Is it possible to disable a HDMI or VGA port in the registry? Or, how else can I disable one of the display ports?

Windows 7 Enterprise SP1 on a Dell Latitude E6530. Dell BIOS version A15, i.e. the latest - I can't find any setting in the BIOS to disable HDMI. Display adapter is Intel HD Graphics 4000 - can't find any setting in the Control Panel for that device, either. The ports themselves don't appear in Device Manager as separate devices - only the display adapter appears.

Background: I'm trying to help a colleague with a sight impairment who uses the accessibility software ZoomText 10 (http://www.aisquared.com/zoomtext/). The software ran without any problems on his previous laptop, a Dell Latitude E6410 which used the display adapter Intel HD Graphics 3000 (and which had no HDMI port, only the VGA). However, that's a work laptop which has reached end-of-lease and has to be returned. The above specs are for the replacement laptop, which runs the later display adapter.

The problem comes when trying to run ZoomText with dual monitors. Dual monitors in Windows works fine; with an external monitor connected, Windows extends the desktop as expected. If I then activate dual monitors in ZoomText, the software flips up a big "2" on the secondary monitor and gets me to confirm that the secondary monitor has been detected correctly. Then I get the message "ZoomText was unable to activate the extended desktop on your system. Your video hardware may not support two display devices."

The problem seems to be that ZoomText detects both the VGA port and the HDMI port as separate monitors, even when there are no monitors connected. (The list of "Secondary Display Devices" contains the entries "2. Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000" and "3. Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000", no matter whether an external monitor is connected or not.) ZoomText doesn't support 3 or more monitors.

We've tried the official support for the software, but they're not much use - presumably haven't encountered this problem before and prefer to lose a user who's already paid for the license than to lose the time in troubleshooting. The other obvious option is alternative accessibility software, but the user already owns an expensive license for this one so I want to have a serious try at making it work before I advise him to try something new. I might or might not be able to open up the laptop and disconnect one of the ports on the motherboard, but as that's going to void a warranty I'd prefer to exhaust the software and OS options first.

Happy to hear any other suggestions for ways to approach this.


Quite likely too late to help, but you can try WIN key + P to cycle between Windows monitor configurations. Alternatively, UltraMon at http://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon/ or the free (open source) alternatives http://dualmonitortool.sourceforge.net/ might be useful.

You can also change the scaling level in Windows, up to 200% if you hit "Custom": http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ff629368.aspx

Other windows settings will let you change the size of the cursor, the default zoom level of webpages, etc. If you want zoom to follow your mouse, hit Windows key and the + sign.

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