Late 2009 iMac displaylink issue

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Markie2210, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. Markie2210 macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2019
    Hi, I own a late 2009 Apple iMac and have had two additional monitors connected but for the past year have had an issue with the display link software on the adapter which has meant I've lost the use of one of my monitors for over 12 months.

    My iMac has one single Thunderbolt port (old port). Is there any adapter that I can add to the iMac to enable me to add a 2nd port which in turn I can then get an adapter to connect the 3rd monitor??
    Any help or advice would be gratefully appreciated.
  2. tyc0746 macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2019
    Did they have Thunderbolt ports back then?

    I’m sure mine only had FireWire and MiniDisplayport options (in addition to the usual USB, Ethernet, etc.).

  3. mikehalloran, May 1, 2019
    Last edited: May 1, 2019

    mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    I know your pain, running two monitors off my 2010.

    A DisplayLink box is our only choice and works pretty well through High Sierra OS 10.13.3.

    With 10.13.4–6, Apple disabled eGPU support except for TB3 and that disabled DisplayLink, too. Apple re-enabled DL support in Mojave but 10.14.x is useless on our machines.

    There is a kludge involving Air Play but (surprise, surprise) that isn’t available on the iMac till 2011.

    I don’t know if you can revert back to 10.13.3. It will be a time consuming PIA unless you are on a large SSD formatted APFS and have a lot of room and APFS Snapshots pre-dating 10.13.4—then it’s easy. If you had done this within a few days, it would have been dead simple — so easy that I stumbled onto it accidentally:
    If you’re on an HDD or didn’t format your SSD to APFS, the above cannot work.

    Otherwise, you have three choices:

    1) Save all work product since you went to 10.13.4. Wipe your drive. Install 10.13.3 and restore from Time Machine or other backup that predates your 10.13.4 update. Reload your last year’s work files—easy from a Time Machine backup if you had allowed Spotlight to index your TM drive.

    2) As above but do a clean install of your applications after you are running 10.13.3. You can then pull your work files (Documents, Photos etc.) from a Time Machine backup or clone. I did that in 2013 and it took three days.

    3) It’s time for a 2011 or later iMac with two TB ports. A 2011 will run 10.13.6 — a pair of inexpensive MDP adapters will get you hooked up without the need for your DisplayLink box.

    For (1) or (2), you’ll need the 10.13.3 complete installer. AFIK, you won’t find that anywhere online but I have it and can get it to you through GoogleDrive, FTP or Dropbox if your account is large enough for a 5.8GB file. Apple still makes the 10.13.6 installer available but that won’t help you.

    I chose option (3) and am loving my iMac Pro. Anybody need a used DisplayLink box?

    --- Post Merged, May 1, 2019 ---
    If you are running certain apps, you will find a clean install impossible. The apps still run in High Sierra but their installers don’t. Office 2008 comes to mind.

    The workaround is to make a Yosemite install USB drive, erase, reformat your and install OS 10.10. All your installers should run. Now use the 10.13.3 complete installer to update the system.

    Again, you should consider getting a 2011 or newer iMac.
  4. Markie2210 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2019
    Many thanks for that really informative post. This has cleared up a lot of confusion around what my options are. You have confirmed my first thought that I may need to upgrade the iMac to a new model year.

    It's such a pain though having to do that when my 2009 iMac in running in perfect order. I added an SSD drive two years ago and it is flying since. Really hate the idea of getting a new iMac when this one is perfect but the other options of downgrading the OS are not appealing to me whatsoever.

    Is it easy to migrate all my applications and stuff from the 2009 iMac to a new model when and if I get it?
  5. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley

    Migration Assistant from either the old Mac or a recent Time Machine backup works fine. Normally, from the old Mac is faster via Ethernet is faster. There are some security steps you have to go through so that your old Mac will allow the transfer but it’s easy.

    I just went through this with my 2010 last week.

    My new iMac Pro came with Mojave and I elected to stay rather than downgrade to High Sierra (won’t be possible with the 2019 iMac). One of my old apps is incompatible — gonna cost me $30 to cross grade (I’ll live). My side monitors are working great.
  6. Markie2210 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2019
    Many thanks for all of your help and info.

    Guess I'll have to get a newer iMac to sort out this issue.

    Great pity really. My old 2009 iMac is a super machine. Not 1 problem with is since day 1 of buying it. Thanks again.

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5 April 30, 2019