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Re: monitor displays no signal as soon as i boot into win...
You may have to put the laptop in presenter mode, which tells it to use the attached monitor. There is supposed to be a key on the laptop which does this, its normally the FN key with CRT/LCD (F8). You can also do it via screen properties but since your screen is broke u'll have to use the key shortcut.
If that doesn't work, then your video card may be bad and you'll have to change it.
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Did you tell the laptop that you wanted to use the external monitor instead or in addition to the built-in display? There's a hot-key sequence you have to hit to engage the external display. In addition you may need to update the drivers for the HDMI. Some computers you can right-click on the desktop and select "Graphics Properties" and tell Windows which display port to use. Basically it sounds like a configuration issue where you're going to have to figure out how to tell Windows to use the HDMI port.
By default, Windows 7 is configured to go in sleep mode whenever you close the lid on your laptop. While this is generally preferred by most users to preserve the laptop's battery life, it might be useful to disable this process. Many laptops provide the ability to connect an external display. In this case, closing the lid would also prevent any signal going to the external display. If you would like to stop Windows from shutting off your monitor when you close the lid, access the Windows Power Options component and disable this feature. So try this, take a look at this KB. http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;977307&sd=rss&spid=14481
Depending upon the model, it looks like many of the Dell Inspiron Mini's have a VGA output and will accept an external monitor. Look for a 15 Pin VGA connector on the rear or side of the mini. If you provide a specific model of mini, I can verify 100% if it will accept an external monitor.
To me, that's an XP driver issue. If the screen turns on at all, then goes dark during XP boot, that's nearly a ringer for drivers.
Out of range on the Hz? Tried booting in safe mode to see if it loads with standard win drivers? That might work. Reset the monitor to default/standard settings and try safe mode is what I would do. Ramp up the resolution/refresh rate from there.