|DO NOT plug in or unplug a monitor's video cable into / from a video port while the computer is running. Doing so can damage the monitor's circuits and/or the video adapter's circuits. |
Some laptops will display on an external monitor without you having to do anything. E.g. some Acer models.
The alternative is available on any computer running Windows 95 and up.
If your video adapter can display on more than one monitor (display), Windows often only enables one display by default when you have two connected.
For 95 thru XP ....
RIGHT click on a blank part of your default desktop screen , choose Properties - goes to Display Properties.
Click on the Settings tab.
There should be two monitor (display) screens there.
Hold your cursor over each screen.
One will say "Not Active" (or Disabled, or similar) .
RIGHT click on that display, click on Attached.
(I presently do not have a second display attached - if there is something there where you can Enable the display, or similar, click on that.)
Click on OK at the bottom of the Display Properties window.
Once Windows has been set to enable more than one display, it will retain that situation as long as the cable to the external display is still connected while Windows is running.
If you unplug the cable to the external display and boot Windows at least once with that cable disconnected, Windows will revert to enabling only the built in display again
For your sound...
The headphones jack on laptops and netbooks has a mechanical switch inside of it. It's supposed to disable the sound from going to the speakers built into the laptop whenever you plug a plug (on a cord) into the headphones jack.
If you have plugged into the headphones jack a lot, it's common for that mechanical switch to malfunction. You could try plugging a plug into the headphones jack, wiggling it, then pulling it out, that may get one or both speakers working, but the only real solution is to replace the headphones jack - that's an item frequently replaced by laptop repair places.
OR - you could make do by plugging amplified speakers into the headphones jack.
- you must have the onboard sound enabled in the bios Setup, if there's a setting for that
- XP doesn't have the drivers built in for most things that first came out after XP was first released, circa 2001, and it doesn't have some of the drivers built in for things made before that.
Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, or from a brand name provided operating system re-installation disk, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for your system, especially the main chipset drivers.
- you usually must install the sound software, for the right sound chipset. The right software is available on the maker of the laptop's web site in the software downloads for your specific model.
- you must install the right sound software the right way.
Sound and video "drivers" always have associated files that must be installed properly along with the actual drivers. If you install only the actual drivers, it's likely the device will NOT work properly.
Unless the instructions for installing a device tell you otherwise....
(this ALWAYS applies to video and sound adapters )
You DO NOT install drivers for a device while booting into Windows, if the software for the device has not been installed yet - when Windows detects a generic device or New Hardware while booting, you allow it to search for drivers, it doesn't find any, and it wants you to show it the location of the drivers - CANCEL that, continue on to the desktop, and install the software for the device using the proper installation from a CD or the proper installation file that you downloaded from the web.
The same applies no matter when Windows finds New Hardware !
If you DID install drivers that way,
(The following also applies if you want to un-install previous software, or re-install the same software)
- for video "drivers"....
- go to Control Panel - Classic View - Add/Remove Programs and Un-install the software you installed, reboot, DO NOT install drivers while booting, let the desktop screen fully load.
Install the video software properly by running the proper download you got from the web, or if you have the CD that came with the video card that's in a slot, or if you have the CD that came with the brand name computer that has the Drivers on it, run the video software installation from the installation program on that.
for sound adapter drivers...
- go to Control Panel - Classic View - Add/Remove Programs and Un-install the software you installed, reboot, DO NOT install drivers while booting.
- go to Device Manager.
(e.g. RIGHT click on My Computer - Properties - Hardware - Device Manager)
If the sound adapter is still listed, RIGHT click on it and Un-install it.
If that was there, and you un-installed it, Reboot at least once.
DO NOT install drivers while booting.
Install the sound software properly by running the proper download you got from the web, or if you have the CD that came with the sound card, or if you have the CD that came with the brand name computer that has the Drivers on it, run the sound software installation from the installation program on that.