Is it possible to hook up an external graphics card to our Dell Inspiron 1420 Vista laptop? The video card is messed up, and I know you can't replace the internal video cards for laptops since they are integrated. The warranty is past and it just seems like a waste of a laptop... There is no docking station...
Yes - you should be able to find something if you have usb or expresscard slots.
Asus was going to release an expresscard grapics device that was supposed to bring 3d performance, etc eg. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XG_Station it is no longer manufactured but you might be able to find one.
If its just a display output you want then maybe something like this would do: http://www.futurelooks.com/displaylink-usb-to-dvi-graphics-adapter-review/
First, make sure that you do have integrated graphics card. Some laptops have discrete graphics cards which can be can be changed.
You won't be able to find a good external graphics card for a laptop. There are USB cards, but they usually are only good enough for driving a display. There are some ExpressCard graphics cards like XG Station, but they are more or less experimental and from what I've heard problematic.
I've seen ExpressCard->PCI-E 1x adapters like something form here, but they are very expensive and it would probably be cheaper to repair old laptop or buy new one then to purchase such adapter.