Installing Leopard using external monitor from MacBook

Discussion in 'macOS' started by redaxe, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. redaxe macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2007
    Hi all,
    So I'm in a unique situation. I'm upgrading my Tiger Macbook that has a broken screen (only top 1/3rd is visible) to Leopard. The problem is, the Leopard installer runs on the primary display so I can't see the installer properly. I've tried blind clicking to no avail. I was wondering if there is anyway to use the Leopard installer with an external screen? I've searched the internet to no avail and was wondering if I could get a definitive answer for this problem. I've just ordered a new screen for the Macbook and am going to try to DIY replace it. Please help me solve this. Thanks.
  2. redaxe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2007
  3. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    See for a possible solution - you would have to experiment with the timing.

    Quoted from the website in case it goes away:
    ==Begin Quote

    How to install Leopard on a Apple laptop with a broken LCD:

    I used an external monitor which required me to purchase a mini DVI to VGA adapter ($19 at Best Buy) in order to connect to my old CRT. Once I booted the computer to the Leopard DVD the Apple display drivers would load and default to the primary and broken LCD therefore I could not read any of the installation instructions. The trick is to close the top of the computer as soon as you power on the laptop in order to cause the Apple drivers to default to the external monitor. This method works every time but only after too much time spent with trial and error figuring it out.

    Posted by Barley at 11/25/2007 10:03:00 AM

    == End Quote (credit goes to Barley, the author)
  4. MasterDev macrumors 65816

    Sep 14, 2009
    Sorry to bring up an old thread, but it's better than starting a new one.

    I'm having the same issue as the OP, but this method isn't working for me.

    Any other suggestions on how to go about this other than replacing the LCD?

    Below is what I'm dealing with - A late 2006 MBP 2.0GHz
  5. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    It is definitely possible to use the installer on a different screen. I recently installed Snow Leopard with my MBP in clamshell mode using my 30" external display.

    To run in clamshell mode you need:

    1. Have the power cord connected (at least mine won't wake up otherwise for some reason)
    2. Have the Macbook in sleep
    3. Have an external keyboard and mouse connected.
    4. Have the Macbook lid closed

    Now you can wake it up in clamshell mode by pressing any key on the keyboard or mouse.
  6. sharksandwich macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2008
    Similar situation: Late 2007 Macbook Pro, broken screen, brand new empty hard drive, and wanting to install snow leopard. I found a different solution from the ones mentioned above - I didn't want to operate in clamshell mode because I run very cpu/heat-heavy apps.

    I am planning to replace the LCD myself, so I had already disassembled the laptop, including the screen and its housing. If you simply unplug the cable from the back of the screen itself, then boot, and press F7 after the snow leopard dvd has completely loaded after boot-up (wait a few minutes), the computer should recognize the external monitor as the primary, and you're good to go.

    Not sure about the long-term affects of this solution, but should get you by until you can replace the screen, or at least get to a point where you can tell OSX to use the external as the primary monitor.

    Hope that helps; let me know if you need more info or a pic

  7. kevingill macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2012
    Disconnecting the internal laptop display connector worked for me

    I too tried the external monitor and clamshell mode, but this still didn't work.
    In the end I disconnected the display connector from the logic board.
    Booting with an external monitor works straight away and I was able to select the reinstallation disk.
    Thank you for all the posts covering this issue. I've now been able to resurrect a dead laptop!

Share This Page