any way to get Mid-2011 Mac Mini to use HDMI by default?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MarcNBarrett, May 25, 2019.

  1. MarcNBarrett macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2017
    First of all, I am not a "newbie" to Macs at all. I've been using Macs of various types for about 30 years, including making Hackintoshes. I am a newbie to recent Mac models, though. My main area of expertise by far is Linux, and I had never before used a Mac newer than a Core 2 Duo model.

    I recently purchased a Mac Mini Mid-2011 model used, so I could consolidate some of my mom's old writings. She recently passed away, and preferred to do her writings on Macs. She was using a Core 2 Duo Mac Mini, which stopped working. Is there any way to get this thing to use the HDMI port by default instead of the thunderbolt port? I had a multipurpose mini displayport adapter (which I've been using with a Surface Pro), but lost it in a recent move.

    I have tried various HDMI monitors and TV sets around the house, and when I connect the Mac Mini via HDMI, I just get a blank screen. I assume I am in a catch-22 here, that I need to hook it up to a monitor using the thuinderbolt/mini displayport connector and go into preferences to tell it to use the HDMI connector. But I can't do that because I have no adapter to use that port.

    I tried booting into safe mode, no go.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    My 2011 mini has issues with some newer HDMI cables, but on macOS there’s no way to specify which video output to use, it should just detect which port is in use. It sounds like it may be the cables that are your issue too.
    With that said, if you just want the data off her Mac, grab a FireWire 800 cable, plug a USB keyboard into her Mac, and hold T then power it up. It’ll boot to target disk mode. Connect FireWire and you can access her files that way.
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    As Mr_Brightside_@ says, the mini will detect the port in use, so your issue might also be with the destination TV or monitor.
    A TV may have menu settings, so you might try that to properly detect an HDMI connection from a computer.
    Be sure to try a different HDMI cable.
    Restart your mini after connecting the HDMI cable to a TV. That should not be necessary, but worth a restart if it works.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "She was using a Core 2 Duo Mac Mini, which stopped working."

    This suggests that the problem could be "elsewhere", rather than the type of cable used between the Mini and the display.

    The "target disk mode" trick as mentioned above might work.

    If you have a monitor with a displayport connection, I'd suggest a thunderbolt-to-displayport cable. They're cheap.

    Last resort:
    Open the Mini, take the internal drive OUT, and connect it to another Mac and see if it mounts on the desktop.
  5. haralds macrumors 6502a


    Jan 3, 2014
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I use both a monitor with HDMI cable & connector or an HDMI dongle running headless on a mid 2011. No problem. Thunderbolt is in use for a USB3/eSata adapter.

    It could be the cable or the HDMI version on your monitor causing the Mac not recognizing it.

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4 May 25, 2019