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Can I use my old laptop as a second monitor without a Graphics card? Answered

I have an old Toshiba A60. used it for a few years then bought an Acer 8920g with a 512mb graphics card about a year ago. I got bored and wanted to experiment with the old laptop. I read this instructable https://www.instructables.com/id/Laptop-Converted-to-2nd-Monitor/ however i ran into a few problems.
Well the first one is i sold the hard drive from the laptop, that isn't really a problem as the instructions doesn't require a laptop with a hard drive, however this does rule out many other uses for the old laptop. The major problem is that i'm 99.9% sure the graphics card has become damaged. The rest of the laptop is still in working order it manages to boot an ubuntu live-cd. My question is can i create something similar to that in the instructable, perhaps by powering everything from my new laptop graphics wise. I don't mind tearing apart the laptop, infact i would prefer to create a new case for it.



8 years ago

you cant use your new laptops graphics. if you can boot from ubuntu, then use an app like maxivista to extend it. (there was another app on sourceforge, whos name escapes me.) also... use the search function.questions similar to this have been asked numerous times

I can boot ubuntu but the colours appear funny with what appears to be random colours around certain images. I say random because the next time it boots the colour has changed. However a black page full of white text creates no imperfections. Do you think its loose wiring or the graphics card :S. I'd really like to try the maxivista software alongside the laptop mod (Summer holiday = a lot of free time) but if the extended desktop appears funny it'd be pretty useless,

Thanks for the reply..lol i checked out quite a few other questions, just didn't find anything about a faulty graphics card.

might be a loose connection in the monitor or cpu... try shaking the machine, and see if it changes... also, have you opened the case?

Well i thought i'd give everything a go before i'd comment again. Since then everything has gone downhill. The laptop won't boot a live-cd anymore. The wires aren't loose, i took out the entire motherboard to have a check. Didn't wanna shake it incase the whole thing fell apart! lol it is quite fragile these days. I did some research and apparently a lot of people had the same problem...vertical dotted lines and funny colours as well as no booting. Seems to be a problem with the on board memory. Apparently it is POSSIBLE to unsolder the on board memory and use the external slot as i have additional ram lying about. Is this adivisable?

sounds like its just going downhill.... so i would at least be prepared to accept this as a write off. i would try installing the ram first... and see if it solves that, then go for desoldering.

Well that took a long time. After buying the right stuff i gave it a try and...IT WORKS!! For now...Its been on for the last few hours with no screen problems however it takes a very long time to load off the Ubuntu cd so i'm thinking of using a flashdrive. This will also give me somewhere to store data. Finally i can get back to the original project!!! I had to desolder as the laptop wasn't bypassing the original ram. Had quite a scare though as after desoldering the laptop won't stay on for longer then 3 seconds. After checking every leg carefully i realised two were just touching, after seperating them it booted fine. Apparently its a really common fault with old toshiba laptops. Symptoms are vertical lines and it won't boot past the first screen. I'd recommend everyone check their toshiba ram if they have similar problems and remove the ram as a second to last resort. The last being the replacement of the motherboard.

alright! now you can use an app like maxivista or synergy

LOL sorry i'm becoming a bother. I've managed to set-up the system and i'm using synergy with the first computer on vista and the second on ubuntu. Everything is working fine. I was wondering...i've got a 5.1 surround sound plugged into my new laptop..is it possible to play sound from the modded laptop via the new laptop and speakers. I'm using the modded laptop as a media player however i can't plug the surround sound in it as it doesn't have a good enough sound card or optical out.

dont worry about it... if you don't mind hitting a button, you could use an audio switch. there is a way that yu can use an 1/8" audio m/m cable hooked from one laptops output, and into the others line in to have it relay sounds. you hook it up, and then in sound settings, there is an option for it.