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What to do with a notebook that has a dead LCD?

Recently, my Sony VAIO PCG-748's LCD monitor is flicking away. While flickering, it creates a buzzing sound much like a loose lightbulb filament. It seems that the LCD will die rather soon. So, I've been contemplating what I could do with this notebook computer after the LCD dies.

Although this Sony VAIO PCG-748 is a rather slow computer, it still runs Windows XP rather well. And with the advancement of remote computing, accessing it remotely through is now a cakewalk. Maybe it's time this notebook becomes one of my minion computers; doing chores in the background while I access it remotely from other computers.

You can do the same with your notebook computer, which the LCD monitor has died, or even if it hasn't. In fact, it's a good idea to turn on the Remote Desktop service before the LCD dies. This document will show you how to set it up for remote computing. This article assumes that your computer is already connected via the network.

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Enabling Remote Desktop

The first thing to do is to enable Remote Desktop. First, click on the "Start" button. Then right click on "My Computer". Select "Properties" to bring up the "System Properties" dialog box. Click on the "Remote" tab. Now, check the box that says, "Allow users to connect remotely to this computer. Finally, click the "OK" button to finish.

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Dead LCD?

What if you've come across this page because your laptop is already dead? And now you can enable Remote Desktop, because you can't see what you are doing on your notebook computer?

Good thing that there are a few other ways to interface with your computer so that you can enable Remote Desktop. The easiest way, if your laptop has an external monitor connector, then you can plug in a monitor temporarily and use it to turn on Remote Desktop. Another way, that is more involved, is to pull out the hard drive from the notebook, boot it up on another computer to turn on the Remote Desktop, then plug it back into the notebook. In both cases, you'll have to refer your laptop's manual as the instructions for performing these tasks are beyond the scope of this article.

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Setting up a Remote Login User

In order to remote login to your computer, your user account must have a password. If your user login has a password, then this step is done and you don't have to do anything. But if your user account do not have a password associated to it, you have two options: 1) add a password to your existing user account; or 2) create a new password protected account specifically for logging in remotely.

You can add a password to your account or add a new user through the "User Accounts" in "Control Panel". You'll need administration privileges in order to change user settings. If you own your computer and is the only user, then you probably is part of the administration group.

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Remote Login

To log in to your notebook computer, your remote computer must have a Remote Desktop client. Microsoft Windows XP comes with a software called "Remoted Desktop Connection" to do just that. If you are on a computer running Linux, you can install and use the free "rdesktop" open source client software.

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