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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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 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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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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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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 :)

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 :thumbs:

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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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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 :rolleyes:), 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! :D

So rather than purchasing a tech solution to a problem that, it turns out, doesn't exist (typical me :rolleyes:), I just have to buy the right cable :thumbs:
 

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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 :rolleyes:), 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! :D

So rather than purchasing a tech solution to a problem that, it turns out, doesn't exist (typical me :rolleyes:), I just have to buy the right cable :thumbs:
go with the Remote Desktop option and it wont even cost you the price of a cable!!
 

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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
Servers under your desk? Old school man :D my servers are intangible WoooOOOOOoooooOOOoo
 
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