Posts Tagged ‘notebook’

Thursday Tech Tips

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

I had a user setting up his notebook at the last second in a conference room full of expectant visitors.  When his notebook wouldn’t connect to the room’s built-in projector it seems that he went and grabbed our nice Dell portable projector.  When that didn’t work and the meeting was two minutes overdue to start, they finally came running to me.

Unfortunately, this left me with no time to help him with the problem he was having with connecting to external displays.  The only thing I could do was grab a spare Dell notebook on the way out of my office and have him copy his presentations to it so he could continue on with the meeting.  Problem not solved but crisis averted.

Today he tells me that he’s leaving on the weekend for a week and he needs that functionality to work and he won’t be able to let Dell have the laptop before then to fix it.  Uhh….  So I dredged through my rusty databank of a mind and remembered that I kept seeing a little graphic pop-up each time he hit Fn+F8 and it said “Presentation Mode: OFF.”  I remember thinking that that wasn’t right but couldn’t troubleshoot it at the time.

I contacted Dell Support and of course they can’t do much without me having the PC in front of me, but they did give me a hint that I thought might work.  There’s a Dell QuickSet application that runs in the background and gives some control over certain system settings and functions.  So I got the PC for a few minutes and checked QuickSet and sure enough, there’s a Display setting that, if unchecked, will not allow you to use external displays.  Presentation Mode was indeed turned off.

So I checked the box to enable Presentation Mode and tested it with an external LCD monitor and a HD Plasma TV in the conference room.  Imagine that…   it works now.  Not so hard of a fix after all.  But how did it get set like that in the first place?  That I can’t answer… yet.  I have two new D630s sitting here in my office though and I intend to see what their default settings are on this.

So that’s the first tech tip for today.  The second one is more of a common sense tip that should be obvious after reading the above.  If you need help with your PC, please… for the love of all that’s silicon, give us technical people a little time to fix your problem.  Asking for help at the last possible second is the worst time to do so.  Especially when you knew the problem existed previously.