How to configure a monitor before connecting it?

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http://superuser.com – The screen on my brother's laptop (running Windows 7) is cracked and completely unusable. He was going to use one of the extra VGA monitors we have until he can get it repaired or replaced, but the monitor does not become the 'primary' monitor when connected--his desktop (and the monitor settings window) are still on the laptop's screen. He's been using the TV in my room, as it uses HDMI and does become the primary monitor when connected, but that's not a very practical solution. And we have no other HDMI monitors. And the laptop won't run the VGA monitor and the TV at the same time (it just (HowTos)