I in your position, I would borrow an older laptop which could be used exclusively for teaching; most old laptops can support 800x600 and you could probably find one supporting 1280x768. If you were forced to buy another laptop, you could probably get by with a cheap 200-300$ netbook, if all you're doing is using powerpoint (as indicated by your tags).
posted by beerbajay at 3:00 AM on March 4, 2009

This usb adapter was made for adding an extra display to a laptop (above the VGA out) and has also saved me a ton of grief when using my laptop on unfamiliar projection systems.
posted by brian60640 at 6:55 AM on March 4, 2009

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