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Can't get Dell projector to consistently mirror laptop display

Posted on 2010-11-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
One of our customers has a Dell 4210X projector.  They have trouble using it with a Vostro 1710 with integrated graphics (Intel GM965) running Windows XP.  They want to use it in mirrored mode, but the projector usually does not recognise that it is receiving a signal.  After some trouble shooting, I have deterimed that we can get it to work by going through the Fn + F8 cycle several times, waiting a few seconds each time to see if it works.  This can take about 90 seconds, which is a long time in the middle of a presentation.  Is there a more elegant way to do this?  

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Question by:johnpatbullock
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MickyJW earned 500 total points
ID: 34201867
Ensure the machine's Chipset, Video Drivers and BIOS are all up to date.
Generally projectors are just plug and play.

If you've got the latest Intel drivers installed you should have an Intel graphics management console you can access, usually by right clicking on the desktop and selecting Graphics Properties.

This management console should enable you to setup the external monitor / projector properties and save it as a scheme, which should remember the settings every time.

However another option would be to update the machine's Hotkey drivers, which handles the fnf8 functionality (if available for download).

If you're still not able to get a stable connection with the projector, I would question the projector itself and try testing to see if it behaves the same on an alternate machine
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by:caballo_oscuro
ID: 34204509
dead simple. first the projector must be plugged into the latop before booting and turned on. the laptop will see the external monitor as it thinks it is on boot up. right click the desktop and click properties and then select monitors, choose dual monitors and make the projector monitor 1 and click apply.
If you do this then as you move the mouse and click the same will appear on both laptop and projector. There may be specific drivers for tarting up the display but windows will setup a default if non specific drivers are present. I do this everyday on various laptops and it works everytime. best of luck
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by:johnpatbullock
ID: 34205455
Mickey JW:
It works fine on other laptops.
I had the latest video drivers, but I'd reinstalled them anyway.  I had noticed that sometimes bringing up the Intel graphics management console and navigating through the properties pages (even without changing anything) would sometimes cause the projector to start or stop displaying an image from the laptop.  I will have to try setting up a scheme.  
I did not see the hotkey drivers available for download, but I think they may be included with QuickSet, which I was considering installing.  At the very least, I think QuickSet gives the hotkeys more functionality.

caballo oscuro:

Yes, I think that should work, but they often use two different laptops in the same presentation.  I considered telling them to set up both laptops at the same time (the porjector has two VGA in conectors).   I will have them try this out if the other suggested solutions do not work.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 34212931
The projector may not be getting a signal that is strong enough to detect.  If this is VGA and the cable is too long or of poor quality, this can happen.  VGA needs to be in the 0.5 to 0.7 volt range on the maximum, and you can ensure uniformity by connecting a video amplifier between the projector and laptop.  Kramer makes one for various inputs as well as for splitting: http://www.kramerelectronics.com/downloads/pdf/product/1/VP-200.pdf
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Author Comment

by:johnpatbullock
ID: 34261678
I got it working by creating a scheme in the intel graphics management console.  The user can now get it to display properly by selecting that scheme.  Thank you for your help.
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