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 Post subject: Connecting a PC Tower to a Laptop for its Monitor
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 3:13 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon May 05, 2014 3:43 pm
Posts: 1
Hello everyone, non-hardware-tech-savvy person here,

I recently came into the possession of a few HP xw4600 Workstation towers that were decommissioned from use in a local library. What I'm trying to do is to set one up with some software and run it as an in-house server (which is what I'm assuming they were used for in the library). The only thing is, they have no video card or at least any visible video output. What I was thinking (but having no idea how to go about doing) is to use my laptop's monitor as a way to be able to see what's going on inside the pc tower. Failing that possible simplicity, is there a way to control the tower from my laptop instead? Not sure if these questions are properly describing what help I'm asking for, but if anyone has any ideas, please let me know!

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Connecting a PC Tower to a Laptop for its Monitor
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 1:43 pm 
Team Member Top 250
Team Member Top 250

Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 9:05 am
Posts: 538
Location: Sittin' downtown at the railway station, one toke over the line.
Umm, looks like you need a video card. I think there're ways to do it without graphics using a network connection, but that's gonna be way more complicated (unless somebody else here knows more about it than I do, which seems likely). If you're just going to use it as a server get the cheapest PCIe video card you can find. If you don't have a monitor to hook up to it (at least temporarily) you could use your laptop if it has a video in. Once you can see what's going on then you can set up whatever remote tool you want. Windows built-in Remote Desktop, TeamViewer, etc. Then you can just leave it running, doesn't have to have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, just a network connection.


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 Post subject: Re: Connecting a PC Tower to a Laptop for its Monitor
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 3:04 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5208
The only way you can access a server without a monitor is to log in remotely as suggested, which I recommend TeamViewer since Microsoft's Remote Desktop is a headache to figure out (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't). Of course, this requires actually getting into the computer, so have to get a spare video card or some other video output device, like a USB dongle that spits out VGA. You'll also want to make sure TeamViewer automatically starts with Windows, because the server will restart itself with updates or whatnot.

However, if you want a monitor for it, you have to use a desktop one. Laptop monitors use a different signaling than desktop ones, so you can't even jerry rig something.


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 Post subject: Re: Connecting a PC Tower to a Laptop for its Monitor
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 3:38 pm 
Thunderbird
Thunderbird
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Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:17 pm
Posts: 841
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Wow, if you got those for free, nice find!

Uses a PCIe x16 slot for video. Part out $43 for a 6450? [This one is fanless, has a 5 yr warranty and uses 18W max. on the +12V rail] You can get lesser rez for around $30 or a refurb. Or use an old card if you have it.

Same with a monitor, use an old one or buy a cheapie.

You don't really care about much since you won't use video much.

You can also try a thrift/second hand store or swap meet/yard sale.

drivers

Might not want to update the BIOS however without a backup. Weird huh?


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 Post subject: Re: Connecting a PC Tower to a Laptop for its Monitor
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 11:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:09 pm
Posts: 565
^^ What they said. Buy a graphics card and monitor if needed. Configure a PC, remove card, and move to next one. Then you can have all set up for SSH or whatever (Teamviewer, I think).


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