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Indiana Wesleyan University Support Knowledge Base

Laptop Connection Troubleshooting


This document offers steps to take when troubleshooting the connection of a laptop computer to a classroom teaching station. The steps may also be relevant when connecting a laptop to a conference room flat panel display or to a portable projector.

Laptop Troubleshooting

What to do, when the laptop doesn't automatically connect to the display

  1. Press the Laptop button on the Extron Media Link Controller or Touch Panel, located on the Teaching Station.

  2. Make sure that the laptop is turned on, and not in sleep mode.

  3. Which video cable is connected to the laptop? Are you using an adapter or dongle within your connection? Try reconnecting the cable or adaptor to the laptop

    • VGA

    • HDMI

    • Adapter + VGA/HDMI

  4. The video signal cable needs to be connected both to the laptop and to the top of the teaching station, or to the Audio and Video Signal Cable Connection.

  5. Enable the output function on the laptop:

    • In Windows 10, or Windows 8, press the Windows logo key  + P to select a display option. Several options for display will appear on the right. Select the option that enables both laptop screen and external display.

    • In Windows 7 or XP, Hold down the Function Key and simultaneously press the Display Output function button, which varies by brand:

      • F4 button, on HP

      • F7 button, on Lenovo

      • F8 button, on a Dell

  6. The screen may blink once or twice. If you cannot see the image on your laptop screen but it is displaying on the projection screen, press the output function one more time to Mirror the output, so that it appears on both screens.

  7. Restart the computer WITH THE VIDEO CABLE CONNECTED to both the laptop and the teaching station.

  8. If you are using presentation software, like Power Point, verify that you have not pressed a shortcut key to hide your slide.

  9. If none of these steps resolves the issue, please contact the support center for assistance.

What to do, when the laptop connects to the display, but it doesn't look correct

  1. If you are trying to display the same image on your laptop and on the projector or flat panel display, this is called Mirroring. Your laptop may, or may not default to a mirroring status when connected to another display. It may default to Extended Desktop mode instead. You can easily switch between Mirroring mode and Extended Desktop modes with keyboard commands, or by accessing the display settings on your laptop.
  2. Use this guide to configure Extended Desktop, if this is your desire. Extended desktop is desired when the presenter wants to view notes on their laptop screen, but keep them hidden from the audience who are watching the slideshow on the projected screen.
  3. When the connection is a VGA cable, and the projected image looks like it is all a certain hue, like purple, or green, then it is likely that one of the pins in the VGA connector is damaged, possibly bent or broken off. Inspect all 15 pins on both ends of the VGA cable, and if one is damaged, contact the support center to request a replacement cable.
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