My sister's laptop's monitor suddenly died a couple of hours ago. She has an important file in that laptop, which she needs to recover now. I first suggested and tried using Remote Desktop, but she has not configured her computer to enable remote desktop sessions. Another possibility we tried was connecting her laptop to another screen, but it didn't work. Does anybody have any other ideas she could try?

She has Windows Vista installed in her laptop.

Thanks everybody, but I have already solved this problem.

  • Are you sure it's the monitor?
    – Xavierjazz
    Oct 1, 2010 at 3:25
  • Almost completely sure.
    – pyon
    Oct 1, 2010 at 3:26
  • Why did connecting an external monitor not work?I agree with xavierjazz, are you really sure it is the monitor? Oct 1, 2010 at 3:34
  • @Vaibhav Garg: I looked at the drawing next to the port and I wasn't sure if it was the printer port or the external monitor port. I connected it anyway, but it didn't work.
    – pyon
    Oct 1, 2010 at 3:52

3 Answers 3


See if you can telnet into the machine and enable RDP from the command line. You could also try browsing the C$ share depending on your workgroup/domain configuration and the laptop's sharing settings. If you have another Vista machine, you could try doing everything from the keyboard to enable remote desktop then mimic it on the laptop, although blindly. It's worth a shot.

If it's really urgent, run down to the nearest computer shop and buy a cheap hard drive dock. You can then plug the laptop's drive into the dock and then into your computer via USB and browse the drive for her files.

  • 1
    +1 for taking out the harddrive and connecting it to another computer. Oct 5, 2010 at 12:10

I'd probably look more into the reason that the secondary monitor did not work. Most (if not all) laptops have a shortcut key to switch monitors. The one I am working off at the moment uses Fn + F8

Give this a go before rushing out to buy anything.

  • 3
    And some laptops wont switch to an external monitor unless one was detected during boot up so you may need to restart the machine with the monitor plugged in and switched on
    – Linker3000
    Oct 1, 2010 at 8:24

connect other monitor and boot up in safe mode.

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