Laptop as a monitor

Posted on 2010-01-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
is there a way to use a laptop as a monitor? i dont mean like VNC or remote desktop. i mean " I rebooted the server , it didnt come back up and it has no monitor on it!!! " get a cable and plug it into the server and use my laptop as a monitor so see whats going on.  is this possible ?

    if not anyone got any ideas on how to make something that will let this happen?
Question by:level9tech
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 26293419
I know of no way to do this at all other than through VNC/Remote Desktop.

Got a TV laying around with a DVI/VGA input? Other than another monitor, that would be your best option.
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Richard Quadling
ID: 26293421
I suspect not. The laptop monitor gets its feed from the laptop.

The video cable out (VGA, S-Video, etc.) are all used to send a signal from the laptop to the device, not for receiving one.

Before we went down the ESX route and used virtual servers, we had a KVM switch and a single monitor/mouse/keyboard which allowed us to switch between the physical servers.

You can get VKM switches and cables fairly cheaply - you'd need 1 switch and 1 set of cables per server.

You'd connect a normal monitor, keyboard and mouse to the switch.

Job done!

Expert Comment

ID: 26293424
not unless you want to start taking your laptop apart.  Why not just plug a monitor into your server?
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 26293437
you would have to buy extra hardware if i'm not mistaken which would cost the same as buying a cheap monitor from a thift store...
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 26293438
No !
But one curiosity...each day people throw fully functional
monitors away.Why don't you get one ?
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 26293447
i think the tv tuner would allow it...but as stated, it would cost about the same amount as a cheap monitor...
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 26293467

Expert Comment

ID: 26293504
I would say no, no unless you do some serious hardware hacking.

Does the server has some kind of remote access card or similar? Otherwise the easiest will problably be to get a monitor for the server.
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 26293518
so the tuner card is the only option to make your laptop screen into a monitor for another pc...
problem solved...however, buying a cheap monitor from your local thift store would probably be a better/cheaper solutions...good luck.

Expert Comment

ID: 26293647
The only way it would work is if the laptop itself had an INPUT for VGA.  Maybe you get laptops like that, but I have never come accross one.
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 26293919
they have usb tuner cards
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 26302813
There is no way to do what you are asking without getting very involved in such a way that would just simply be a silly waste of time unless you were wanting to waste time and/or experiment.

TV Tuner card ports won't match anything you have on your server.

The question sounds like you just don't want to lug a monitor into where your server is or don't have one. You didn't mention anything about bad vga on the unit itself. If this is the case please specify so this can be addressed.

Sorry, there is no work around - you need a monitor. If you contract or move from site to site a good spare to have around is a small (15") cheap LCD that you know works. No reason you should need to pay more than $30 for one used somewhere. Light weight and VERY handy!

Author Comment

ID: 26307995
the server in question is not really the problem at all , there is a good number of time where i would need a monitor and none would be avaliable but i allways have my laptop. i was just wondering if there was a way to do it, Hardware hacking is fine with me i would love to sacrifice an eeepc to trying this
LVL 30

Accepted Solution

flubbster earned 2000 total points
ID: 26308156
As an engineer for over 25 years, I can tell you that the hacking you are talking about would be very complicated and very delicate. You are talking about hacking the guts of a laptop. You need to make sure that none of the power lines are disturbed, then cut into the board so as to interuopt the video feed from the video card to the monitor. You would then need to disconnect the external video output connector and wire into the pre-amp section of the video circuit, then etc, etc, etc...

Simply not worth it. Of course, don't forget that you would need a current and accurate schematic of the motherboard with the video. Some decent test equipment like an oscilloscope, voltmeter, soldering iron, test leads, etc, etc, etc...

As I said in the very first post.... can't do what you wanna do.... and it's not worth the time and effort to try to hack a laptop.


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