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. 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.

  1. Connect your computer to both the audio and video cable* 
    Vga cable with audio.png
  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 VGA button on the touch panel and this will automatically bring down the screen and turn on the projector. In some of our older classrooms, you need to press Power ON, then press Video Projector and press ON and finally press Comp Source => Laptop. Each classroom has a blue binder with 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 can control the sound volume levels from the touch panel.
  5. 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).
  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 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. Check if the Mac display menu icon.png (Displays) icon is on the top of your screen.
    If this icon is missing, click on the apple icon on the top left corner of the screen and click System Preferences. The System Preferences window opens. Click Displays. On the bottom of the window, place a checkmark next to the text Show displays in menu bar. Close the Color LCD window.
  2. Click the Mac display menu icon.png (Displays) icon on the top of your screen. This will activate the display options menu:
    Mac os x display settings menu recommended settings.png
  3. Click Detect Displays - this will force your computer to re-scan for all available displays and projectors.
  4. Click Turn On Mirroring - this will show the same picture on both your computer and the projector.
  5. Select 1024x768 under Color LCD. Your Mac will automatically adjust the rest of the settings. 

    NOTE: The steps above need to be completed just once for each projector that you use. Once setup correctly, your Mac will remember the correct settings permanently and you won't need to perform these steps every time you use the same projector. 

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.
  • 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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