Issue with display mirroring on a PowerBook G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by KawaiiAurora, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. KawaiiAurora macrumors 6502


    Dec 16, 2016
    Hey everybody,
    I have a lil issue when monitoring the display of my Powerbook G4 to a VGA monitor via a DVI-VGA adapter. First of all, when I connect the adapter, the display works immediately without any issues and I can easily mirror the display by flipping on a switch in the Settings application.

    Since I'm using this laptop for the PPC challenge, I decided it to take it down to where I have my main computer setup in which I use a Windows laptop (whose screen I turn off) with a monitor and a keyboard/mouse. Now, with the Powerbook, I can mirror its display but I can't turn it off while using the monitor so I don't waste possible performance and VRAM by having an extra display on.

    I tried closing the lid and the computer went into sleep mode. I pressed a button on the external keyboard and the external display sprang back to life BUT animations were unbearably slow so something must not working properly. Can anyone help me disable the monitor of the PowerBook while keeping the monitor on with animations that don't drive me nuts? :)

    The GPU in it is a Geforce 4 MX and the issue happens on both Tiger and Leopard.

  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I am not familiar with the way you are attempting to screen mirror.

    However, what you wish to accomplish is called 'Clamshell mode'. It is easily achievable using the already dedicated hardware key on your keyboard. But it's not actually screen mirroring, it tells the Mac to shift the primary display from the internal screen to an external screen. That's what you want to accomplish instead of mirroring.

    With the external display connected turn off mirroring and close System Preferences.

    On the Mac's keyboard, press F7. You may notice two little rectangles on that key. That's the icon for display shifting. Doing this will shut off the internal display and shift it to the external.

    You can shut the lid and the Mac will now function as normal, i.e., as if you were using a desktop.
  3. amagichnich macrumors 6502


    Feb 3, 2017
    Stuttgart, Germany
    One easy solution could be to set up the external monitor as primary output and then try the clamshell mode again.
    If this doesn't work out you might want to resize the partition, do a clean install and try it with that. If the problem still exists it is a hardware related problem.
    As OS X is a unix based system there should be a command similar to verbose boot mode that allows you to define a primary display before boot up. Or even assigning the video output to one particular screen should in theory be possible, but goes beyond the horizon of my knowledge
  4. KawaiiAurora thread starter macrumors 6502


    Dec 16, 2016
    Hmm, when I press the F7 key, it simply toggles between mirrored and extended display mode... The screen of the PowerBook never shuts off :/

    Trust me, that certainly isn't the problem. I did a fresh install of Leopard and Tiger last Sunday because I was accumulating too much junk on the laptop..
  5. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    re: not wanting to have an animation on your PB playing.
    Would it help puting down the display lights or will this be forwarded to the external monitor as well?

    re: initial problem
    it seems that this problem pops up every now and then. I found a lot Macbook/Pro results on google. Maybe with some more thorough search you can find results for PowerPC Books.
    There is at least an App called InsomiaX for Intel Macs to make clamshell-mode work again and keep the Book awake while closing the lid.

    Not the same as your problem, but I had a faulty DC-in-Board in my ibook that would cause the ibook shut down instead of sleep, when closing the lid.

    LAstly there is a hack that can be installed on ibooks to allow screen sharing (ibooks are capable of it, but the feature was put off by Apple to make the PowerBooks more unique in comparison to ibooks). Maybe the firmware of your PowerBook has a problem and that hack can help. But I would better not try it on the PowerBook; in the end you might be of worse.

    "Mirroring only
    *Apple reports that this system provides a "VGA video output for video mirroring on an external display or projector (24-bit color) with included Apple VGA Display Adapter".

    However, the hardware is capable of using an external display in dual or "extended desktop mode", Apple just blocked the capability in firmware to protect sales of more expensive Macs. Unsupported third-party hacks are available."
  6. KawaiiAurora thread starter macrumors 6502


    Dec 16, 2016
    I decided to give up using the PowerBook with a display as I took it upstairs again. Certainly not going to mess up anything for a feature I don't really need

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