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I keep my laptop tucked away and solely use an external display with it via HDMI. In Windows 7 display settings, I have it set up to "Show desktop only on 2 [my external display]" This works fine in all cases except when I boot the laptop when the external display is already connected. In that case, the laptop's display stays on and sticks at the Windows 7 boot logo unless I manually shut the display off. (I should mention that while the laptop's display is stuck at the boot logo, the external monitor and computer are running just fine.)

The laptop is an Asus N56VZ with Nvidia 650m graphics and the latest drivers. I've checked Nvidia's control panel as well as the BIOS and nothing looked very promising.

Any ideas as to how I can get my laptop screen to shut itself off after booting into Windows?

Edit 1 For clarification, if I boot the laptop without the external display plugged in, and THEN plug in the HDMI, the laptop screen shuts off and the external monitor works as it should.

Edit 2 Thanks to the answer from @harrymc I now have something working. I created a batch that switches the laptop display to primary and then back again (Simply setting the external display to primary doesn't work and the laptop screen stays "stuck"):

DisplaySwitch.exe /internal
DisplaySwitch.exe /external

Unfortunately, the change in resolutions causes my windows/icons to become messed up which then need to be resized, so it's really just trading one annoyance for another.

On to more testing!

share|improve this question
Just to clarify: have you tried to set external display as a main display and then rebooting to see what happens? – Volodymyr M. Nov 13 '12 at 22:11
@inhabitant Yes, my external display is set as the main display – Ryan Nov 13 '12 at 22:20
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The free command-line utility Display Changer can be used to write a batch file that will set the external monitor to be the primary.

You could then add the batch file to Start / Programs / Startup, so it runs every time.

Test first if the script fails when the external monitor is not connected, so as not to leave you without a monitor in this case.

share|improve this answer
See my edit above. I used the built-in displayswitch.exe with some success. Thanks for the suggestion. – Ryan Nov 15 '12 at 16:37
Display Changer can also use resolution. – harrymc Nov 15 '12 at 21:36
It was an issue with the swapping of the lower-resolution laptop display and the higher-resolution external display. I think it's sorted now. Thanks for the solution! – Ryan Nov 19 '12 at 22:23

You need to disable built-in display in Device Manager.

Turn off the Screen Permanently

BUT!!! - Do not disable the monitor unless you have already installed and verified the functionality of a secondary monitor. Once disabled from the "Device Manager," the main screen will not turn back on automatically, even when an external screen is unplugged.

I would suggest the next 2 methods:

  1. Switch to an external monitor by pressing Windows + P keys.
  2. Configure power options to use external display when closing LID.
share|improve this answer
I do not want to permanently disable the laptop display, just automatically shut it off when there is an external monitor present on boot. This is usually how Windows handles this situation, but with this particular laptop the display gets stuck at the boot logo and doesn't shut off. – Ryan Nov 11 '12 at 22:39
Maybe, creating two different hardware profiles is what you need in this very case. First one - will be default, with built-in display enabled. Second one - custom profile - with built-in display disabled. – Volodymyr M. Nov 11 '12 at 22:45
This is Windows 7... no hardware profiles. – Ryan Nov 12 '12 at 0:42

I got almost the same problem, just worse, as my laptop + the monitor are hanging on the win7 logo, when I power on the display AFTER powering on the laptop but while booting. sometimes everything freezes (!) + have to hard shutdown. anoying

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This should be a comment (yes, you can't comment yet). – vonbrand Feb 11 '13 at 18:49

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