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Since I'm blind and use screen reading software I don't need to use my laptop's monitor and it's nothing but a battery drain. Is there a way to turn off the monitor on a del Vostro 1500 laptop while I'm using it? The only option I've found is to have it power off while the laptop is idle.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Fn-DownArrow (type several times) will lower the backlight. That's a major source of power drain.

Other Dells I've had have supported turning off the LCD with a different Fn key, but I don't have a Vostro 1500 in front of me to see if that works.

Fn-F8 (blue label is CRT/LCD) should switch to external display, but I'm not sure it'll stick with that if there is no actual external display. It might be that an enterprising friend with a VGA connector and a soldering iron could make a stub that looks enough like an external monitor to encourage your LCD to stay off.

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Are you using the keyboard and trackpad? If not, you can set windows not to go to sleep when you close the lid. I'm not sure what will happen with the display at that point.

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For reference, the keyboard has this.… – Daniel A. White Jul 16 '09 at 17:56

I know this is 1 1/2 yrs ago, but for those still looking for a solution for this. I've read you need only to connect an external keyboard and mouse and close the lid before it fully boots up or was that shortly after. And that should reroute your graphics to your display.

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The only way I see to do this is to disconnect the backlight, which can be very difficult to do if you're blind. An easier solution I think would be to turn down the brightness to none.

If it's an external keyboard turn off your power management settings and close the lid. That way Windows won't go to sleep or hibernate.

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There's an app available here that will let you turn off the lcd on your notebook, but it 'wakes up' when you press a key or move the mouse. Likewise with this app. Perhaps one of those could be adapted to suit your needs, though?

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When I press a key, it wakes up. – Daniel A. White Jul 16 '09 at 17:58

You could use MonitorES:

MonitorES is a small windows utility that helps you to turnoff monitor display when you lock down your machine.Also when you lock your machine, it will pause all your running media programs & set your IM status message to "Away" / Custom message(via options) and restore it back to normal when you back.

According to this research statistics we could save lot of energy by turning off monitor display.

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No I can't, that only turns off the monitor while asleep, I want it off while I'm using the laptop. – Jared Aug 19 '09 at 17:43

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