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I recently installed Ubuntu 12.04, and the first thing that came up was the driver manager, which told me to install the drivers for my nvidia graphics card (I don't remember what it is).

I have a laptop and my screen is broken, so I must use an external monitor to see what is on my screen. After the install and restart, the external monitor is no longer detected. How can this be fixed? I know the display still works after the install because i can see the bottom corner of my laptop screen, there is just no signal going to the external monitor anymore.

When I revert back to before I installed the driver the external monitor will display again.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

That is a known bug with proprietary Nvidia drivers in Ubuntu. You have to use the Nvidia-X server settings to do it. Now, since you cannot see your laptop screen to do this I would recommend this:

1- While in reverted mode (no Nvidia drivers) install Disper.

2- Once installed Disper lets you manage your output display by assigning shortcut keys to disper comands. An example: Open the keyboard menu in ubuntu, go to shortcuts and there to custom shortcuts. Then create a new one (e.g. Ctrl+Alt+Enter) and assign it to this command

disper -S

You can also create a second shortcut (e.g. Ctrl+Atl+Del) and assign it to:

disper -s

3- Install Nvidia drivers in the usual way and restart your laptop. Also make sure that disper is in your startup application list.

4- When rebooted simply press the first shortcut key combo Ctrl+Alt+Enter and it will send your desktop to the external display. To revert back to default just press the second shortcut Ctrl+Atl+Del.

There are many more posibilities with disper...just explore the website and the examples provided.

Hope that is helpful.

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This sounds like it will work. Will let you know as soon as I try it out. Thank you! – nathpilland Jul 12 '12 at 22:40
no problem. It does work for me, I use it every day when I commute to work where I have an external monitor. If it does work please mark it as solved ;) – leousa Jul 13 '12 at 14:29
It worked!! I can't award the bounty yet, will do that ASAP. Thanks! – nathpilland Jul 13 '12 at 15:44
Great to hear it worked! Thanks ;) – leousa Jul 13 '12 at 16:41

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