[ubuntu] VAIO VGN-FW21E external monitor

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http://ubuntuforums.org – I'm having some issues connecting an external monitor to my laptop using the vga cable. If I plug the cable in while the system is running, the system grinds to a near halt. If I attempt to use Preferences>Display to detect the additional display, the app locks up and I am forced to close it manually. If I plug in the display when the computer is off and boot, the monitor works after a fashion however the resolution is wrong and cannot be altered using the display preferences. (Edit: I get the same issue as above with the display dialogue locking up). I'm using the most recent distribution of Ubuntu. I'm a bit of a linux nub so apologies if I have not included any information which will be required to assist. Any help is appreciated :) (Hardware)