monitor issue

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by adamsound, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. adamsound macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2011
    Hi, I have a MacPro 1,1 Dual-Core Intel Xeon 2x2GHz

    I've used both monitor outputs for years, with assorted LED monitors; for the last year they've been running over 15' extenders so I can get my machine out of my studio.

    My main monitor blinks black once each morning at some point, but with no other symptoms or problems.

    In the last 36 hours, however, both of the monitors started blinking blue - looks like I changed the resolution, but I didn't. Yesterday it was tolerable, a few times over the course of the evening. This morning it's too much to bear, more or less constant in and out of blue screens.

    I did some troubleshooting and it seems to be the second monitor port. If I have one monitor (either monitor) hooked up to the first port, all is well. Any monitor (with or without extender, even an old tube) added to the second port causes the blue blinking.

    I've reset PRAM.

    Anything else I can do or investigate before needing to buy a replacement graphics card? If I need to bite the bullet, any recommendations on a decent card to get as a replacement? I run ProTools with video so I need decent displays but nothing dramatic.

  2. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    While its certainly possible that you have a defective video card I suspect more a software issue. You mentioned that you did a pram reset, the SMC would be a good idea too. Perhaps a video card driver update? Sorry, I've got more experience in Windows with this sort of troubleshooting so that's about all I can suggest.

    What version of the Mac OS are you running? Are there any updates? If you used Bootcamp, is the problem persistent there too? If not, that would strongly indicate to me you've got a software issue. If is it persistent across os's than I'd strongly think hardware.
  3. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Unless he updated right before this started happening, it shouldn't be the case. Rolling back drivers isn't as common in OSX. It's pretty atypical unless you're using some really obscure third party hardware.

    It sounds like you've tried this with different cables which means it's probably the video card. Seeing blinking blue screens sounds similar to what happens if you plug or unplug a display in a dual display configuration as an intermission in switching between single and dual display modes. It's like it's losing a signal at some point in there. I wish I knew an exact diagnostic method here.
  4. adamsound thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2011
    I'm going to do some more rigorous testing tomorrow with no peripherals, no extenders, nothing, just plug single monitors to single ports with reboots in between to see what I get.

    Also going to try an SMC reset (is it really just unplug and leave unplugged?), and the OS and firmware update suggested by Apple (up to 10.6.8 v1.1).

    Any other tips suggested, otherwise a graphics card recommendation is appreciated - I just need decent performance and have one DVI and one VGA monitor.

  5. adamsound thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2011
    So I reset the SMC and upgraded my MacPro's firmware.

    Then relocated the tower to do a step-by-step test. One monitor, no extensions, fine. Two monitors, no extensions, fine. Eventually, both monitors on extension cables, FINE! Worked off and on yesterday, though I'm not sure I ever opened ProTools, and had no problems.

    Shut down last night as usual, and this morning we're back where we started - frantic blue blinking.

    Unplugged the second monitor and it's fine.

    Going to order new extension cables as that seems a likely culprit, but anyone have any other thoughts on what this could be given the weekend's evidence?

  6. adamsound thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2011
    OK, once I had a break today I once again shut the machine down, unplugged the power cord, waited a minute or so, and now everything is working fine and dandy with all extension cables etc.

    So, what does that mean? What's breaking that's being fixed by a SMC reset?

    I could do an upgrade to the next OS (10.6.8v1.1) if that seems like a possible fix.

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