HDMI output seems dead - any other way to have two monitors?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by noisedude, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. noisedude macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #1
    My 2012 mini usually outputs to two monitors - one for work and one for making work less boring with Netflix. One's connected via the HDMI output and the other from mini DisplayPort through an HDMI adaptor.

    The one connected to the HDMI out is mostly not working now. System only sees one screen, monitor sees no incoming signal. Sometimes it works after a reboot but then at an arbitrary point it goes off again.

    I've switched monitors and cables in every combination and narrowed it down to either the HDMI port itself or something in the OS since installing Sierra. A blank copy of Sierra on an external drive makes no difference though.

    So is there any other way of having my two screens running again?

    I was hoping a mini DisplayPort to 2x independent HDMI splitter adaptor existed but it doesn't seem to; only for mirroring or only for Windows machines.
     
  2. twalk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #2
    USB monitors are probably your only chance. Not many choices there, mostly AOC / ASUS. They tend to be more expensive and lower quality screens, but they're portable. 1080p is about the max resolution
     
  3. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #3
    Just a thought, have you reset your display and the Mini's NVRAM? Resetting the latter always unborks my 2012 Mini Server that's connected to my display. Also, check the tightness of the connection - some of my cables slip out, and some of them are quite snug.
     
  4. Dr Charter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #4
    I had a MacBook Air connected to two monitors using a method that should work for your Mini. Here was how I did it: Mini to Thunderbolt hub. I plugged one monitor into the hub's HDMI port. The hub alone could not drive two monitors but I also had a Little Big Disk Thunderbolt drive and was able to daisy chain a second monitor to it with a mini-displayport adapter. Both worked flawlessly. It's a lot of stuff to buy but I'm not sure how much those older Thunderbolt 1 peripherals cost.
     
  5. noisedude thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #5
    Oh, that sucks - your last point was the winner. As I waggle the HDMI cable in the socket, the monitor briefly wakes up from standby, but not for long enough to start displaying anything. But if it's anything more than a bit of dirt in the port, is that a logic board issue, not something I can fix?
     
  6. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #6
    I'd offer switching to a different brand of cable. I've got 4-5 laying around, the cables that shipped with the device (e.g., DVD player) and one aftermarket brand are all "loose". The cables that I've switched to are, surprisingly, the Amazon Basics cables (the ones with Ethernet) - they're snug, but not tight. I rotate my displays regularly, and found my cables popping out of the HDMI ports :mad:, and ordered a few different brands from Amazon and found the Amazon Basics cable worked best - it's the brand I pretty much use on all of my PCs/Macs (I've got around 50 in my offices). I make sure a decent set of cables are in my presentation go bag, and there's a 1m/2m/3m Amazon HDMI cable in there. I hope it helps, I'd been there with HDMI cables.
     
  7. noisedude thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #7
    Thanks. I'll investigate this. Some compressed air spray didn't help and there's no obvious damage to the port itself under torch and magnifying glass. But it's definitely looser than some other sockets on my screens and MacBook.
     
  8. noisedude thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #8
    Well I've tried every HDMI cable I can find - and the Amazon Basics ones are indeed very snug - but no joy.

    Guess my mini has begun to wear out. If only there was an updated, upgraded version I could buy to replace it....
     
  9. MC6800 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    #9
    It could be a cracked solder joint between the connector and the logic board. My 2011 MBP has similar symptoms with the TB connector and pushing on the cable sideways in one direction sometimes temporarily "fixes" it. You might get lucky and find that you can put a rubber band or something on it to maintain the tension. Or get it repaired, of course.
     
  10. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #10
    Not done with you yet, OP! Before you investigate hardware issues (but don't stop budgeting for a new Mini yet!). There's two SW tasks yet to try.

    I have posted here, last year sometime, that it appears that Apple started "cracking down" on display connections and compliance. With compliant display cables, my Dell and BenQ displays have more built-in features today than when I bought them. Ditto my HDMI-connected displays.

    On the above note, there's one more bit you should attend to IMHO that might be gumming up your works - also mentioned by me in these forums when I discovered what was happening with my non-compliant DP cables and started using SwitchResX before I educated myself - I own/run a small company with 50+ engineers and you'd be surprised how whiny they can be when things don't work right. My strong recommendation to you here is to delete the DisplayID override data associated with your displays - these are the profiles that tell your Mac what your display's settings are; look up EDID for a bit of background, DisplayID is EDID's evolution. There's an "override" for each of your displays relative to each port their connected to - a profile is created for a display connected via HDMI and another profile is created for that same display connected via mDP. The DisplayID profiles are located in the
    /System/Library/Displays/Contents/Resources/Overrides/ directory, with many defaults set up by Apple. OS X/macOS creates a new folder within the Overrides directory for each vendor not in Apple's "list" - for instance, my Dell displays settings are in a "DisplayVendorID-10ac" folder, with profiles for each of the Dell displays I connect to. I deleted the entire contents of the Overrides directory - with my displays connected, then restarted my Mac - OS X/macOS rebuilds the relevant contents of the Overrides directory. You'll literally start with a clean slate…

    In your OP you indicated that neither device connected via HDMI are seeing each other. Have you tried the "Detect Displays" command, which has been hidden by Apple since Mavericks. Connect the Mini and displays as you normally would, I always restart the Mac at this point, open the Displays Pref Pane, hold down the Option Key, and the Detect Displays command button appears. This command sometimes fixes display issues as you're describing. Nope, I have no idea why Apple tucked this command away…

    Option (no pun intended!) two is a bit more in-depth but easy to accomplish. I move to my 3 offices regularly with my rMBP in tow (my Mini Server stays at my home office, but it's connected to one of my two displays via HDMI while my rMBP is connected to that same display via mDP and another display via mDP). The routine - provided to me a couple of years ago by Apple Support:
    Power down the Mac
    Disconnect the HDMI cable from the Mac and display and wait about 10 seconds
    Reconnect the HDMI cable to both devices
    Using a direct-connected keyboard (BT keyboards don't work here), while holding down the Option Key, simultaneously power on the Mac AND press Command+F1 (I think this keyboard combination was first used with the Ti Macbook Pro (I used it on my 17" laptop to toggle video display modes for external displays between extended and mirroring modes).
    Optional: Depending on how you connect to your network, you may see a icon of your hard drive and a dropdown asking for you to choose your wifi network (I connect via ethernet most of the time, so this isn't an issue for me. If you do not see this startup screen, start the process over again.

    Your second screen should now be detected. Not done yet. Restart your Mac.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 31, 2017 ---
    Also, besides replacing the logic board, the two other options are checking out multiple display solutions by Matrox and signing up to be a Developer and buying one of their nifty eGPUs (which I'm considering for my Mini!). Cheers!
     
  11. noisedude thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #11
    Thank you. There's 22 folders and nearly 400 files in that overrides folder! But I can't seem to delete them - any good way to do this without booting from an external drive?

    I'll bring a USB keyboard home from the office tomorrow to try option 2 with.
     
  12. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #12
    Missed this as it wasn't a quoted reply, no worries.

    Implied, but not assumed on my part is that you'll need to disable SIP, then reenable it when you've removed the overrides, then rebooted. Also, I keep a copy of the entire directory (dragging it to the Desktop or Downloads folder).

    http://www.macworld.com/article/298...ystem-integrity-protection-in-el-capitan.html
     

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