The Dell Latitude E6400 was Dell's mainstream corporate 14.1" notebook introduced in August 2008.

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Not able to see the boot sequence from external monitor

I have this Dell Latitude E6400 laptop which I was very proud of until its monitor crashed. Meanwhile, it's connected to an external LCD monitor (through a VGA cable). The monitor on my laptop is completely blank (or garbled), meanwhile the external monitor is alive and kicking. That made me think that I don't have a problem with the video card (256MB NVIDIA Quadro NVS 160M (Dell) it's the *!&*^#% monitor.

My question would be: How can I see the DOS boot sequence on the external monitor? Because, as I fire up my laptop, on the external screen I read 'No signal'. Of course, as soon as Windows 7 loads, there you go, all hunky dory! But it unnerves me because I need to get into the BIOS setup and I have no control. Thank you!

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Didn't work, but it's still an elegant solution, thank you! Meanwhile, I've contacted the Dell Consumers Department, it was a boy there who asked me back about something. Aaaand maaan, I got bored. I'm sure he was well intended, but I have to work and I have no time for this $@$*.

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Hi @dellight ,

Not sure if it will work but try the following:

Keep tapping F2 on start up for about 5 seconds. (I realize that you will not "see" the BIOS screen on the internal LCD screen but the boot process should stop on the BIOS screen) then try pressing Fn + F8 and see if you get the BIOS screen to display on the external monitor. According to the User Guide for the E6400, Fn + F8 toggles between the external display and the internal LCD screen

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Thanx @jayeff ! I'm also open to alternate solutions. For example, what if I were to fiddle with the 'Display' option in the Control Panel and switch to 'This display only' (i.e. the external display)? I know, it's probably stupid, it's gonna do diddly squat, but I had to ask!

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Hi @dellight ,

Sorry that you couldn't get into BIOS using the above method. You should "unaccept" my answer as the Chosen Solution as it didn't work.

I think that changing any option in Control Panel will not have any effect as they would only come into play once Windows has been loaded not before.

Since your LCD display appears to have some functionality occasionally (you said - "The monitor on my laptop is completely blank (or garbled)"). here is a link to the service manual for your laptop. If you have the inclination to do so you may wish to see if it is something as simple as a loose video cable that is causing your problem

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