Force HDMI as primary display? Prefrences do not work for boot.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Albert Siegel, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. Albert Siegel, Oct 21, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014

    Albert Siegel macrumors newbie

    Albert Siegel

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Location:
    Tokyo
    #1
    Hi, I know this might be a long post, so I'll split it up. I'll write my issue as a short at first and I'll also write as many details for those of you interested after.

    I just bought a 2011 Mac mini server to replace my Late 2009 Mac mini as my main computer.

    I can't seem to get the HDMI to work as the primary display on boot for a dual monitor setup. I've already tried through the system preferences, but that only works after boot. Is there anyway to make HDMI work as default boot display on a dual monitor setup with firmware or something?


    -- The details --


    With the 2009 mini, I've always used a 24" Acer B243HL connected through the Mini-DVI port with official Apple adapter and a LG L1942T connected through through the Mini DisplayPort with a third-party mDP to VGA adapter. With this setup, the monitor connected to the Mini-DVI port has always been the primary display and always worked without issue.

    Now I have the same setup with the 2011 mini. I've moved my ram and SSD over and connected in the same with with the exception being that I am now using the Apple DVI to HDMI as there is no Mini-DVI port.

    When I booted this for the very first time, the HDMI port acted as the primary display at boot. My first boot was to load my USB install of Yosemite. Once at the install option, I missed the disk format and so I did a reboot by the Apple menu. After this, the Thunderbolt VGA connected monitor became the primary boot display for some reason.

    I then installed the OS and tried to set it in the system preferences by dragging the menu bar. This only sets it after boot up, not at first Apple logo. The other issue with this is the Apple logo would no longer show up. Sometimes I had trouble even being shown the boot option screen unless only one display is plugged in. Eventually, this was solved with the solution at the end of this post.

    I tried different connection configurations and this is where things got strange. At first, it would always boot to the display port. Then I tried to switch the monitors and the boot screen would always be on the LG no matter the port. I then tried my wife's monitor, which has a direct HDMI input, with the LG as second. Again, the LG would always be boot screen. I thought the adapter might be an issue, so I bought an original Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI and have that a try.

    At first, I connected the LG to the Thunderbolt port with the new Apple to DVI adapter and again it was the boot display. I then switched it to the HDMI port and placed the Acer on the Thunderbolt and again the LG was boot from the HDMI port. Finally, I tried this...

    I connected the LG with a normal DVI cable to the HDMI port with the Apple supplied adapter. I then connected the Acer with a DVI to HDMI cable, plugged into a HDMI to DVI cable, plugged into the Apple brand DVI to DisplayPort adapter and finally I was able to get the Acer to be the boot screen though I would rather it be on the HDMI port.

    Now, I know I could just leave it as is since it's working as I want more or less. I have the Acer as boot and the LG ad second, but they are in the opposite ports that I want them in. This is such a strange problem that I have never heard of. I spent more hours than I care to admit looking into this on this forum and google with no luck. Is there any way to force the HDMI port to be the main boot screen? This computer has done it only twice, but the vast majority of the time the Thunderbolt port is the boot screen. Is there someway to manually force it in the firmware? Has anyone even seen this issue?
     
  2. Albert Siegel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Albert Siegel

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Location:
    Tokyo
    #2
    I also have a quick question for those of you who do dual display... Which port is your Apple logo boot screen working from?
     

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