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My laptop (Samsung N510) screen is broken and I've recently tried to install ubuntu 11.10. I'm planning to use the laptop with HDMI connected to my TV. While installing from a USB stick, both laptop screen (cracked with just light on) and my TV is displaying. When installation is finished and it reboots internal screen is the only one displaying.

Since I cannot see anything on that screen I was wondering if there are some way to type some kind of a shortcut or how to get into the settings without seeing anything.

  • I've tried the fn+F4 buttons that has the screen on it, but nothing happens.
  • I've also tried plugging HDMI cable in before startup, nothing happens, plugging the HDMI cable in while it's on does not work either.
  • I've tried unplugging my laptop screen before startup, with HDMI plugged in, (worked in windows) but then the laptop won't boot.

Is it impossible?

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In general laptops and netbooks allow to redirect the output with a key combination. For example on my lap it is


Look for a key (usually F1 ... F12) with screen icon. When pressing special key Fn and that key You redirect output manually. So run Your Live CD and press such a key combination few times - until You see desired image on Your monitor. After pressing each time wait a moment for a VGA card to redirect output.

If Your Fn key doesn't work please refer to Your PCs user manual. On my second laptop I can disable/enable those keys with a key combination. Sometimes special keys need some kind of drivers to work.

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Look to your bios settings. On my thinkpad laptop I am able to switch the default output to HDMI.

Maybe your Samsung does have that option too.

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Thanks for the answer! The thing is that I can't see anything on the laptop screen, it's crushed and all I can see is if it's on or not. When I go into bios my tv isn't displaying anything. When I use the USB stick i get the image on my tv when the welcome screen in Ubuntu appears. – Asbjoern Jan 8 '12 at 12:53

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