Macbook screen broken, help w/ external monitor

Macwick

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 9, 2008
274
229
Hi there,

Dumb question. My white MacBook slipped off my bed the other day, hit the carpet, and the screen shattered. I bought a new alu MacBook to replace it, and now I want to sell the one with the broken screen on eBay. However I want to pull off some files first, so I plugged my MacBook into an external monitor using a mini DVI to DVI adapter.

Problem - when it boots up the external display is treated as a secondary display. As a result I just see the desktop background. I was able to log in by blindly typing my password, but now I just need a way to make the external display primary. I know that I just need to go to the Preferences window, but how do I get there?? Basically I just need a way to get to Preferences from the secondary display. Right now I'm flying blind....

Thanks in advance for any advice......
 

Insulin Junkie

macrumors 65816
May 5, 2008
1,184
0
Mainland Europe
Shot in the dark ( =) ) but there might be some keyboard shortcuts that will open up display preferences for you so you don't have to try opening it with your mouse. Wish I knew more about keyboard shortcuts around now, but it's something you could look into.
 

r6girl

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Sep 6, 2003
1,698
44
Massachusetts
Press Option and the brightness up button (F2) and that will open your display preferences. When it's open, click on the Gather Windows button to pull both display preference windows into the one you can see. Click on the window with the Arrangement tab in it and drag the menu bar to the screen you can see. You should be able to do what you need to then...
 

ddeadserious

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2008
671
0
Plymouth, MI
Connect it to the external display, and an external mouse/keyboard. Then close the lid on the Macbook, and wake it up with the external keyboard/mouse. This will put it in "clamshell" mode, and it will set the external display as the primary display since the stock MB display will be closed.
 

Macwick

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 9, 2008
274
229
Connect it to the external display, and an external mouse/keyboard. Then close the lid on the Macbook, and wake it up with the external keyboard/mouse. This will put it in "clamshell" mode, and it will set the external display as the primary display since the stock MB display will be closed.
That worked - great advice, thanks!
 

r6girl

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Sep 6, 2003
1,698
44
Massachusetts
Does anyone know how to do this with a MAcBook Air since it only has one USB port?
Use a keyboard that has a USB port to which you can connect a mouse. Or, use my suggestion above that only requires using the laptop's own keyboard and trackpad.
 

Netzache

macrumors newbie
Apr 26, 2018
1
0
Rosenheim, Bayern
Connect it to the external display, and an external mouse/keyboard. Then close the lid on the Macbook, and wake it up with the external keyboard/mouse. This will put it in "clamshell" mode, and it will set the external display as the primary display since the stock MB display will be closed.
Hey maybe its about the cable you use. I've got an miniport to Dvi, since my screen is broken I can't switch the display to get detected. I connected a external mouse too closed the lid and tryed to wake it up but nothing happens the Screen on the external won't show up. Is there a way to get this done?
 

tgiitb

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2019
1
0
Hey thanks for the tip. It worked for nearly 4 months but now for some reason it's not working. Any suggestions?


Connect it to the external display, and an external mouse/keyboard. Then close the lid on the Macbook, and wake it up with the external keyboard/mouse. This will put it in "clamshell" mode, and it will set the external display as the primary display since the stock MB display will be closed.