Why is my external monitor not working with my laptop?

Steven August 18, 2010
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I have an MSI EX600 laptop that has a 256 MB Nvidia Geforce 8400 graphics card. I am running Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium.

I have been trying to get an external monitor to work with my laptop for quite some time now. I have tried everything from reinstalling the drivers, to messing with the display properties for hours. My problem is the monitor will flash the logon screen for a few seconds then revert to black. This monitor does work I have tried it on other machines. I have also tried different cables.

Since this is MakeUseOf hardest tech questions, I figured I would post my long standing problem. Thanks for your help.

  1. Mochimama
    July 9, 2011 at 8:43 am

    I am having this same problem with my 2006 Gateway Tablet notebook, using a new HannsG 20" monitor.  My notebook runs on Windows XP and the monitor stickers show Windows 7 and Vista so I don't know if this is the issue.  Using the cable that came with the monitor - it's black with blue male plugs on each end.  This notebook has used external monitors prior to this one.  One was a Gateway and the second one was a Dell, both plugged and played using the cable on my Gateway Port Replicator.

    My tech skills are very minimal and I have already contacted HaansG customer support but they could not help me.  The guy told me that I have to call Gateway, but my warranty is long expired...

    • Tina
      July 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm


      if you couldn't solve the issue following the suggestions above, I suggest that you submit a new question. You are very unlikely to receive an answer here.

  2. Steven Schwartz
    August 25, 2010 at 12:16 am

    correction - 19w4 not 9. sorry.

  3. Steven Schwartz
    August 24, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    The monitor is a Westinghouse LCM - 19w9. It is a 19 inch widescreen LCD monitor.

  4. Steven Schwartz
    August 23, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    It does not work in safe mode. I did get it to work lowering the resolution again though. But it won't display at its native resolution 1440 x 900. I have it set at 1280 x 1024. But it flickers constantly and sometimes the picture goes out and comes back in.

    • Aibek
      August 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

      what is the model of your external monitor?

  5. Steven Schwartz
    August 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    I have not tried it in safe mode. I will try that today, thanks.

  6. Steven
    August 18, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    I am using a VGA cable male to male. I have reduced the resolution, the maximum the monitor supports is 1440 x 900 because it is a 19 inch LCD. I am trying to extend the desktop to it and Windows 7 does support this through Windows key + P, but it is still black. I am really thinking it has to be the graphics card or the drivers because being 256 mb it should be able to produce a high resolution. Thank you for your reply.

    • Aibek
      August 19, 2010 at 6:57 pm

      Do you know if it works in the Safe Mode? If it does then it might be a conflict between some of the drivers.

  7. Tina
    August 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm


    what cable are you using to connect the monitor to your laptop?

    You said you played with the display properties.
    Did you reduce the screen resolution on your laptop to match the maximum the external monitor can display?
    Did you check whether your display is "extended" to a second monitor? If it is, turn that feature off and try again.

    How does the laptop handle external monitors? Do you have to switch between external and standard monitor or can you view on both simultaneously?

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