|"External monitor requires an operating system with advanced graphics drivers."|
You DO NOT need any software on the hard drive to get basic VGA video from an external monitor while booting the computer.
However, by default, the video to the external video port, the secondary display, is not switched on until AFTER the operating system starts to load.
With most laptops, you have another way of getting video on the external monitor.
Using this combo of keys MAY allow you to have video on the external monitor BEFORE Windows loads as well....
If you get no video on an external monitor, some laptops have a key combo that you must press to toggle the display to external video only / built in display video only / sometimes both - see the Owner's or User's manual for the model (e.g. press both Fn and Fx ; x is a number).