Connecting Your Laptop


Nothing is more frustrating than connecting your new projector to your laptop (or vice versa), turning them on, and getting nothing out of the projector but the start-up screen. The first thing to remember is: Don't Panic! Nine times out of ten this is simply a matter of the laptop not knowing that the projector is there or telling the laptop that you want to see the image on the projector.

Turn on the projector first

To make sure that the laptop knows that the projector is out there waiting for an image, turn on the projector first. When the laptop starts up, the operating system (Windows, for example) looks at all of the devices that are connected to the laptop and loads all of the appropriate software that it needs to talk to those devices. So if the operating system doesn't know the projector is there, it won't load the software and it won't talk to it.

For best results, wait until you can see the power-up
is complete before turning on your laptop.

Push the right buttons

To tell the laptop that you want to see the image on the projector, you just have to push the right buttons. Which buttons are the right ones for you depends on your laptop. Typically, it is a combination of the FN key and one of the function keys (F1 through F12) on your keyboard. The proper function key is usually labeled with the letters "LCD/CRT" or a picture of a monitor and a laptop. (Refer to your laptop documentation for the specific key combination of your laptop.) The keystrokes required are: first, press and hold the FN key, then press the appropriate function key, and then release them both. Beware! This may make your laptop display go black. Again, Don't Panic! You can get your laptop screen back by pressing those keys again. Most laptops have three possible display combinations: laptop screen only, laptop screen and projector, and projector only. You cycle through these by pressing the monitor toggle keys until you get to the desired display combination.

So remember, when you're setting up for your presentation, turn the projector on first, then use the monitor toggle keystrokes. These two steps will take you a long way towards keeping your projector and laptop talking so your presentations run smoothly. If you still run into problems, see the article Advanced Laptop Configuration for more detailed instructions.

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