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  1. #1
    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?

    Member Since
    Nov 09, 2010
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    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?
    Yesterday my screen was all white, i hooked up the external connection to my projector and i saw the desktop, with my laptop screen still white. I thought there might be a loose connection or something so i started to wiggle the screen open and close (about 4-5 inches in movement) and then all of sudden the computer turned off.

    I tried to turn it back on but it would start up, the fans would kick on and then 2 seconds later turn off without chiming.

    Today i took the laptop appart and removed the screen, i tried powering on the laptop without the screen and it chimes and stays on, i tried hooking up external projector but the image is just black and it looks like the laptop did not start to boot. I hooked the screen back in and the computer did not chime again (did not pass post).

    So my question is: can i use the macbook pro without the screen attached or does something need to be connected in order for the laptop to function.


    Sorry for the long write up.

  2. #2
    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    You could try "Clamshell Mode":

    Apple Portables: How to use your computer in closed clamshell (display closed) mode with an external display

    I'm not 100% sure though if you initially need access to your laptops display to do initial setup.

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3
    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?

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    Nov 09, 2010
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    so nobody knows if you can run the macbook pro with out the screen? Does anyone know if i might be able to purchase just the cable that connects the lcd to the motherboard, because i think that is where the problem is.

  4. #4
    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by alivak View Post
    so nobody knows if you can run the macbook pro with out the screen? Does anyone know if i might be able to purchase just the cable that connects the lcd to the motherboard, because i think that is where the problem is.
    Did you try what I suggested?...at least posting if it helped or didn't help...may help others help you!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5
    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?

    Member Since
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    i tried it and no dice, same thing with nothing coming up, the projector goes black like its getting a signal but the computer doesnt actually start booting.

  6. #6
    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by alivak View Post
    i tried it and no dice, same thing with nothing coming up, the projector goes black like its getting a signal but the computer doesnt actually start booting.
    Thanks for your answer. You said that when you hooked up this projector (before you removed the laptops display) you saw the desktop. The when you removed the laptops display...you got nothing on the projector.

    What I would recommend (other than replacing the laptops display)...is reinstall the laptops display. Here's the deal. I know with some Mac computers...the built in display (for laptops & iMacs) needs to be hooked up (even if it's not working properly) before the external display abilities will work properly.

    This is why you got the desktop on the external projector when the laptops display was attached...and you didn't get anything on the projector after you removed the laptops display. So reinstall the laptops display so you get something on the external projector.

    What I recommend is...reinstall the laptops display...then try following the "Clamshell Mode" instructions I linked above...and maybe things will work out.

    Good luck,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  7. #7
    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?

    Member Since
    Nov 09, 2010
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    Thanks for your reply.

    The macbook turns off after 2 seconds with the built-in screen plugged in so, almost like its protecting itself and it does not chime. The cable connecting the screen to the motherboard is a little mangled looking and i was thinking i could probably just change out the cable. I just dont know where to get one.

  8. #8
    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by alivak View Post
    Thanks for your reply.

    The macbook turns off after 2 seconds with the built-in screen plugged in so, almost like its protecting itself and it does not chime. The cable connecting the screen to the motherboard is a little mangled looking and i was thinking i could probably just change out the cable. I just dont know where to get one.
    I'm not exactly sure where you are located (which country)...or what the exact model is of your Macbook/Macbook Pro...but you could try these guys for the cable:

    iFixit: The free repair manual

    Hopefully they have it. It's possible the cable may only come as part of an "assembly"...such as an entire replacement display (hopefully not)...which would be more expensive.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  9. #9
    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?

    Member Since
    Jan 09, 2012
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    bump- I'd like to run my MBP w/o display... like a byok&m set up w/ speakers
    Hey there all- long time reader/searcher "first time caller." sorry to only have just created my account to make this, my first post

    I saw this thread and thought it resembled enough of my own questions.

    I'm looking to remove a failing display and just use my MBP on it's own [high res, too. shame. only 1.5 years old.]

    The concept has the MBP running properly w/o a display as the first step... and thats what seems to be unresolved here. If it WERE possible, I'd like to set it up first with an external display & initiate control of a MacMini I have running, pump all audio back out to the MBP and have a sweet lil remote speaker/input device. End product feels like an Apple keyboard on steroids. Second, I'd love to then tunnel back into the MBP and initiate "remote-ish" activity and provide alternative processing power.

    I've seen mods of laptops stuffed into keyboards and this concept just seems cut out all the modding [kinda?? maybe?? please!!]

    Seems all too crazy.... but all too reasonable all at the same time.


    Thoughts? If so, pls pm me. I'm already Eyeing a few broken MBP's to start playing with.


  10. #10
    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?

    Member Since
    Jan 17, 2013
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    Just to revive this thread. I have a MBP with a dead screen also. I can get it to boot without a panel, but how the hell do I login? How can I click my username without seeing where the cursor is?

    At least then I should be able to access my ITunes over the network.

    Problem 2: how to enable Remote Desktop?

  11. #11
    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammo View Post
    Just to revive this thread. I have a MBP with a dead screen also. I can get it to boot without a panel, but how the hell do I login? How can I click my username without seeing where the cursor is?
    Have you taken the time to read the thread you revived?...the answer is there!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  12. #12
    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?

    Member Since
    Jan 17, 2013
    Posts
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    Perhaps I should clarify, there is no video feed on the main panel at all. Nor on the external thunderbolt connector. Even with the panel disconnected internally. There is no possible way to get any video feed at any point. I'm quite sure the ATI chip is fried.

    So I cannot follow the instructions for clamshell mode, if that is what you mean. Or have u misunderstood?

    At least in Windows I could tab, or ctrl-alt-del to get past the login screen.

  13. #13
    Can the macbook pro run without a screen?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jammo View Post
    Perhaps I should clarify, there is no video feed on the main panel at all. Nor on the external thunderbolt connector.

    I'm quite sure the ATI chip is fried.
    This is a MUCH different situation that what you described in your earlier post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jammo View Post
    I have a MBP with a dead screen also. I can get it to boot without a panel, but how the hell do I login? How can I click my username without seeing where the cursor is?
    Saying in your 1st post that you have a "dead screen"...and then in your 2nd post that the "ATI chip is fried"...is like saying the windshield on my car is cracked vs. the engine is dead.

    Also...how do you know that the computer has successfully booted without any visual way to confirm this??

    The Windows example you mentioned is not logical either. If the graphics hardware on a computer is fried...then there is no way to get a video signal internally (via the built in display)...or externally (via an external monitor).

    The bottom line is (if the graphics hardware is fried)...you need a new logic board (very expensive). If you need access to your computers files...the way I would do it is:

    - remove the computers hard drive
    - install the HD in an external case
    - plug this into the USB port of a 2nd computer
    - now you have access to your files

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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