I have a HP EliteBook 2540p and I am trying to connect two external monitors to it, but I'm having difficulties. I have a VGA splitter to connect the two monitors. The external monitors have cloned displays whereas the laptop is part of the extended desktop. How can I fix this so as to make use of the two external monitors with the extended desktop setting?

  • With that setup you'll never be able to have external monitors display two different things. – Daniel R Hicks Apr 16 '12 at 17:45

A VGA splitter cable only replicates the video output on both connected displays, it doesn't allow you to use both displays independently. To have two external monitors connected to the 2540p with the desktop extended to both, you need to connect one by VGA and the other by DisplayPort. Note that doing so will disable the laptop's built-in display, as the 2540p is not capable of driving three displays at once, at least not without adding additional graphics hardware (like a USB video adapter or an external GPU via ExpressCard).

  • 1
    2 external monitors + Internal == Add a USB VGA/DVI/HDMI adapter. – EKW Apr 16 '12 at 17:46

This is the guide you're looking for:

HP Notebook PCs - Guide to Using 2010 Business Notebooks with External Displays

I think these two excerpts are particular interesting in regards to your question:

The EliteBook 2540p, 8440p/w, 8540p/w (with NVIDIA graphics), 8740w (with NVIDIA graphics), ProBook 644Xb/645Xb/654Xb/655Xb can output to a maximum of two displays in clone or extended mode via the built-in VGA and DisplayPort (DP) or via the VGA, DVI, and DP on the applicable docking station. The notebook screen is counted as one display so if it is used, only one external display can be used. If the notebook screen is not used, two external displays can be used.


The HP USB Graphics Adapter (NL571AA) can be used to connect up to six additional external displays.

Also, take a look at the table for your model under the "Display resolution specifications" section

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.