I've just bought my first laptop and will be using it as a desktop replacement - will plug in my big LCD monitor, keyboard and mouse. Will it damage my laptop if I close the lid when not using its own screen?
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This sounds like a bad display on the laptop. Hook up an external monitor to the vga port on the laptop. You may need to toggle the display to output to the external monitor. This is generally accomplished by pressing the "FN" key + one of the F# keys. Look for an icon that resembles a monitor or it may say LCD. If the graphics display correctly on the external monitor, then you will need to replace the computer screen.
Usually the external monitor and laptop screen toggles in one of three states. LCD only External monitor only Both LCD and external monitor Wait a couple of seconds between when you press Fn F8 This model laptop may not allow ectended display.
Since you say the screen was blinking when you opened or closed the lid: 1) It could be as simple as the cable that attaches on the back of the monitor is loose and needs to be reseated (pulled out and plugged back in) then secure it with tape where the connections meet. 2) It could be that the cable from the monitor that plugs into the motherboard needs to be reseated. You'll need to disassemble the monitor to remedy the 2 problems mentioned. And for problem 2 mentioned you'll need to remove the Keyboard and Palmrest.
Have you shined a flashlight on the black monitor screen to see if you can faintly see images on it. If so, then the problem is your LCD Inverter. You can purchase them for less than $10, but you'll have to disassemble the lcd screen. It sits at the bottom of the lcd screen just above the keyboard.
If you don't see anything when you shine the flashlight on the lcd screen, then your screen is out and will need to be replaced. Get a quote from your local computer shop, then try these guys: httpp://www.generalsystemsconsulting.com They will fix it and ship it back by Fedex or UPS and beat most quotes including the shipping.
This is assuming you are using Windows 7. (Since you didn't specify. -_-)
Software lock at same time = No.
Hardware lock at same time = Yes.
When you have the keyboard connect and the laptop plugged into the monitor, go to your Windows Mobility Center. Go to "Power Options. Look for "What to do when you close the lid." and tell it to do "Nothing".
Then close your laptop and lock it.
Unfortunately, you're not going to be able to get a new cable as Toshiba will not sell OEM replacement parts to anyone but an authorized repair center.
This may just as likely be a problem with the sockets/plugs as with the cable itself, as they are rather fragile. It may be worth spending a few bucks for a used cable just to see if it will solve your problem. Also be sure that the thin plastic shim found on the top of most of these cable ends is still there, as they can come off rather easily, and the lack of it will cause a poor connection.
Your other alternatives are (1) Toshiba repair center, or (2) using the external monitor.
You appear to be cloning your internal LCD and as long as it is active, the resolution setting for the LCD is also controlling the resolution of the external monitor. When the LCD is closed, then the default resolution of the external monitor is being used by Windows 7 (It apparently has autodetected the size of the monitor and knows the Highest optimal resolution it will display.) The higher the resolution, then smaller the icons.
To resolve, go to display properties and check the resolution of the internal LCD and then set the External display to the lower resolution.
You should be able to wake the system with an external keyboard, by pressing the spacebar, if the system is sleeping
If you see a very faint image at the laptop's LCD screen, it is possible that the Laptop's LCD lid close switch is stuck in the closed position.
In this mode the back-light stays off, even with the LCD lid open. This is to conserve power when the laptop is ON with the LID closed.
Check the LCD lid close switch. It is a small plastic pin located close to the back LCD hinges. Try tapping the lid switch a few times to see if you can turn on the screen back-light. If that does not help, then I would suggest to replace the FL inverter board.
You will need to dock the closed laptop first, then use the power button on the dock to turn it on. This will result in the output to the monitor. Alternatively, if you have the laptop open, you can toggle between the laptop LCD and external monitor (or both) by holding the blue Fn key (on the laptop keyboard) and pressing F5.