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Thread: VGA out (without BIOS/keyboard)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    VGA out (without BIOS/keyboard)

    I've been given an HP NX6110 laptop (with busted screen) that I would like to use for an install. It has VGA out but the BIOS is extremely limited and there is no option to enable it by default. I would prefer not to have to press function-F4 on the keyboard every time the computer is switched on.
    Has anyone found another way of enabling VGA output (on this, or any other laptop)?

    My first thoughts were,
    1) identify the signals sent from the keyboard when function-F4 is pressed (and replicate them when the machine is powered on)
    or 2) is there a signal sent to the video part of the motherboard when function-F4 is pressed to switch VGA output on (and if so, can it be identified & artificially induced?)

    any ideas?

  2. #2
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    New Mexico, USA
    A lot of laptops can do the switch via software. What you could do is get windows loaded up on it, see what the steps are to change the vid over, and have a little startup script do it for you. Or possibly write a script that replicates the function-F4 keypress, but this may or may not work depending on what level of the PC is doing the controlling.

    The hardware route will probably be a lot harder to do. One thing you might look into is modifying the bios. Depending on the bios manufacturer, there are a lot of tools out there to help. The other factors that might come into play is if the video bios is separate from the motherboard bios.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Thanks for your thoughts! A BIOS modification is well beyond my abilities, and I suspect that to add in extra features such as this would mean a complete re-write.

    I like your ideas for letting Windows handle the switch though. It's no use for this project (I'm using FreeDOS for near-instantaneous bootup) so I think I will just start over with a mini-ITX board but I shall no doubt get around to using the laptop for a Windows-based project in the future.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    The Fn key is very hard to emulate via software, onscreen keyboards, etc I have found. If there is a utility to do it, though, you can always

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