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?


In general laptops and netbooks allow to redirect the output with a key combination. For example on my laptop it's Fn+F5

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

If your Fn key doesn't work please refer to your PC's 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.


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.

  • 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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