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Thread: Display issues

  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jul 25, 2011
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    Display issues
    Hi,
    I am running an older tower on a new apple 21" display. We've gotten everything to work swimmingly for the past few weeks. However...

    Today I went to click on "display" in system preferences and as I did the entire display monitor went to black. There is a thin white line on top of the display as well. I imagine that I must have double clicked on the "display" icon and without intention selected a display mode that has resulted in said issues.

    As I cannot see any of the display, I am wondering if there is a way to resort back to a default display mode by way of quick keys, or any other method to troubleshooting this problem.

    Thanks so much for any help or direction,
    Mike

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    You didn't mention anything about which Mac you're using or what version of OS X, but try restarting your machine in Safe boot mode and reset the display from there.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jul 25, 2011
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    Sorry about that chscag,

    Its software version 10.4.11
    The safe mode boot worked beautifully, but I am having issues with resetting the display settings and having them stick when I reboot it normally. Any tricks of the trade that I may be unaware of?

    Thanks, Mike

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    What happens to the display resolution when you boot back in normal mode?

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jul 25, 2011
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    it goes completely black, with the exception of a thin horizontal white line that appears at the very top of the screen. I believe it shows a small piece of the toolbar.

  6. #6

    EvenStranger's Avatar
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    Currently 13" Late 2010 MBA, 4GB/128GB; Early 2011 13" MBP, dual core i7 2.7ghz, 4gb ram, 500gb hd
    Reset the PRAM on the Mac. Boot while holding Command-Option-P-R and letting unit chime 2-3 times before releasing. That should reset the video settings to the default.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jul 25, 2011
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    Well, this did reset the video settings... but it reset everything as well.
    I had OS X 10.4.11 and now the system has dropped back to 10.2.8
    I lost all of my adobe products, etc...

    Is there any way to get this back???
    Mike

  8. #8

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Do you by chance have two partitions set up one with 10.4.11 and one with 10.2.8? If so you should be able to go into System Preferences to the Startup pane and chose the disk/partition with 10.4. Then close the pane and reboot.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Jul 25, 2011
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    Thanks Slydude,
    You were spot on. I switched over to 10.4.11 and restarted.
    However, with running 10.4.11 I am still experiencing the black display issues.
    Any other thoughts?
    Mike

  10. #10

    Slydude's Avatar
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    I wonder if something hasn't changed the refresh rate or resolution of the monitor in your Displays preference pane. I would bet refresh rate. If it looks OK in 10.2.8 the same refresh settings should work in 10.4.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Jul 25, 2011
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    Thanks Slydude,
    I am just wondering how I could reset the refresh rate when the screen will only display black while in 10.4

  12. #12

    Slydude's Avatar
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    You might want to have a look at the suggestions in Apple computers: Troubleshooting issues with video on internal or external displays. It gives some troubleshooting steps that might help. Some of the steps you have already done. The important thing is that in the external monitor section it describes which preference files might be causing a problem. If you can either Safe Boot or boot to 10.2 you should be able to get to those files, delete them and restart.

    Another thought occurred to me. When you reset the PRAM the machine reboots to 10.2 correct? Use the startup pref pane in 10.2 to make the 10.4 disk the startup disk before rebooting. I think that will work.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  13. #13


    Member Since
    Jul 25, 2011
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    Thanks for the help everyone. The collective effort proved successful. If you're interested in the fix, here it is.

    Selecting the correct display resolution (1920 x 1200) in safe mode and restarting the computer was not working correctly. It would result in the same black screen being displayed that I had endured before.

    For a reason beyond me, and maybe it will make sense to one of you, this worked:

    In safe mode I selected the display resolution (1600 x 1000) which is same length to width ratio as the 1920 x 1200. It dumbed down the display, was fuzzy but eligible. I then restarted the computer, and it came up in 1600 x 1000 resolution. That was fine, because before all I was getting was a black screen. I then just went to system preferences and changed it back to the higher 1920 x 1200 resolution.

    Thanks again for all of the troubleshooting help,
    you all are too generous - Mike

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