These instructions tell you how to fix the most common causes of this symptom:
Enable the external monitor port on your ThinkPad computer Projectors usually connect to the external monitor port, which must be enabled before any image will be sent to the projector.
Press and hold the Fn key (located in the lower left-hand corner of your keyboard), then press the F7 key. (This combination of keys is known as "Fn+F7".) Each time you press the Fn+F7 key combination, you will cycle your display through the following settings:
Your ThinkPad LCD screen only
Your external monitor port only
Both the ThinkPad LCD screen and the external VGA port
Wait a few seconds each time you press Fn+F7 to let the projector refresh or "perfect" its image.
Cycle through the display settings using Fn+F7 until you reach the setting you desire.
"Waking up" the projector Some projectors have power-saving states similar to a computer's sleep mode. Usually there is a button on top of your projector to enable or disable this state. Consult your projector's documentation if you need to "wake up" your projector.
Using Presentation Director A great way to ensure that your projector is optimized for your presentation is to use a software program called Presentation Director, which is probably already installed on your ThinkPad computer. Presentation Director lets you set up a profile that will enable the external monitor port for your projector with one click of a button. You can use Presentation Director to optimize you computer for presentations (by doing things such as setting the display resolution and turning off the screen saver), then you can save your settings in a profile and apply them at any time.
Usually this problem occurs when your ThinkPad computer's display properties are set to a resolution that your projector does not support. Similar to your ThinkPad LCD display, your projector has an optimal resolution with which it works best. Consult your projector's documentation to find this optimal resolution and set your computer's display properties accordingly.
Set the display properties on your ThinkPad computer
For Windows 2000, click Start, select Settings, and then click Control Panel. Double-click Display. For Windows XP, click Start, and then click Control Panel. Click Appearance and Themes and then click Display.
Click the Settings tab. There will be a slider bar on the right side of the window.
Use the slider bar to change your video resolution. Check your projector's documentation to find its optimal resolution. Once you find your projector's optimal resolution, you can save that setting in a profile using Presentation Director.
Note: Remember to change your settings back after your presentation (or use Presentation Director, which may use a profile to disable and reset them automatically) or you may waste battery power unintentionally.
Resetting your projector will fix most other problems.
Unplug the projector from your computer.
After ten seconds, plug the projector back in.
Set the display resolution on your computer to the projector's optimal resolution (for more information, see Setting the display properties on your ThinkPad computer). Your projector should work properly now. Note: Your projector may have a slower refresh rate than your ThinkPad LCD does. As a result, your projector may take longer to display the image than your ThinkPad computer does.