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Howdo I connect a laptop to a desktop computer? Dont have a monitor for the desktop computer

Posted on 2004-08-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
I have a working laptop.  And I just got a desktop computer without a monitor. I'd like to use this desktop computer as a webserver.
I don't have a monitor for the desktop, nor a keyboard, etc. This desktop computer needs to have the hard drive formated and have a fresh install of an operating system.
Is is possible to somehow connect my laptop to this desktop computer and control it (starting from formatting the drive, installing windows, etc) using my laptop screen as its monitor? If so, how? Is it easy to do? What connections are necessary?

my laptop is a sony pcg grx570  
the desktop is a pentium 3 dell

Thanks a lot for your help!

skinnymatrix
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Question by:skinnymatrix
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Expert Comment

by:shad0_cheng
ID: 11741553
If you want to install windows OS then no, on the other hand you can do it with linux, I recommend Gentoo, great community support but you better know your console commands. (www.gentoo.org) there's documentation for a headless install in the Fourms section.

Now, back to Windows, you may want to try installing XP with a video card with TV out and use a TV as your monitor for the installation part, IF all goes well than enable the Remote Desktop on your PC so you can control it from your laptop.

the biggest problem with these kind of setup is that the system must be functional for the remote control to work, if anything goes wrong then you have no way to correct it. so I would say why not just buy a cheap 17" monitor and use it as dual monitor for you laptop if you don't need it for the desktop, but at least you can fix things when you need to.

Godd luck
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Author Comment

by:skinnymatrix
ID: 11741568
im going to be running windows.

lets say i  borrow a monitor and get windows installed on the desktop...can i then return the monitor and use my laptop screen and laptop keyboard to control the desktop when i need to on occassion? if so, how do i do this (what connections are necessary)

thanks
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by:shad0_cheng
ID: 11741639
easiest way is run windows XP Pro on both machines, on your desktop:
1. Install XP pro, do all the updates and driver installation, make sure you can ping your laptop
2. Right click on "My computer" -> "Properties" -> "Remote" : enable (check) "Allow user connect remotely" under Remote Desktop
3. on your Laptop, "Start" -> "Programs" -> "Accessories" -> "Communication" -> Remote Desktop Connections and type in the desktop's IP
4. once the remote desktop is loaded you need to login, use Administrator and the password you set on your desktop to login.

That's it, you should be able to use the computer on your laptop.
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Expert Comment

by:AshuraKnight
ID: 11742302
smart answer shad0 :)
well done !
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Author Comment

by:skinnymatrix
ID: 11743237
i have windows xp pro..that's a check.
now questions:
what cable(s) do i need to connect the 2 computers?
how do i determine the IP of the desktop computer?
what do you mean "make sure you can ping your laptop?" (what does this mean? and how do i do that?)
just to clarify...may LAPTOP will be my MAIN computer that i will use every day. the desktop will just be sitting on the ground as a web server
so when i do all that youve said i will see the screen of the desktop on my laptop? and how do i then switch to go back to regular laptop mode?

thanks for helping me along. great response

ed


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Expert Comment

by:AshuraKnight
ID: 11743261
what cable(s) do i need to connect the 2 computers?
ethernet cross over

how do i determine the IP of the desktop computer?
put static ip when setting network

what do you mean "make sure you can ping your laptop?" (what does this mean? and how do i do that?)
this mean make sure you can connect to your laptop after you done setting the cable and network.
use cmd prompt : ping ip_of_your_laptop

just to clarify...may LAPTOP will be my MAIN computer that i will use every day. the desktop will just be sitting on the ground as a web server
so when i do all that youve said i will see the screen of the desktop on my laptop? and how do i then switch to go back to regular laptop mode?
yep, you can. :)
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Accepted Solution

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shad0_cheng earned 500 total points
ID: 11743333
Skinny I guess you don't have much experience with networking, so...

1. My recommendation to you is go pick up a cheap router and a couple of netwrok cable so both computer can access the internet and also takes care of all the network IP/Subnet Mask/DNS/gateway settings for you.

2. Once you have the 2 computers setup and both of them can access the internet then goto you network places and see if you can see the other machine, if not just do a search in Expert-Exchange (a ton of info on that).

3. Then follow my instructions from previous post starting at #2.

Remote desktop appear as a window on your desktop like you internet explorer if you are not in full screen mode, otherwise just click the restore icon.
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