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  1. #1
    only use external display with macbook

    Member Since
    Jun 05, 2010
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    only use external display with macbook
    I have a macbook with a shot internal screen, I took it out and am now using it only with an external display, the problem I am having is that it will run fine just after I install snow leopard but as soon as I reboot the external display will only show the desktop for a split second every couple of minutes as if it's trying to run off the absent internal display. Is there a way to set the external display as the main display so I can reboot my computer?

  2. #2
    only use external display with macbook
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '11 1.8 i7 4GB 10.10; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.10; 5s & 5c
    System Preferences - Displays - on the appearance tab you'll see a small window with two monitors in it. Drag the white bar at the top of one monitor to the other one to make it the primary.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  3. #3
    only use external display with macbook

    Member Since
    May 30, 2010
    Posts
    5
    To get to the Display preference pane as bobtomay suggests without being able to see anything, try control-clicking on the desktop, select "change desktop background". You'll have to navigate to the phantom screen and guess to drag the main preference pane over. Use the pane open on your external monitor as a guide. Just go directly left (or right) of the top for a few inches of mouse movement and click-drag.

    Alternatively, if you had screen-sharing already set up, you could just VNC in and control it from there.

  4. #4
    only use external display with macbook

    Member Since
    Jun 05, 2010
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    "System Preferences - Displays - on the appearance tab you'll see a small window with two monitors in it"
    there is no appearance tab

  5. #5
    only use external display with macbook
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,209
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '11 1.8 i7 4GB 10.10; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.10; 5s & 5c
    jham hit it on the nose. The appearance tab will be on the pref pane for the MB screen, not the pref pane for the external.

    If you're using extended mode rather than mirroring, you're going to need to try and drag that window from the defunct screen.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  6. #6
    only use external display with macbook

    Member Since
    Jun 05, 2010
    Posts
    31
    the motherboard screen isn't even plugged in, as far as I can tell the comp thinks that the external display is the mb display until it is rebooted, is there any way of setting it to mirrored display without the appearance tab?

  7. #7
    only use external display with macbook
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,209
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '11 1.8 i7 4GB 10.10; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.10; 5s & 5c
    ?? I've never used a headless Mac, only notebooks... and with the screen attached.

    Need someone to help with more experience repairing or with older machines than I.

    So this is just really a bump for you.

    I would remove and re-insert the cable - even if it looks good, or try another.
    Maybe boot the machine, wait for 30 seconds or so and then turn on the monitor.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

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