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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Pro - Late 2008 MacBook Pro, External Display Won't Come Back On After Screen Shuts Off

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Member Since: Nov 06, 2008
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RocketMan85 is on a distinguished road

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Hello all!

I have a brand new 15" MBP (the 2.53GHz model) that arrived earlier this week. So far, it has been great, except for one problem. I have an external monitor (20" ViewSonic VX2025wm) that is connected to my MBP via the mini-DVI port (using a standard mini-DVI to DVI adapter). It all works great...until the screens power off after 10 minutes (the time I set in System Prefs -- the screen saver kicks in after 5 mins). When I move the mouse (or press a key or whatever) to use my computer after this point, the main display of the MBP comes back to life as usual, but the external monitor does not. The only way to get a picture back on the external monitor is to unplug the external monitor, wait a few seconds, then plug it back in. Then it's as good as new.

However, when this problem occurs, the external monitor is still receiving a signal. It just has no picture. Occasionally it will flicker, sometimes showing the correct image for about half a second. It acts as if there is a loose connection, however all connections are tight and secure. The only way to fix it is, as I mentioned before, to unplug the monitor from the MBP and plug it back in.

There is nothing majorly wrong with the external monitor. I have been using it for quite sometime with my late 2006 2.16GHz MBP's DVI output. Just to be sure, I reconnected it to another computer and it works flawlessly. The issue is clearly with either the new MBP, the mini-DVI to DVI adapter, or some way in which the external monitor is interpreting the signal. Considering that the external monitor appears to still be receiving a signal, but displays no image, leads me to think the problem is with the MBP.

All software updates are currently installed. Suggestions?
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Have you tried it in both modes? (mirror and extended desktop) And, does the external monitor display in its native resolution when it comes on?

Also, have you tested it in clamshell mode? (you'll need an external keyboard and mouse)

Since the machine is new, if it continues giving you problems with intermittent video to the external monitor, you might consider taking it on in to Apple and have them look at it. It could be a graphics card defect.

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I have the same problem, but can add the following...

Until upgrading late October 08 to an aluminum MacBook, I had a black MacBook (but the same external monitors and the same version of OS X), and did not experience any such problem.

As soon as I upgraded my machine to the new MacBook, I found that frequently when the laptop put the screen into power save, the screen would either 1) not awake (though the laptop would---rendering most windows inaccessible since they were "displayed" on a blank external monitor), or 2) would awake into a nasty state with flashing randomized black and white pixels.

In both cases the solution was just to unplug and replug the mini-port-to-DVI adapter. This has the annoying side affect of reorganizing my windows.

Any further insight into this problem would be appreciated.

As far as I can discern, it is not particularly dependent on the external monitor (I routinely experience it with two different monitors at home and work), and is particular to the Aluminum MacBook (since the problem only arose when I moved over from a black macbook, even with the same OS X version).
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It turns out that this is pretty comprehensively discussed here:

Apple - Support - Discussions - New MacBook connected to external VGA ...

A possible fix here:

MacBook, MacBook Pro Software Update 1.2

And a promise of a fix here:

AppleInsider | Apple trimming notebook orders; plans fixes for new models
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