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Old Nov 3, 2012, 07:31 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2012
make external display primary display when macbook display no longer works


My old macbook's display no longer works, although I think my hard drive etc is in tact. I want to retrieve all my files from my macbook and so want to view my mac through an external, secondary screen so that I can put all my stuff on to my external hard drive. I therefore want to make the external screen the primary display, but I cannot do this through system preferences because in order to do this I need to be able to log on to my mac and go to system preferences, but I can't see the screen to be able to do this.

A friend suggested that I connect my mac to the external screen and only then turn my mac on. This way, my macbook will choose the tv screen as the primary display, rather than the mac screen. I tried this and it seemed to work, but I didn't have time to start transferring files etc, so I left it until now. Now, when I try this is no longer works and the screen that shows on the tv screen is the blank screen that you would ordinarily drag windows from your mac over to. Do you see my problem? Not sure if I explained that all very well, cheers in advance for your advice

Many thanks

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Old Nov 3, 2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Close the lid of the MacBook while having at least an external USB mouse (and keyboard, though that is not necessary unless you need to input characters), wait till it sleeps and press a mouse button (or key) and use the MacBook in Clamshell mode, thus only the external screen is being used.

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