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Hmmm Dual input > Switch > monitor conundrum

I have the following hardware: Two laptops, an HP docking station and two monitors.

One of the laptops has a broken screen, the other is its replacement (which I have not managed to break. Yet).

When I work from home, I put the new of the two laptops in to the docking station and all is good, however my conundrum is that I would like to use the broken screen laptop (BSL) to stream music at the same time and invariably I will need to stop / pause the music.

Short of pulling out a VGA cable out of the docking station and putting it in the back of the BSL every time I want to make an adjustment, is there some sort of hardware / switch I could buy that would allow me to switch between the two laptops, using one of the monitors?

So to summarise my waffle, what I am looking for visual output from 1 x laptop and 1 x docking station > switch > output to one monitor.

And yes, whilst writing this, it did occur to me that I could just get the screen repaired but buying a switch could be a cheaper solution.
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Why not use Remote Desktop feature. Then you can simply desktop onto the BSL when necessary? How often would you want to access the BSL?

This is the approach I used to access the "servers" under my desk rather than having VGA cables all over the place ....

Alternatively - I know you used to be able to buy VGA switches but when I looked a few years ago they seemed to be like the proverbial hens teeth
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Remote desktop is an option, tell me more (or shall I be less lazy and have a look on the internet?).

I did find this on Maplin and I am wondering if that could work but unhelpfully, there is no picture of the rear of the box.
VGA 2 Way Monitor Switch Box | Maplin
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Why not use VGA for BSL and hdmi or dport for the docking?
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Remote desktop allows you to specify the IP address or machine name and log on. It does need a couple of setup tweaks - but done correctly can copy paste etc etc

more here Configure Remote Desktop Access on Windows 7 Systems

I assuming you are using windows 7 - but same principles apply to win 8 & 8.1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starkers View Post
Remote desktop is an option, tell me more (or shall I be less lazy and have a look on the internet?).

I did find this on Maplin and I am wondering if that could work but unhelpfully, there is no picture of the rear of the box.
VGA 2 Way Monitor Switch Box | Maplin
I used to have one identical in looks to this... Worked ok for a while but I found it limiting on screenmode with it being cheap (I probably got it from scan but their offerings aren't as cheap currently):

Scan KVM switches

After a while it stopped working properly. I did borrow one from work (4-port D-Link I think)
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Originally Posted by Tata4Now View Post
Why not use VGA for BSL and hdmi or dport for the docking?
Whilst I could of course use the screen on the work laptop, it isn't as big as either of the two monitors but it's definitely a consideration

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Originally Posted by markies View Post
Remote desktop allows you to specify the IP address or machine name and log on. It does need a couple of setup tweaks - but done correctly can copy paste etc etc

more here Configure Remote Desktop Access on Windows 7 Systems

I assuming you are using windows 7 - but same principles apply to win 8 & 8.1
Interesting, I might try that out one day

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Originally Posted by AmicusPro View Post
I used to have one identical in looks to this... Worked ok for a while but I found it limiting on screenmode with it being cheap (I probably got it from scan but their offerings aren't as cheap currently):

Scan KVM switches

After a while it stopped working properly. I did borrow one from work (4-port D-Link I think)
Cheers AP, I will bear that in mind. The best (but more expensive) thing to do though would probably be for me to just get a new screen for the laptop
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How many inputs does the monitor have?
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Well that's a very good and some might say, rather obvious, question, Nev.

I had a look at both monitors recently. The HP monitor is the more modern of the two and it has two DVI inputs. The Dell monitor has a DVI and a VGA input.

Upon closer inspection of both monitors (something I should have done a while ago ), the HP has a button on the front marked "input" and the Dell also has a button that seems to indicate the ability to switch inputs.

So, as I only have one DVI > DVI cable and one VGA > VGA cable, I slotted the dead screen laptop in to the docking station and ported the DVI cable in to the back of the Dell monitor, then I connected the working laptop to the Dell monitor with the VGA cable.

When I press the button on the front of the monitor, it switches pretty quickly between the two laptops. Success!

So rather than purchasing a tech solution to a problem that, it turns out, doesn't exist (typical me ), I just have to buy the right cable
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starkers View Post
Well that's a very good and some might say, rather obvious, question, Nev.

I had a look at both monitors recently. The HP monitor is the more modern of the two and it has two DVI inputs. The Dell monitor has a DVI and a VGA input.

Upon closer inspection of both monitors (something I should have done a while ago ), the HP has a button on the front marked "input" and the Dell also has a button that seems to indicate the ability to switch inputs.

So, as I only have one DVI > DVI cable and one VGA > VGA cable, I slotted the dead screen laptop in to the docking station and ported the DVI cable in to the back of the Dell monitor, then I connected the working laptop to the Dell monitor with the VGA cable.

When I press the button on the front of the monitor, it switches pretty quickly between the two laptops. Success!

So rather than purchasing a tech solution to a problem that, it turns out, doesn't exist (typical me ), I just have to buy the right cable
go with the Remote Desktop option and it wont even cost you the price of a cable!!
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Originally Posted by biggreenzebra View Post
go with the Remote Desktop option and it wont even cost you the price of a cable!!
The laptop with the working screen won't always be running, so another cable is the easiest solution for me
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Heh Heh Heh.
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Smug lol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markies View Post
Why not use Remote Desktop feature. Then you can simply desktop onto the BSL when necessary? How often would you want to access the BSL?

This is the approach I used to access the "servers" under my desk rather than having VGA cables all over the place ....

Alternatively - I know you used to be able to buy VGA switches but when I looked a few years ago they seemed to be like the proverbial hens teeth
Servers under your desk? Old school man my servers are intangible WoooOOOOOoooooOOOoo
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