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I actually have 2 questions:

Question 1:

At work I have 2 monitors and I have connected it to my laptop using: 1st monitor with HDMI port 2nd monitor with vga port

Now by doing this although I could use the 2 external monitors very well but the display at my laptop disappears. Is it possible to use my laptop display with this set up as well? I am using Thinkpad T520 laptop running Windows 7.

Question 2: At home I have an old dell inspiron laptop (running Vista) which doesnt have any hdmi port. But I want to connect 1 usual monitor and 1 usb (toshiba small 14") screen to it while keeping the laptop dsiplay working. I already have the laptop working with usual monitor using vga - but I want to buy a usb screen too and hook it up using usb port to my laptop but keeping laptop display alive, is it possible? If yes, how?

Thanks a lot :-)

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Please, only 1 question per question :) It makes it easier to keep things organized. –  Oliver Salzburg May 2 '12 at 17:17
    
both were related thats why I thought :p... any clue? Thanks... –  user503510 May 2 '12 at 17:21
    
No that question talks about connecting 2 monitors - my question is to be able to keep laptop display alive with 2 monitors simultaneously... Thanks... –  user503510 May 2 '12 at 18:09
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1 Answer

Your laptop may be limited to only running two displays at a time. If you only see two in "Screen Resolution" (Windows 7), but no third (disabled) then it is likely the controller can handle only two. However toggling your monitor configuration key combo (it varies between models and vendors) may result in the configuration you seek.

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Yes you are right, this fn + F7 only toggles but doesnt allow me to make all 3 active at the same time? But there must be a way? –  user503510 May 2 '12 at 18:06
    
Regarding question 2, for my old dell inspiron laptop - if the screen itself is usb run screen (the kind of small screens Toshiba etc makes) - Can I directly hook it to the old dell laptop and still keep all three 3 screens (the monitor connected via vga, laptop screen and usb screen) active at the same time? Thanks... –  user503510 May 2 '12 at 18:07
    
@user503510 (first, have you considered not using a numerical name?) It is likely that the firmware on the laptop is intentionally preventing you from running 3 monitors at once as the hardware may be insufficient to drive 3 at a time. If it isn't "easy" to do it, it is probably for a good reason. Since you have already tried reasonable methods to figure out how to get it working, it seems like it's safe to assume you cannot drive 3 monitors with that system. (read on though) –  BloodyIron May 2 '12 at 18:11
    
@user503510 To anser Question 2 and provide a possible solution for any of your monitor needs, DisplayLink makes the technology (and hardware) necessary for adding more monitors than any system has connections for. How the devices work is they are USB devices which adapt to display ports. They have been doing this for a while now so there is quite a few options, and this is probably your best bet. Take note, lower models will run video poorly compared to higher models, there is homework to be done. –  BloodyIron May 2 '12 at 18:12
    
@user503510 This is an example of one: newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815990003 However there are many other companies that build products around the technology, so if you need higher resolution or whatever, there are many options. Some of the newer things come out do require USB 3.0, so make sure you read your specs! –  BloodyIron May 2 '12 at 18:14
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