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I want to connect my Dell (Windows 7) to my Acer (Windows Vista) and use them as dual monitors. The screen on my Dell is broken and I can't read anything on it. I tried to hook it up to my television and that didn't work. I found out that I need a VGA to HDMI adapter.

Is it possible to connect my two laptops even though they have different operating systems? Do I need any specific cables? I have three cables but I'm not sure if I can use them. One has two ends that seem like you can use them for the phones or something. Any help is appreciated.

marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Austin T French, Indrek, Kevin Panko, Tog May 13 '14 at 7:03

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  • 1
    Would Synergy or Windows without Borders be what you are looking for? – Austin T French May 12 '14 at 17:59

The short answer is no.

Consumer laptops will only ever have a video out port, never video in. Video capture cards are actually kinda niche, even among desktops. The damaged laptop can send any signal it likes, the other one wont receive it.

Your TV will work, you may just need a different cable. Does the dell have VGA(blue with holes) or HDMI(gold plated, like a larger USB) out? If its HDMI a straight HDMI to HDMI will work. If its VGA and the TV only has HDMI then use a vga to HDMI adapter. A passive one like this should work: http://www.dx.com/p/1080p-hdmi-male-to-vga-female-adapter-black-242515#.U3EEsPldWgY

Whichever one you do, you may need to use the WindowsKey+P to toggle displays. Connect the cables, turn on, wait for it to fully start(listen for that sound you get at the login screen), then hold the WindowsKey and tap on P until something comes up on the tv.

  • It has the VGA port. I'll get the adapter and try what said and see what happens. – user322296 May 12 '14 at 17:40

Directly as a monitor, no, however there are software solutions, such as Synergy. You run the server on one machine, the client on the other, and it will share your mouse/keyboard between them - move your mouse to the side of one screen, and control will switch to that of the other machine, so it will act like a shared display.

However, this isn't quite the same as dual monitors; you cannot move applications between displays, and each can only run programs that exist on that machine. So depending on your use case, this may not work for you :)

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