The monitor wouldn't normally be detected until after I log-in, but I can't because my main screen is broken. How can I make it go straight to the external monitor, or go straight into windows without login?
To make sure your laptop goes to the external monitor, most laptops will have a function-fx key combo to toggle through the 3 presentation video modes (laptop only, external only, laptop and external). Most laptops I have seen use a Fn-F4 or something similar. It is the key with the monitor inside of a monitor icon.
If you would like to use auto login, read below on how to enable auto login.
I don't have a vista box in from of me, so this was taken from http://www.lockergnome.com/windows/2007/02/20/configure-vista-for-automatic-logon/ :
To do so, click Start and type netplwiz in the Search field and then press Enter. Click Continue when the User Account Control window appears. From the User Accounts window that appears, verify that your own user account is selected. Clear the Users must enter a username and password to use this computer option and click OK. Provide the password for your user account when prompted and restart your computer. Vista will automatically log on with your user account.
As I understand it, you want to know how to logon without using the screen.
Firstly, wait until hardisk activity stops, so you know you're at the logon screen. Then on windows XP;
Press tab twice, enter your password, hit enter
or on Vista/Windows 7;
Enter your password, hit enter
If in doubt, use another/a friend's computer to find the exact set of keystrokes to get to the password field.
Use thedude19's answer to switch to your external monitor.
You may want to disable the logon prompt after this, so you do not have to repeat the above process. Either use Troggy's solution or follow these equivalent steps:
Hit Start, sleect "run". Enter:
Select your user, and uncheck the checkbox.
I have had the same issue. What worked for me:
- Using the function keys once windows starts all the way up (have to type in password blind). Often times it is F8 or F5.
- Start the laptop and then close the lid. Sometimes your laptop will recognize the external monitor this way.
- If you are in dire need then remove the laptop screen from the laptop. Of course you need to be careful, but this is pretty much a full proof way of making your laptop boot from an external monitor. If you don't feel comfortable doing this and have access to another computer type in your make and model to youtube and watch how removing a laptop screen is done.
- Afterwards if removing the laptop screen works then I have read that some systems allow you to change the display in BIOS to boot from an external monitor (VGA). I have not tried this yet though.