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

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.