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Using laptop as monitor for desktop PC

#1 User is offline   peterk 

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 06:48 AM

Can I use the screen on my Dell Inspiron laptop (5 yrs. old) as the monitor for my Dell PC desktop, which is a Dimension 4550?I am running windows XP on both.Two different computer store salesmen have suggested yes and sold me cable connecitons which do not seem to work.Other Web answers I got on Google seem to say this is not possible, and that I need to get a separate monitor for the Desktop.Thanks, peterk
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#2 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 07:00 AM

PeterK, you have been sold cables by someone who did not know what they were talking about. I do not know what type of cables they sold you. If the cables have 15 pins surrounded by metal lip and the housing on the ends is blue, they sold you monitor cables. They would probably have connected the destop monitor out connector to the laptop monitor out connector (the pc connections could have had a blue center as well).I am not aware of any way of connecting a laptop to a desktop for use as a desktop monitor. You will need to purchase a monitor, and if it is new in the box should come with a cable.I would take at least one back to the store, and maybe both. Or you could keep one as a spare, but could probably buy a spare off the internet a lot cheaper than the store sold you one for. Unfortunately, I many times find I know more about computers than the sales staff. I one time spent 30 minutes explaining to a local sales rep the different features of an HP laptop. I have been researching and was in to see the laptop physically. The sales rep and I started talking and he asked a question and I answered it, and we spent 30 minutes with him asking me questions and me answering as if I were the seller.
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#3 User is offline   peterk 

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 07:14 AM

rgreen4, thanks so much for confirming there is no solution other than buying a monitor. I have taken back (and gotten refund) the 9-pin cable; and will do the same to a different store for the 15-pin one as well.You are right about computer store salesmen, at least generally, but they always seem to know more than the computer-illiterate customers like me so we take their advice as if it is right and waste time until we realize they do not know what they are saying.This forum is great, just discovered it, and will return.Thanks again.
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#4 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 07:30 AM

PeterK - as I say to many of our new members, the forum is open 24/7, most of the members do sleep at night (we have our doubts about one however), but there always seems to be someone on.We like to talk computers, and we like to share information and help people. Even old hands learn something new now and then.
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#5 User is offline   peterk 

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 07:42 AM

How do you like Windows Vista? I was scarred off by uneven reviews and stayed with XP when I purchased a new laptop recently.
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#6 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:31 AM

[quote name='rgreen4']> > > > I am not aware of any way of connecting a laptop to a desktop for use as a desktop monitor. You will need to purchase a monitor, and if it is new in the box should come with a cable.> > The only way that I can think of is if the laptop has some sort TV tuner or other "video line in" meant for hooking up some sort of "typical" consumer video device (i.e. video camera, VCR, cable box, etc). While this is not a default way to hook up computer to get a video in, it can be done.Point being is that it can be done, but I doubt the results would be very useful or pleasing...muck like hooking a computer up to a typical TV is not that great. Thus, even if the laptop had the appropriate port, I would bother...it is much easier and better to just get a new monitor.
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#7 User is offline   peterk 

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:34 AM

smax013, thanks also for your reply...the issue is clearly solved by a new monitor.
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#8 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 11:25 AM

PeterK, I do like Vista. I have commented many times that when XP came out no one seemed to like it. It was so much different that Windows 98 and there were many driver compatibility problems (sound familiar?) Well, I listened to the negativity, I removed the HD in my new computer when it arrived, and installed a new one and installed Windows 2000. About 6 months later, I reformated that drive to use for data storage and put the original XP drive back in (I'm still using it).So this time, I ignored the negativity. Are there driver issues with Vista? Yes. Are there still driver issues ocassionally with XP? yes. Does Visa require greater resources? Yes. Is Vista the future? YesAre there machines out there that cannot be upgraded to Vista? Yes (I have one).Are there machines out there that cannot be upgraded to XP (fm 98 )? Yes (I have one of those also).Now if you have older printers (especially All in Ones) and older scanners and some other devices that won't work with Vista, you should stay with Vista for a while.There have been people who hate Visa, there were some people that hated XP. But when our antequated PC finally dies, we either have to embrace the future or do without.
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#9 User is offline   peterk 

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 11:28 AM

thanks, that will wrap it up for me for now.
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