How can I make a laptop display's VGA input work?
December 3, 2006 8:01 AM   Subscribe

What can I do to make a VGA input on an LCD monitor work?

I have recently acquired someone's old 150mhz Presario 1600 (1997) laptop that has a VGA input at the back of its LCD display. I have a much newer 600mhz Presario 14XL20 whose display I threw away because it broke off from the computer.

I connected the newer laptop to the older one's VGA input, however hitting the "VGA input" button on the Presario 1600 gives me a blank screen instead of displaying the data from the other laptop.

There should be a way to make this work and I am hoping that you can give me some suggestions. A vga input in a laptop LCD display should be able to display the data from the computer connected to it. (Btw that same laptop without a diplaydoes display its data when I plug it in via the same VGA cable to my desktop PC's monitor.)
posted by gregb1007 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
That's not an input, it's an output.
posted by Merdryn at 8:19 AM on December 3, 2006

in addition to what Merdryn said, the short answer to "i want to hook another computer up to my laptop display" is "it's not going to happen"

this question is asked regularly - here are the other two times [1, 2] since monday.
posted by noloveforned at 8:23 AM on December 3, 2006

Second Merdryn. Are you sure it's an input, because that would be very unusual? Does it actually say "VGA input" on the button? It sounds to me like the other computer is switching from using the internal screen to using the output when you press the button, hence the blank screen.
posted by cillit bang at 8:26 AM on December 3, 2006

Best answer: it's not going to happen

Actually, it could happen151;if you wanted to throw money at the problem. You can hook up an Epiphan DVI2USB (takes in both analog and digital video) and display the preview input full-screen at a very reasonable frame rate...for a thousand bucks.

I used one of Epiphan's other products (the VGA2USB, before the DVI2USB was developed) in a software telestrator I wrote earlier this year and it worked like a champ. You can also use it as a high-res video recorder, a feature which totally saved my bacon at the end of 2005. Never seen anything quite else like this. There are devices that will output to VGA over USB, but this is the VGA/USB only input device I've seen. Very innovative!

But anyway yeah, that's an output port on your laptop. Check the manual.
posted by ostranenie at 8:37 AM on December 3, 2006

Response by poster: ostranenie, (i.e alienation), thanks for pointing me to the manual which shows the VGA port to be a VGA out port intended for connections to external monitors.

Anyhow, looks my newer laptop has been frustrated in its quest to find itself a new display. Tough luck ;-)
posted by gregb1007 at 8:45 AM on December 3, 2006

Anyhow, looks my newer laptop has been frustrated in its quest to find itself a new display. Tough luck ;-)

Only if buying a new display isn't an option. They aren't expensive....
posted by raf at 9:14 AM on December 3, 2006

Go on craigslist and buy a used LCD monitor. It shouldn't cost more than a hundred or so, and you'll get the output you need (plus a bigger screen then you had originally!)
posted by defcom1 at 11:31 AM on December 3, 2006

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