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Laptop backlight broken - how do I employ secondary VGA display?

asked 2015-12-23 10:12:32 -0500

anttyj gravatar image

Some time ago my old Acer Aspire 5100 lost the backlight of the built-in LCD display. Thus the display remains black even if the hard disk activity light indicates that booting is progressing in normal manner. I even could blindly log in to my account by paying attention to the pause in hard disk activity associated with the appearance of the login screen. Therefore I was encouraged to attach an external VGA display which proved the graphics card is still OK and I can see the familiar Fedora 22 desktop background theme. Unfortunately, there is nothing else to be seen.

How do I get the upper and lower panels (it is a Cinnamon desktop) and /home folder transferred to the VGA display? The panels and the home folder icon are, of course, badly needed for starting applications and/or searching files.

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answered 2016-05-25 16:10:05 -0500

bcnaz gravatar image

I have had a similar experience, I have been trying live disc OSes. When I allowed a live disc of AntiX to go to sleep, it caused a black screen, after which even the installed OS would not show on the screen. I thought my laptop screen was 'fryed', When I tryed an external monitor I did get a screen. I continued trying live OSes they all only showed on the external monitor, then I tryed a live disc of Fedora, When I looked under the screen settings it showed both screens and their settings, The laptop screen showed that the brightness was turned down to zero.... I simply turned it back up all the way and my laptop is back in business ! SO, when they say there is nothing changed by running a live disc that is apparently not completely accurate ! I am glad it worked out ok, I was ready to toss out my favorite laptop.... BUT ! On another note, I have went back looking for those settings so I could describe it better, (still running a live disc), I cannot get the exact same page back ? Same page but there is no adjustments shown on this page ? ? Good Luck, maybe this will help ?

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answered 2015-12-24 06:04:41 -0500

anttyj gravatar image

Thank you, aeperezt. By right-clicking desktop background a window opens offering, among others, a possibility to change the background image. What is even more important, in the upper left corner of the window there is a button (left angle bracket) which will bring one to system settings or preferences. One of the options there (under Hardware) is Displays. By selecting the primary built-in display and disabling it, the important panels and home folder will be transferred to the secondary VGA display. This is, however, not the perfect solution because the login screen will not show up when rebooting and I still have to log in as blind. Therefore I can not choose which desktop manager (Gnome, Classic Gnome, KDE or Cinnamon) to use. If memory serves me right, I had all of these installed. The crucial thing is I can now use the laptop almost as before and, I can save the /home directory with all its important files to a DVD or a memory stick to be transferred to a new computer.

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answered 2015-12-23 15:02:07 -0500

aeperezt gravatar image

Normally you could do that with the control panel screen settngs on Gnome3 you can right click on any part of the screen when the background is an choose to change your background settngs have no experience with cinnamon, but try it may work.

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Asked: 2015-12-23 10:12:32 -0500

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Last updated: Dec 23 '15