Support & Troubleshooting - Laptop Computer

If you cannot physically connect the 15 pin VGA cable to your laptop, it is possible that you need an adapter or ‘dongle’ to change the connector type. This is a common problem with Apple laptops, which use DVI and other proprietary video connectors. Your laptop probably came with the required adapter. Consult your manual for details.

Ensure that the video cable (15 pin) is connected firmly to your laptop, turn on the projector and set to Input 1 / RGB 1, and turn on your laptop LAST.

If this order is observed, the laptop will usually detect the external display and turn on the video output automatically. If not, you may have to manually enable video output. This procedure is documented in your laptop manual and varies from model to model. The video port can usually be activated two ways:

In the display control panel, on the ‘settings’ tab, click ‘advanced’. Depending on the driver being used, you should see a tab that will allow you to activate the different outputs.

To use the keyboard shortcut, hold down the ‘FN’ key, press the function key at the top of the keyboard that is labeled with ‘CRT/LCD’ or a small monitor icon. Depending on your laptop type, you may have to press more than once to get both displays to work simultaneously.

For Macintosh Laptops: Under OSX, a small display icon will appear at the top of the screen when an additional display is detected. Clicking on this icon will reveal a popup menu where the user can select extended or ‘mirror’ desktop. If this icon is not available, the output can be enabled through the display control panel.

Most laptops will automatically set up the connection if the data projector is turned on, connected, and set to the correct input BEFORE the laptop is turned on. If you are using a Macintosh laptop, the display can be enabled by putting your machine to sleep and waking it after the connections are made.

If you have made the connection and the video is still not visible on the data projector, go through the troubleshooting steps listed under the data projector section.

Any laptop connecting to the campus network must first be registered at the help desk and checked for current antivirus software. This process takes approximately two hours.

Most laptop network ports will have link and activity lights near the Ethernet port. If you do not get a solid ‘link’ light, that is an indication that the connection is not secure, or that your Ethernet is disabled. Some laptops disable the Ethernet port when no connection is detected. To resolve this issue, make sure the cord is firmly connected and restart your computer.

If you see a solid ‘link’ light, but there is no flashing ‘activity’ light, it is possible that the Ethernet switch is unplugged or that the classroom has temporarily lost network connectivity. Test this by attempting to login to the classroom PC. In the event of a network outage a technician may be called to help you load your presentation material using removable media.

It is not uncommon for users to unplug network switches used in the classroom in order to free an outlet for laptop power cords. If you are properly connected and still don’t have network connectivity, check to make sure that all power bars are turned on and all visible power cords are plugged in.

Third party or Windows firewall software may interfere with access to certain network resources. If you are unsure how to configure your firewall please contact the help desk for assistance. Although it is not advisable, you can temporarily disable your firewall if necessary.

Make sure you are connecting to the network SSID = Guest @ UofL.

Most laptops feature the capability to turn on and off wireless networking with a keyboard shortcut or a desktop icon. Note that the campus network uses the Wi-Fi / 802.11 a/b/g standards, and that Bluetooth radios are not capable of connecting to these network types. Check your laptop documentation to confirm how to operate your specific network card.

Third party or Windows firewall software may interfere with access to certain network resources. If you are unsure how to configure your firewall please contact the help desk for assistance. Although it is not advisable, you can temporarily disable your firewall if necessary.

Make sure that the 3.5mm audio connector is plugged in securely to the headphone jack on your laptop (instead of the microphone or line input ports – a common mistake).

Your laptop may have both hardware and software volume controls that will both need to be turned up. Do not turn these volumes to the maximum or they will likely cause distortion. 2/3’s volume is usually best. The hardware volume may consist of buttons or a dial on the edge of your laptop near the headphone jack.

In rooms with audio amplifiers, turn on the black amplifier box and set the volume dials to about 1/3 volume. If there is no audio amplifier, set the projector volume to about ½ the maximum level. Make sure that the mute function is not enabled.

In your laptop volume control panel set both the MASTER and WaveOut volumes to a reasonable level. If you are using CD audio, Midi Synthesis, or another audio type, turn up these volumes as well. Make sure that none of the required channels has its mute function enabled.

In your media player application (Windows media player, Quicktime, Realplayer…), make sure the volume adjustment is turned up, and that the mute function is not enabled.

If you still can’t hear any audio, unplug the 3.5mm headphone jack from your laptop to see if you get audio output from the laptop’s built-in speakers.

If you get sound from your internal speakers, the problem must be with the laptop connector, cord, or amplifier. Check to ensure that the cable is secure and that the amplifier/projector volumes are turned up. Try alternate inputs on the amplifier in case they are improperly labeled.

If not, the problem must be in your laptop sound, volume, or application settings. Try playing some different content or using a different media player application.

Some laptops do not have the capability to support two displays simultaneously. This is not usually the case with display ‘mirroring’ but more often when two distinct desktops are in use (thereby doubling the amount of video memory required). Consult your laptop manual to determine if your machine has this limitation.

If you used a keystroke shortcut to turn on the external video port, repeat this keystroke a couple times (waiting two to three seconds between attempts) to get the image on both screens. You may see an onscreen display appear that shows the current mode and other display options.

If you used the display control panel to turn on the external video port, you should see additional options to allow both displays to appear simultaneously. Older Intel, and NeoMagic video chipsets are notorious for not supporting simultaneous dual display modes. If this is the case, you will have to view only one screen at a time.

Some laptops are not equipped with a standard D-Sub VGA connector. If this is the case, you will need an adapter to display your desktop on the data projector. Laptops that only have S-Video outputs can not be connected to the preinstalled data projectors on campus (unless they come with adapters for composite video).

Laptops with composite video ports can be easily plugged into the front inputs of the VCR/DVD player and then the Input 3 / Video port on the projector can be used. Note that the VCR/DVD player must be set to LINE 2 using the remote to get the image to pass through to the projector. The image quality from a composite output will be much lower then a normal VGA display so the resolution should be set to 1024X768 or lower if possible.

Laptops with DVI connectors can be made to work with analog VGA adapters that usually ship with the unit. If your laptop has a proprietary connector (Acer TravelMate, Apple iBook…) you will have to connect an adapter which may not have been included with the unit. Contact your hardware manufacturer to obtain one.

Your video card can function in both ‘dual desktop’ and ‘mirrored desktop’ modes. This allows you to use the extra video output for additional desktop space when not hooked to a projector. This setting is the default for both Macintosh and Windows based computers. You can change this setting in the Display control panel on either platform:

For Windows: Click on the display marked ‘2’. Un-check the box labeled ‘Extend my windows desktop to this monitor’. Then use the keyboard shortcut to enable display mirroring or restart the laptop after connecting it to the projector.

For Mac OS: Click on ‘detect displays” to refresh the status of the display control panel. Click the ‘mirror displays’ check box and then click ‘Ok’ to apply the changes.

If you prefer to keep your speaker notes on the laptop’s internal screen and export the slides to the projector, you can leave multiple desktop enabled and turn on this feature in PowerPoint. It is located in the drop-down menu under ‘Slide Show Properties’.