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Like many places, we have a rack with a space for a KVM. Also like many places, the monitor that sits there is a small ancient CRT. I'd like to replace it with an lcd, but I don't have much chance of getting that approved in the budget, and even if I could there's other things more pressing that could use the money. But we do end up with a dead laptop from time to time, and when that happens there's generally nothing wrong with the display. So as something to do in my spare time, I was wondering what it would take to attach a standard vga or even dvi connector to one of these. I'm not talking about using the whole laptop, just the display.

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If people think this would do better at superuser, please feel free to vote to move it. –  Joel Coehoorn Jan 11 '10 at 21:01
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migrated from serverfault.com Jan 12 '10 at 9:27

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Uhm... There was a similar question in Superuser.com. Unfortunately, not a good answer. Googling (when I was curious about it) I recall just finding people who had spent an awful amount of time on it, plus having to purchase other equipment to get get it to work (costing more than $50, not including time/labor). It's a good project, though IMHO I think there are better projects to do own your own time. Really buying a new LCD (from craigslist/ebay or at your local tech store might be cheaper at the end, plus freeing some space on your Rack is also worth something).

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Laptop displays use not very standard variants of LVDS signaling. It is not compatible with DVI or VGA.

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There is thread about same problem overclockers.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-181128.html Some LCD controllers (digital signal converters) exist, but are very expensive (200-300$) –  osgx Jan 11 '10 at 22:46
    
Also, there is a success story instructables.com/id/Laptop-Converted-to-2nd-Monitor –  osgx Jan 11 '10 at 22:50
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That success story is cheating. He uses a vnc-like application to extend the monitor over the LAN. –  Mark Henderson Jan 12 '10 at 3:03
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