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I have a Samsung RV511 laptop, and recently my screen broke. I connected an external screen and it works fine, but only after Windows starts.

I want to be able to use the external screen right from boot, in order to set the BIOS to boot from DVD, and to then install a different OS and also format the hard drive. Right now I can only use the screen when Windows loads.

What I've tried:

  1. I've tried opening up the laptop and disconnecting the display to make it only find the external and use the VGA as default -- didn't work.
  2. I've tried using the Fn+key combo in BIOS to connect external display - nothing

I've been looking around for ways to change boot sequence without entering BIOS, but it doesn't look like it's possible.

Possible solutions?

  1. A way to change boot sequence without entering BIOS?
  2. Someone with the same brand/similar model to help me blindly keystroke the correct arrows/F5/F6 buttons while in BIOS mode to change boot sequence?
  3. A way to force the external display to work from boot, through modifying the internal connections (I have no problem taking the laptop apart if needed, please no soldering though), through BIOS or program?

Also, if I change boot sequence without accessing external screen, would the Ubuntu 12.1 installation sequence attempt to use the external screen or would I only be able to use it after Linux is installed and running?

I'd really appreciate help, I can't afford to fix the screen for a few months from now, and I'd really like to make my computer come back to decent performance! Thanks in advance!

  • You could try while booting to hit the correct key to enter BIOS, regardless of whether you're getting a picture or not, wait a bit, then use the Fn + F key function to toggle from laptop screen to external. – harrymc Oct 26 '12 at 15:52
  • I mentioned in the question I already tried that. Thanks though – casraf Oct 27 '12 at 19:12
  • Are you using VGA or HDMI? HDMI typically is a little better on the whole auto-detection side of things(two way protocol). Its possible the remove the ribbon cable between mobo and display will cause the bios to see no internal display and failover to the external. – Linef4ult Sep 20 '15 at 16:47
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Also, if I change boot sequence without accessing external screen, would the Ubuntu 12.1 installation sequence attempt to use the external screen or would I only be able to use it after Linux is installed and running?

Depends on whether your laptops graphics card driver included in the kernel. Ubuntu includes non-free firmware , so I think the driver is included. Right from the start of installation process, display will be available once booted to the appropriate Ubuntu media.

In this scenario, watching the videos of the bios setup of similar laptop make helps to blindly enter bios and change the boot priority. It shouldn't be hard considering only changing boot priority. If I were you, I would remove the hard disk and put it in another computer and install Windows . Then do a sysprep, integrate graphics driver, integrate other necessary drivers, and reconnect the hard disk to laptop and boot to see how it behaves.

As for installing Ubuntu, I would suggest to remove the hard disk from laptop, then boot the Ubuntu installation media, use Fn key combination to get display on external monitor, and reconnect the hard disk to laptop and proceed with installation.

I faced this laptop screen broken issue, which cannot redirect the BIOS/VESA display to external monitor, and it is best to use a Linux distro in this scenario.

Even though some laptops cannot display the BIOS/GRUB/VESA display to external monitor, some of these laptops will display GRUB and sometimes VESA display to external monitor if you disconnect and reconnect the VGA or HDMI cable. As for HDMI, switching off and on the monitor or switching off the display source on monitor from HDMI --> VGA --> HDMI gives a cable pull and plug effect.

I'm still trying to find if I could completely disable LVDS (the laptops inbuilt display) in hardware. Just removing the display panel connector wont disable it and its a huge bit of headache.

Thanks. I hope it helps someone :)

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A couple suggestions:

  1. Try with a bootable ubuntu usb. Maybe the usb already has a higher boot priority than the Hard Disk.

  2. Instead of trying to go to the bios to change the boot sequence, most laptop I've seen have a "quick boot selection" menu, where you press a key (F2 usually), and with the arrows you can select from the available bootable devices (in your case, blindly select).

  3. Go to a local computer shop (do they still exist?), see if they have any similar available laptop lcd screen with the weird 40 pin connector. Use it to install ubuntu.

  4. [Desperation mode] Order a replacement LCD screen, install ubuntu, then send it back telling that you did not like the color :).

Also, if I change boot sequence without accessing external screen, would the Ubuntu 12.1 installation sequence attempt to use the external screen or would I only be able to use it after Linux is installed and running?

Optimism is the answer :)

Good luck.

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  • Unfortunately, this doesn't work :/ I probably changed the boot order once before to make it boot faster (without the prompt) and now I'm stuck like this. Can't seem to have access to a quick boot selection either. – casraf Nov 1 '12 at 18:00
  • Added a couple more suggestions. I don't think that there is much more to do. If there is a way to tell the laptop to use the VGA output as default, then it is in the BIOS... – mrucci Nov 1 '12 at 18:16
  • I see,... I will eventually replace the screen without sending it back, but for now I was hoping to be able to install Ubuntu... Thanks anyway. I also don't thinks any local computer shops would be kind enough to help me, they'd just offer a replacement or new laptop :P – casraf Nov 1 '12 at 18:22

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