Thanks for the response and a great find in what worked for another.
I tried that, but no luck. I then remembered there is an Intel HD Graphics Control Panel icon in the system tray. I tried that as well. It seemed like it wanted to work, it identified the Dell U3011 I was connecting, and the Dell would stop displaying no HDMI cable connecting, the primary screen would in "duplicate" resize to a smaller resolution or in secondary only would go black, but the Dell monitor would just be black as well.
I'm more curious now, so I did save the original Windows 7 hard drive intact, so I removed my Windows 8 SSD and installed the Windows 7 drive and tested the monitors. Windows 7 finds the monitor and display about the same behavior as Windows 8. In duplicate or secondary monitor, the Dell stays lit up, (powered on), the computer finds the Dell and lists it as a second monitor but displays black screen only. Plugging and unplugging the HDMI cable, which I tested again on my desktop and it works, the computer finds or releases the Dell monitor like it's supposed to. The only problem is the screen is black?
So the problem is not Windows 8 per se. No what to try? Hmm?
I decided to try the plug in simultaneous to Windows + P with Windows 7 like in the link you provided. Badda Bing, it brought up a bad image, but an image. I wiggled the cable a touch and it cleared up. I repeated a number of times and it cleared up and displayed 1920x1200 resolution from the laptop in "Projector Only" perfectly.
I put the Windows 8 SSD back in, and it now worked too. I'm thinking the HDMI port on the laptop was dirty. Plugging the cable in and out so many times cleaned it enough to work and now it works like it's supposed to.
Now the question is there a better way to clean the HDMI port on the laptop?
Thanks for the sparks in diagnosing the problem. I also like the Windows + P method of switching monitors rather than right clicking on the desktop and selecting screen resolution. Way easier.
Thanks again. I guess I'll post a question how to clean the HDMI port on the laptop next.