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  1. #1
    Boot Directly to external monitor - no operating system

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    Boot Directly to external monitor - no operating system
    Trying to fix a Macbook Pro 15" mid 2010.
    Unfortunately the display as graphical issues and is just alternating black and white vertical bands at all times. The system has had its hard drive removed by previous owner who was using it with an external monitor.

    I would like to do the same (or even fix the LCD at some point) unfortunately, I cant find a way to send the video signal to my external monitor at boot so I can install macOS from a boot drive onto the new SSD I have.

    Tried so far....
    1. Command F1 when 1st booting... no output
    2. Plugged in external monitor and USB keyboard, powered on and closed the lid then tapped the USB keyboard... no output
    3. disconnected the video ribon cable inside the machine hoping it would recognize no display and automatically send it to the external port... no display.

    Not sure what to do next to get the signal out the machine when first turning on.

    I have a Macbook Pro retina Late 2013 - if I install Macos (Sierra) to an external hard drive of that machine and transfer the drive into the 2010 - would that work or will I just get lots of Kernel Panics?

    Any thoughts and Ideas welcome.

  2. #2
    Boot Directly to external monitor - no operating system
    chscag's Avatar
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    Welcome to our forums.

    The display may be okay. It sounds like the problem might be with the graphics chip in that machine. That particular machine was known for its graphic problems so much so that Apple had a special repair program for it where they would replace the logic board for free. That special repair has long since expired.

    If the graphics chipset in that machine is defective it won't matter if you can get it to display to an external monitor.

  3. #3
    Boot Directly to external monitor - no operating system

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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    If the graphics chipset in that machine is defective it won't matter if you can get it to display to an external monitor.
    I've seen it working with an external monitor before I bought it so I know it can output to one without issues. I'm also given to understand you can switch between the dedicated GPU and on board video output... just need to get an operating system on it.

  4. #4
    Boot Directly to external monitor - no operating system

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  5. #5
    Boot Directly to external monitor - no operating system
    chscag's Avatar
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    I'm also given to understand you can switch between the dedicated GPU and on board video output... just need to get an operating system on it.
    While that's true, (nvidia and Intel HD graphics) the GPU could still be defective. You really should test that built in display if possible. The display cables could also be bad.

    The reason why I'm mentioning those to you is that we rarely if ever see the LCD go bad on a MacBook Pro. It is possible of course but that usually occurs if the machine was dropped or bumped real hard or had a bad liquid spill on the LCD.

    Have you tried Target Disk Mode since you have another Mac you could use?

  6. #6
    Boot Directly to external monitor - no operating system
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    Quote Originally Posted by Postal View Post
    2. Plugged in external monitor and USB keyboard, powered on and closed the lid then tapped the USB keyboard... no output
    After connecting an external monitor and assuming:

    * The proper video port adapter is being used.
    * Both the video port adapter & video cable to the external monitor are good.
    * And the external monitor is fully functional.

    ...then at least the MacBook Pro's deskop should appear on the external monitor.

    If you're getting nothing on the external monitor...then there could definitely be an issue with the graphics hardware in the MacBook Pro.

    Also...don't forget to have the MacBook Pro plugged in when using an external monitor. Sometimes Apple portable computers will not allow you to use an external monitor unless the computer is plugged in (not allowed to use an external monitor while on battery power).

    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

  7. #7
    Boot Directly to external monitor - no operating system

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    Thx guys... cant remember if I had the power attached so will try that. I also have a 2009 Mackbook 13" so may try putting that hard drive in and hope it boots so I can get something on the screen to work from.

    I've seen lots of videos on re-flowing the solder on the main board by popping in the oven @ 425 F for 7 mins.... any thoughts if that's worth trying at some point if I want to try and fix the onboard graphics.

    let you know how I get on with the top bit.

  8. #8
    Boot Directly to external monitor - no operating system

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    So for those with a similar issue here are some observations (& assumptions) now that I have it sending the signal to an external monitor:

    1. Seems the boot process needs to be quite far along before it will accept the Command F1 to send it to the external monitor - as mentioned, I didn't have a working boot disk so I guess it never reached that stage - plus the fact that I couldn't see the laptop screen to see what was happening. I think I assumed that as on a windows MOBO the signal would be output to the external monitor as soon as the laptop was turned on - like the windows BIOS info etc.. seems not to be the case.

    2. To get working, I created a high Sierra USB install disk and then created a fresh copy of Sierra on an external SSD that was attached to my Macbook Pro Late 2013 machine. This SSD was then put into the 2010 machine and hey presto after 30 sec it output to the external monitor. None of the Kernel crashes I expected to see occured and it recognized all the components CPU, GPU , non retina display etc. without issue.

    Next thing I would like to figure is if I can disable the Nvidia GPU and try the Intel HD graphics to see if its the GPU or the LCD - can this be done... and if it can, can it be made permanent? I don't need a dedicated GPU for what I'm doing.

    thank you all for the input... hope the above helps someone else with a similar issue.

  9. #9
    Boot Directly to external monitor - no operating system
    chscag's Avatar
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    Try this free app to shut off the nvidia chipset:

    gfxCardStatus by cody krieger

  10. #10
    Boot Directly to external monitor - no operating system
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Postal View Post
    I also have a 2009 Mackbook 13" so may try putting that hard drive in and hope it boots so I can get something on the screen to work from.
    This may or may not work. Firstly assuming the OS installed on the 2010 MBP is compatible with the 2009 MacBook Pro. Secondly...sometimes the macOS installed on a specific model Apple computer can be tailored to that model...thus it may or may not work in a 2nd different model Apple computer.

    But this is a great idea to try...give it a shot. You could also install the 2010 MBP drive into an external drive housing...and boot from it externally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Postal View Post
    I've seen lots of videos on re-flowing the solder on the main board by popping in the oven @ 425 F for 7 mins.... any thoughts if that's worth trying at some point if I want to try and fix the onboard graphics.
    Very very risky. You could definitely turn this logic board into scrap. For every successful video like this on You Tube...there should also be the 100 or more unsuccessful videos...where this was unsuccessful (for a variety of reasons).

    Remember...when you stick a logic board into the oven @425F...not only will the solder connections liquify for the GPU...ALL the solder connections on the logic board will liquify. If the logic board is not perfectly level...liquified solder could run into areas you don't want it to go. But this is only one parameter to be concerned about. This is why there are multi-thousand dollar pieces of equipment out there to do this delicate work.

    - 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

  11. #11
    Boot Directly to external monitor - no operating system

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    Yes it worked but using a high Sierra install to an external drive from a late 2013 Macbook pro.

    I am also weary of the oven trick so I'll pull the board and just check some of the other issues that I've read about - dodgy capacitors etc..etc.. and maybe try a hot air rework on the GPU if I feel brave.

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