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I had a similar problem while using Ubuntu 10.04. I recently upgraded to 11.10 and when I connect the external monitor, both the screens( laptop screen and external monitor) goes dark and stops responding.

But, individual screens work perfectly fine. I cannot mirror the screen as well as it is disabled.

Any idea how to fix this problem ? I would like to extend my screen.


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What is your graphics card.. – Uri Herrera Nov 20 '11 at 0:12
Its Intel 845 Chipset – Nov 20 '11 at 0:18
What happens when you press the [fn][display-settings] key to cycles through the different hardware settings? Most laptops have a key like this. – bntser Nov 20 '11 at 1:42
I used a gnome-display settings to add the external monitors. The Fn keys in my Laptop dont work in Linux unfortunately :) – Nov 20 '11 at 1:55

A clean 11.10 install (32 bit) solved the problem. (Don't forget to backup your valuables)

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