Projecting from your Laptop Computer

This is a very general document designed to guide you to a successful session of projecting your laptop onto a classroom projection screen or flatscreen TV. It is critical to the success of projecting a computer image that you follow this procedure in the order outlined below. Note that if you have a Mac computer, you will need the appropriate VGA video adapter, which you can look-up at go/macadapter.

Brief outline of the process

  1. Connect your computer to both the audio and video cable* or use the HDMI cable. Make sure to bring an adapter if your computer does not have one of these two standard connections.  
    Vga cable with audio.png HDMIcable.jpg
  2. Activate the touch panel by pressing on it using a deliberate press (rather than a light or hard tap). 
  3. In most classrooms, you simply need to press the Laptop button or the HDMI button on the touch panel and this will automatically bring down the screen and turn on the projector (or TV). Each classroom has a set of printed instructions, indicating the exact procedure for turning on the system.
  4. Start your computer and log in to it. The computer's image should display on the projection screen. You may need to use one of the keyboard shortcuts below to tell your computer to connect to the screen:
    1. PC: Press Windows + P and select Duplicate
    2. Mac: Press Command + F1
  5. You can control the volume levels from the touch panel. Make sure your computer and your software volume is turned up.
  6. If there is no audio or if the audio is coming out of the computer's speakers instead of the room sound system, make sure your cable is connected in the proper port. If you are using HDMI, you may need to tell your laptop to output audio on the correct port:
    1. Mac: In System Preferences, select Sound. Click the Output tab and then select the HDMI device from the list (may be listed as Extron, Crestron or Sharp, depending on what your laptop sees).
    2. PC: Right-click the sound icon in the lower right corner. Click Playback devices. Right-click HDMI and select Set As Default (instead of HDMI you may see Extron, Crestron or Sharp).
  7. When you are finished, please shutdown the system and return the room to its former condition.

Note: It is important that everything is turned off to protect the integrity of the system and extend the life of the electronic equipment.

Projection from your iOS device (iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch)

Please see the iOS Projection page at go/iosprojection.

What to do if Your Computer doesn't project

What to do if Your Windows Computer Doesn’t Project

  1. If you have a Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer: Press and hold the Windows key + P (or click on the start button, type Projector and click on Connect to Projector). In the window that appears select Duplicate.
  2. If you have an XP computer: Press and hold Fn+F8. The key labeled Fn is in the lower left corner of the keyboard and the function key labeled F8 is on the top of the keyboard.
    This will work on most Dell computers (check your manual for other brands) and will also work if you are connecting to a TV rather than a projector.
  3. If the projected image is displaying your wallpaper and nothing else, try pressing the Fn+F8 keys again. Each time you press Fn+F8 a different mode is selected. There are normally three display modes available; laptop display only, laptop and projected image, or projected image only. Please be aware that switching between modes can take a few seconds to occur.
  4. Should the projected image be off-color, blue or yellow tint, ensure the video cable is firmly connected.
  5. If the problem persists, right-click on the desktop.
    - If you see an NVidia option, follow the instructions in the NVIDIA Control Panel Settings section below.
    - If you see Graphic Options choose Output To -> Clone Displays -> Built-in Display + Monitor (or Digital Television if you are using HDMI)
    - if you see an Intel option, follow the instructions at go/intel - How to enable Intel dual display clone mode.
  6. If the projected image is cut off on the sides or bottom, set the resolution to 1024 x 768.
    - To set your resolution in Vista or Windows 7: Right-click on the desktop and choose Screen Resolution.
    - To set your resolution in XP: Right-click on the desktop, click Properties, click the Settings tab.
    More detailed instructions for changing the resolution are availble for XP at go/xpresolution and Vista/7 at go/resolution
  7. If this does not correct the problem, be sure the audio and video cables are connected correctly and then reboot.
NVIDIA Control Panel Settings

If you have a newer Dell laptop (such as the D630 or E6400) and you are having trouble projecting:

  1. Right-click the desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel from the pop-up menu. The NVIDIA Control Panel dialog box opens.
    NOTE: The first time another dialog box will open – select Standard and then click OK.
  2. On the Select Task pane on the left, under Display select Set up multiple displays or Change display options.
  3. Select The same on both displays (clone).
  4. Click Apply.
  5. Click Yes to save the changes.

If the problem persists, shutdown your computer, wait a few seconds and power it on. For further troubleshooting instructions, please see go/troubleshootmore.

What to do if Your Macintosh Computer Doesn’t Project Properly

  1. Push Command-F2 to detect displays
  2. Push Command-F1 to toggle between video mirroring and extended desktop

It is a known issue that sometimes the keyboard shortcuts do not work. If that is the case, you can access the settings by following the steps below.

