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when it rains, it pours! Im helping a friend with his Dell Inspiron 1520. The hdd crashed and and top of that, the screen is cracked. I've replaced the hdd (SATA-5400), but the lcd replacement is only comin in a months time. I've tried to:

  1. hook the laptop up to an Acer 18.5" lcd monitor via VGA,
  2. boot up into Windows 7 installer,
  3. get to the Step-1 screen,
  4. Switch to external display (Function-F8)

...and get the "Input not supported" message on the Acer lcd. I know that this is a resolution problem, but cant for the life of me figure out how to solve this. I've also tried, hooking it up to my TV via Composite cables (got a VGA-Composite adaptor).

Please could someone advise me what to do? -Thank u!

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If you have an old CRT monitor somewhere, those things can usually display just about any resolution, though it may be difficult to read. Alternatively, try a different LCD. Some are much more forgiving about their input. – Fake Name Mar 13 '10 at 9:58
I've tried just about evry display device I can get my hands on! But thanks for the CRT monitor suggestion - now I just need to find one! :) I'll post back here when I come up with something – Shalan Mar 13 '10 at 11:06
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you are trying to boot the machine into Windows with a lower resolution you want to enable VGA mode to reduce the resolution. If you are having problems during the installation check to see if there are any other output displays connected.

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I ran into the same problem when trying to reinstall Windows on a Gateway laptop hooked to a monitor with the VGA connector. The laptop's original screen is broken.

I was able to get it to display properly by pressing the F4 key used to switch between the laptop's screen and a display connected to the VGA port. After a few times the laptop adjusted to the monitor's resolution.

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