[Wolves] [SB] how do i get grub to switch to external monitor

Adam Sweet adamsweet at gmail.com
Wed Jan 27 14:48:08 UTC 2016

On 27/01/16 12:13, Mark Croft Redditch Linux Mint wrote:
> i have a compaq cq58 that has a broken screen that have been taken out.
> i have been told that the vga driver is not installed so i can't get
> bios screen up without a new screen installed in this laptop.
> http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Video-Display-and-Touch/switching-to-external-monitor-ASAP-so-i-get-into-BIOS-screen/m-p/5467874/highlight/false#M125443

As the HP support forum agent and others here have said, there's no OS
driver involved at the BIOS level. Attaching a monitor using VGA should
either just work, or you need to find the keyboard sequence which turns
the VGA port on. You mentioned the manual says F4, others here mentioned
holding down the Function or Fn key and pressing F4 and having tried
those it still won't fire up the external monitor.

> is there a way to get grub to take control of the laptop and switch it
> over to external screen making it possible to boot off usb stick and
> then install linux on that hard drive.

You shouldn't need to mess with grub to make it drive an external
monitor, it should just use whatever monitor the BIOS was using.

At this point, I would be thinking the following:

1) Does my monitor actually work?
2) Does my VGA cable actually work?

If you can prove the above by connecting them to something else, then
move on.

3) Can I boot into a Linux live distro either from USB or optical drive,
which doesn't require any kind of interaction or nothing more than a
simple predictable key press to be able to boot to a graphical display
screen (you'll need to try this on another machine to ensure you know
what to do to get a GUI when you can't see anything) and then try F4 and

5) Once in a live disk environment, if the monitor doesn't fire up on
its own and using F4 and function-F4 don't fire it up then you're going
to have to accept that either:

a) The VGA port doesn't work
b) You don't know the key sequence to enable an external display
c) The key sequence for enabling an external display really is a Windows
only driver feature.

Once you get to this point, you won't get this laptop running Linux
without a new display. I see from your forum post that the external
display does work in Windows, in which case, that may be your only
choice. You explicitly state it works only on the login screen, so if it
doesn't work after logging in, then you'll probably find yourself out of


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