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The external display on my macbook is covered with colorful digital snow?

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Periodically, when waking up, or coming back on after turning off the display, my external monitor attached to my Macbook pro will be filled with a colorful digital snow. Kind of like when a TV has no signal. Except, sometimes I can see through the snow to some details. Sometimes there's almost no snow at all, and I can use it for a couple of minutes before noticing. Other times, it completely covers the screen.

Usually, unplugging the mini display port then plugging it back in will fix the problem. But, sometimes it won't. The mini display uses an adapter to DVI. Originally I thought it was a kink in the cable or something, but fussing with the cable doesn't ever seem to have any kind of affect on the picture.

I don't think that it's the display because it's pretty much new and didn't ever seem to have these kinds of problems when it was attached to my PC before. Could it be something to do with the adapter? Maybe it's something else completely? anyone have any ideas?
 
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To add to the perplexity, restarting my notebook resolved the problem for right now. The issue must be in the notebook somehow.
 
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Me Too

I just had the same snow problem that you described. At first I thought it was some sort of screen saver. The computer had been on with the monitor off overnight and when I turned the monitor on, I saw the snow. The monitor I'm using has never displayed snow before when used with any other computer. It's as if the mini was sending voltage without any real information to the monitor. Pressing keyboard keys would not make the snow go away. I put the computer to sleep and woke it up again, and the problem was gone.

Weird. Also, it would make for a pretty cool screen saver.
 
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Sometimes this happens when i put the computer to sleep while using parallels... i think it has to do with the graphics card not being 'turned on' properly. You shouldn't worry about it.
 
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I find that I often get the wrong screen res too afterwards. By turning the external monitor off and on, it does the trick for me.
 
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Happens to me periodically with my external. As a data point, it's an Acer 23" LCD. Usually unplugging/plugging it back in rectifies it. Though I plug in/plug out every weekday when I go to work and then come home. I think there's some bug in how MacOS X detects that you've plugged it in. Sometimes happens after the display wakes up after a period of inactivity. Kind of annoying because I can't see if I'm in the password dialog after waking up, so I'm typing blindly.
 
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Acer 23" for me too. And I'm on 10.5.8 so nothing snow leopard related. It only really happens when i plug in in an unusual order.
 
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I work for a company and we exclusively use Apple's. We have seen this issue on multiple versions of the Macbook Pro (Intel based) 2008 and 2009 models. Apple has not been able to address it for us as of yet. We are using Snow Leopard on the most current rev and it occurred in prior revs as well. We are using varies models of Samsung displays. If anyone comes up with something please post since it is annoying.
 
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