  1. Click on the Apple icon at the top left of your screen, click on System Preferences, click on Displays.
  2. A small window will appear. If your computer is recognizing that there is an external display there will be three tabs at the top of the window, Display, Arrangement, and Color. If your computer does not recognize an external monitor there will only be two tabs, Display and Color. There will be a Detect Display button (press the option key if you don't see this). Click on this button, the third arrangement tab should appear.
  3. If you see the background image of your computer on the screen but none of your desktop icons, it means your computer is set to extended display. You will need to click the Arrangement tab and at the bottom on the left is a small box, click this box to mirror displays.
  4. If you still do not have projection or if the image is not displayed correctly, you might need to lower the resolution. Under the Display tab select 1024x768 60Hz. If you don't see a list of resolutions, click on Scaled.
    1. About choosing a resolution: Many of our newer classrooms have a high definition projector or TV but we still have standard projectors in older classrooms and the highest resolution they can handle is 1024x768. If it is a newer classroom you can increase the resolution a little at a time to figure out what the projector or TV can handle such as 1280x720 or 1280x1024 and 60 Hertz should always be chosen. Because the display on your laptop has a HD resolution and the projector does not, it will alter the resolution on your laptop screen while it is connected to the projector. It will revert to its native resolution when you disconnect.

If the problem persists, shutdown your computer, wait a few seconds and power it back on. For more detailed and problem-specific troubleshooting instructions, please visit go/troubleshootmore

What To Do If The Projected Image Does Not Look As It Should

  • If the screen has no image, or the image is off-center or the color of the desktop image is not what is expected, touch  Auto Pixel Adjustment on the Computer control page on the touch panel. If the problem persists, follow the instructions above: What to do if Your Computer doesn't project.
  • If the classroom you are using does not have the Auto Pixel Adjustment option, then this function is automatically performed by the projection system and the problem may stem from the computer, follow the instructions above: What to do if Your Computer doesn't project.
  • Always ensure that the video cable is firmly connected to your computer. A loose video cable will usually produce an off-color or distorted image.
  • Image appears out of proportion: If the image appears out of proportion (e.g. what is a circle looks more like an elipse), check if the touch panel has an aspect ratio button on the side. All classrooms where there is an HDMI cable can support two aspect ratios: Standard (4:3) and Widescreen (16:10). Pressing the aspect ratio will toggle between the two aspect ratios and should resolve the issue. If it does not, try changing your computer's resolution to 1024x768 (for a 4:3 aspect ratio) or 1280x800 (if you'd like to project in widescreen). Note that most laptops provided by Middlebury College are widescreen but can also project in 1024x768.
  • PowerPoint problems? If the PowerPoint screen on your computer does not match what you see on the screen, PowerPoint may be in Presenter View mode. To turn off Presenter View, click the Slideshow tab and click Mirror Displays. See PowerPoint Presenter View for more information.

What to do if Your Computer Can't Access the Network

What To Do If Your Windows Computer Can’t Access The Network

TCP/IP based services (such as web access), require your laptop to have an IP address which it gets by querying Middlebury’s DHCP server during startup. The server gives the querying computer a set of configuration parameters valid for the location of the computer called a lease, which it can use for a set period of time. When the lease expires, the Windows computer requests a new lease.

When you move a laptop with a valid lease from one sub-network to another it will not request new data from the server and the data may be invalid for your new location. For instance, in McCardell Bicentennial Hall, each floor is in a different subnet and computers must have different configuration parameters. So you should perform the following procedure whenever you move your computer from one location to another even if you think you have not changed sub-networks.

  1. Start button.PNG and select Run from the pop-up menu.  The Run dialog box will open.
  2. In the Open field, type cmd
  3. Click OK button.PNG. The black command window dialog box opens.
  4. Release and renew IP information:
    1. At the prompt, type ipconfig /release and press Key Enter.PNG.
    2. At the prompt, type ipconfig /renew and press Key Enter.PNG.
    3. At the prompt, type exit and press Key Enter.PNG. The cmd.com dialog box closes.

What To Do If Your Macintosh OS X Computer Can’t Access The Network

  1. Click the System Preferences icon on the Dock. The System Preferences dialog box opens.
  2. Click Network.PNG. The Network control panel opens.
  3. From the Show drop-down list, select Built-in Ethernet.
  4. Click Renew DHCP lease.PNG.
  5. Close the System Preferences dialog box.


  •  Depending upon which smart classroom you are in the cables might emerge from a lectern, from an equipment rack, or from a metal box in the floor.

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