Is it OK to hot-swap my DVI external monitor?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by kingofkolt, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. kingofkolt macrumors 6502

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    May 2, 2007
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    Boston, MA
    #1
    Is it OK to unplug my external monitor from my MacBook Pro's DVI port while my computer is still on? I've heard from some places that it's as safe as unplugging from a USB or Firewire port, and from other places that it could fry my video card. Anyone know?
     
  2. devman macrumors 65816

    devman

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    AU
    #2
    I don't know the official answer but I do it all the time without any problems and have done for 3-4 years across several different Mac laptops.
     
  3. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #3
    There is a reason you screw it in. So it doesn't fall out when the computer is on.

    If it was designed to be hot swappable, they would make it easier to do. Basically monitors and graphics card are not designed to be swapped around while the computer is on.

    Edit :
    Not recommended, but if it works it works. I certainly wouldn't advice people do it though.
     
  4. kingofkolt thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I also used to hot-swap my monitor out of my old laptop, but that was only when it was old and I didn't really care about it that much anymore :D (This was in my Dell days.) But thanks for the answers and I suppose I'll play it safe and not hot-swap it.
     
  5. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #5
    Sorry, but that's one of the weakest lines of reasoning I've heard in a while. Saying it's not safe to "hot swap" monitors is a load of crap. Mac OS X is designed to detected screens being plugged in while the machine is running, just like any USB or FireWire device. The reason they have screws on them (as opposed to USB cables, for example) is because video cables are much heavier and would have a tendency to fall out, and yeah you don't want that to happen because it would be dammed inconvenient. Not dangerous. Yeah, you're not supposed to unseat a graphics card from a computer while it's running any more than you're supposed to unseat the CPU, but unplugging a monitor is no different than unplugging a USB keyboard or a set of speakers.

    In my office we all use PowerBooks/Macbook Pros and have monitors at our desks, and we're plugging and unplugging them constantly every day to take our laptops to meetings or home at the end of the day. The only risk might be a physical one to the pins themselves, which can occur no matter if the computer is on or off. If you're shutting down your machine just to plug in or unplug a monitor, you're wasting a hell of a lot of time for no reason. I wish people would stop fear-mongering about things they know nothing about. "Basically monitors and graphics card are not designed to be swapped around while the computer is on." I'd love to know from what "professional" this "recommendation" came from that you're not supposed to swap monitors with the computer on. And no, lawyers doing CYA don't count.
     
  6. vandlism macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #6
    Just going to note here that the computers with mini-DVI (MacBook and iMac) don't use screws on the plug. I hot swap all the time when I am on the go. No issues. Try that one on windows...
     
  7. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    #7
    I've done it a few times, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing it too frequently.

    Just shell out the £50 (or local currency) or so on a decent kvm switch
     
  8. kingofkolt thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 2, 2007
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    Boston, MA
    #8
    I really am confounded by people like you. What about Cromulent's post made you so defensive? Your post is one of the most bizarre I've read in a while. "Fear-mongering"? This isn't some political discussion about the Iraq war, bro. It's about whether it's OK to unplug a screen with your computer on. Cromulent never tried to suggest that his recommendation came from a professional. Even if he is wrong, I am really bewildered by how insulted you seem by his "fear-mongering."

    It's strange what sets some people off...

    Yeah, that's what I did on my Dell with Windows and it worked fine. But again, I don't know that it was necessarily a good idea to have done it, but it didn't cause problems that I was aware of.
     
  9. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    Indianapolis, IN
    #9
    Nothing set me off, I was just pointing out that it was a load of crap. Which it was. I think you're reading too much into my post. Yeah, OK, "fear-mongering" was probably the wrong term, but I think it illustrated what I was getting at: people making stuff up just to, I don't know, sound authoritative? Or for some reason scare you into shutting down your machine every time you want to plug in a monitor when there's no reason to? I just don't care for posts like that. You think I sounded over the edge, fine whatever.
     
  10. darthonrumors macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    #10
    Hot swapping with my MBP

    Dear All,

    Very interested to read all of the above (or below), as I was curious too...

    PART 1.
    I've had my MBP (17" 3Gb 100Gb7200rpm) for about 12 months, and have been hot-swapping my Dell 24" DVI monitor most of that time. Trouble is... When I'm out and about with my MBP in my car, I've found it to be very unstable and crashing quite a lot - not coming out of sleep etc. and getting the slow descending grey curtain, and message that my only option was to hold the power button and re-start the computer!

    I thought this was due to Airport jumping in and out of the very edges of wi-fi networks as I was moving with the Mac running, or a memory stick not seated 100% - but turns out it was not these.

    For the last few weeks (as a test) I've not used the external monitor when at home - just relying on the MBP screen, i.e. not hot-swapping at all - and I've not crashed once!!

    PART 2.
    Last night I came across an article about the stupidly long time MBs and MBPs take to go into, and out of, sleep! Mine is one of these and it's always longest when you're in a rush! Now my Mac drops into sleep and the press of a button (all puns intended ;-)

    http://www.windley.com/archives/2007/10/fixing_macbook_pro_sleep_problems.shtml

    I'm going to start hot-swapping again now I've made this change to the OS and see if it stays stable!!!!!! I shall report back...


    Regard, darth :apple:
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #11
    The MB and MBPs don't take a long time to wake from sleep. Apparently, you don't use Windows.

    The MB and MBP use a different sleep mechanism than the old PowerBooks. Today, when a MB or MBP go to sleep, it backs up all your current tasks to both your RAM and your harddisk. That way, if you're on battery power, and you don't connect to an AC adapter for a long time (a week?), then even if your laptop runs out of battery (ie: the RAM loses all data), you can resume the work you were doing before because it'll be transferred from your harddisk and back into your RAM so that you can resume work.

    On old PowerBooks, which did go to sleep quickly, it would save all your current tasks to RAM only. If the laptop battery ran out of power, the RAM would just get shut off with the rest of the system, and the tasks you were doing before would be lost entirely. When you tried to wake from sleep, you'd essentially be rebooting.


    If you want to boot up quickly because you're 100% sure you'll reach a powerpoint between 1 or 2 days of unplugging your laptop, or you don't care about resuming your work, then go into Terminal and type in:



    Stick.
    His ass.
    It's stuck.

    Use your imagination.
     
  12. balofagus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #12
    Thanks, the sleep thing has noticeably bothered me since the day I got my MBP. I thought there was something wrong when my iBook G4 could awake faster. Being away from power is a non-issue for me so this is probably the best thing I've learned all day :).
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #13
    I get flashes of brilliance sometimes.

    But most of the time.......um....... :(
     
  14. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #14
    I usually put my notebook to sleep then unplug the display.
     

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