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How to take a laptop with a broken screen and make it a usable computer

Hi, I'm Adam, I'm known as Warwagon on the forum. For the past 19 years, I've been operating my own computer repair business. In doing so, I deal with the average computer user on a day-to-day basis.

Every bit of information I provide for people I do so with the lowest common denominator in mind. It's a common misconception that everyone who joins or browses a tech site is a techie. Some people are just looking for guidance. That is why for some, these tech tips may seem a bit too simplistic but they are educational for others.

Tech tip HDMI

Do you have a laptop laying around with a broken screen that you didn’t want to spend the money to get fixed?

Did you know that you can still use the laptop over HDMI if it has HDMI out on the side of the laptop?

Simply plug it into a TV or a monitor with an HDMI port. You should now see the laptop on the other screen.

Now we should tell the computer not to go to sleep when you shut the lid.

  • Click start type power and click “Edit Power plan
  • Click “Change advanced power settings
  • Scroll down until you see “Power button and Lid”, drop it down, and drop down “Lid close action” set plugged in from “Sleep” to “do nothing”.

tech tip laptop monitor hdmi

If you do not see "Power and lid close" you have to add it via a registry key.

  • Click start and type cmd
  • Right-click "Command Prompt" and select "Run as administrator"

at the command prompt copy and paste the following command

REG ADD HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\PowerSettings\4f971e89-eebd-4455-a8de-9e59040e7347\5ca83367-6e45-459f-a27b-476b1d01c936 /v Attributes /t REG_DWORD /d 2 /f

Now simply shut the lid and the computer will use the TV or monitor as its primary display.

Now just plug in a wireless mouse and keyboard (a bundle can be had for $16 at Walmart) into it. If you have a USB mouse and keyboard you can use that too.

Now you have yourself a fully working computer.

monitor laptop HDMI

Happy Computing!

If you learned something today, great! If not, maybe share your own tech tip in the comments below!

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