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You shouldn't need to install software for a monitor to work. What you may have to do though, is configure your display settings to allow an external display. Your laptop might have a function key to do this. Try clicking the function key + the key that looks like a monitor display on your laptops keyboard. This should activate the external display port. You might also try going into the control panel, select display and enable the secondary display. Also a 17 inch display probably has a screen resolution of 1024x768 or 1280x1024 so make sure you don't set the resolution any higher then that or the display might not show anything.
here is the link for the manual;
page 14 runs through some procedures which should be worth a try - especially the idea to try the monitor on a different pc/a different monitor on your pc just to check where the problem is. swap any cables you can just in case.
Hope this helps :)