I'm an idiot (new i7 mac mini cable issue)

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by pwrtrader, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. pwrtrader macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2005
    Sigh...this is why I just needed an updated iMac.

    Had my brand spanking new i7 8GB 256SSD mini waiting for me after work yesterday. The plan was to utilize my dying Late 2009 27" iMac as the display using target display mode and to prepare for that, I purchased a mini display port to mini display port cable.

    Problem is the new mini doesn't have a mini display port (I know, my bad, hence the idiot part). I thought I had it covered after reading Apple's website describing the cable needed.

    I ended up connecting the mini to my 60" Panasonic plasma tv using an HDMI cable to get things set up. Was actually pretty surprised to see how well the image looked.

    Now I have to wait for the HDMI to mini display port cable to arrive and I'm not 100% sure that's going to work either.

    I think I also will need two keyboards to toggle the imac in and out of target display mode.....

    Probably will just need to get a dedicated monitor.

    Honestly, I'm usually pretty good with this stuff...I think I'm losing my edge.
  2. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    Not just you. Apple dropped the ball when TB3 came out and they decided not to sell adapters to support older equipment. They tell you to go to 3rd party to attach mdp monitors like the LED Cinema Displays.
  3. FearGhost macrumors regular


    Apr 4, 2011
    Cambridge, UK
    I had a similar issue to you. Picked up a new Mac mini yesterday to replace my aging 2012 Mac mini server which was hooked up to an Apple Cinema Display 27" via Mini Display Port.

    Today I received a USB-C to MDP adapter from Amazon and it's running a treat. Volume and brightness adjustment keys work fine and the image is perfect. I opted for one of the more expensive adapters with good reviews before purchase.
  4. pwrtrader thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2005
    Thanks for the replies.

    Well, the HDMI to mini display port cable doesn't work either so now I'm 0 for 2 trying to figure out this target display mode. I'm also out money buying cables that I don't really need.

    I could go FearGhost's method and buy an USB-C to MDP adapter, but I'm not entirely sure that would work with the Late 2009 iMac anyway and I'd be out another $20-30 trying to troubleshoot.

    Besides, the whole setup is wonky to begin with. Assuming I'm following the right steps, I would first need to fire up my iMac, then connect the cable from the Mac mini to the iMac's MDP, then disconnects the keyboard from the iMac (I only have one keyboard) and connect the keyboard to the mini, then fire up the Mac mini and log in as per the Apple instructions (with presumably no monitor yet to the mini to see the password) , again disconnect the keyboard from the mini and plug back into the iMac, press Command-F2 while connected to the iMac. Disconnect the keyboard again from the iMac and reconnect to mini in order to use keyboard.

    The more I think about it, I'm not sure what the value of Target Display Mode is. It certainly not for ease of use, since it appears I would need at a minimum 2 keyboards and an extra monitor to see the mini's initial login information. At which point, I would have what I need (monitor and keyboard) for the mini.

    Definitely not the simple apple elegance that we've come to expect from the Mac line.

    At the end of the day, it looks like I'm going to end up scraping the old iMac anyway. Kind of sad since the 27" monitor is pretty nice, but the iMacs graphics card is shot to hell.

  5. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    Are you sure that you got an HDMI to mDP cable? What I've seen are mDP to HDMI and are not reversible.
  6. metrocon macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2004
    I'm considering the same setup, swapping my old Mac Pro for a new Mini and hooking it up to my Cinema Display. What USB-C to MDP adapter did you purchase?
  7. pwrtrader thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2005
    You're right. See I told you guys I was losing my edge. I ordered the Amazon Basics Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Cable.

    I just assumed they were bi-directional. Makes sense now. LOL, now I have 2 useless cables.

    Think I'm going to call it a day and just get another monitor. I like the Dell curved monitor, but 34 may be too big.

  8. grandM macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2013
    Perhaps first ask here or at apple which cable will work for sure
  9. FearGhost macrumors regular


    Apr 4, 2011
    Cambridge, UK
    I bought the 'Nonda NDMDBKAMZ USB-C To Mini Display Port Adapter' from Amazon UK. It is designed to be used with MacBook Pro's and has a right angle connector but I have just covered the HDMI port with it. Works flawlessly!

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8 November 8, 2018