Problem using iMacs as an external display

Discussion in 'iMac' started by apkopi, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. apkopi macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2016

    I am trying to use iMacs available in my school's library as an external display for my macbook pro. The first time it worked, but I have no success since then. I am wondering if you can help me troubleshoot.

    My macbook pro is from mid 2013, and the iMac is from mid 2011. Both have thunderbolt ports. I bought thunderbolt cables to connect them. The first time I tried, it worked right away. I didn't even had to press CMD + F2 as suggested in the apple website.

    But since then it is not working anymore. When I connect the thunderbolt cable in either of the ports, the system report on the thunderbolt port of my macbook reads "no device connected"

    I have tried the following to troubleshoot this problem:

    - Tried with many different iMacs in the same library
    - Tried different cables with those iMacs
    - Tested and ensured that one of the cables were defective but I have at least one working cable. I ensured it by trying the cable with a 27 thunderbolt display
    - I have reset the SMC and NVRAM of my macbook pro
    - I contacted the it support of the library but they mentioned that the iMacs have no such things as thunderbolt port. Which is clearly wrong because it worked through the thunderbolt cable the first time

    I am wondering if there is anything else I can try to solve this problem decisively. How can I determine the origin of the problem?

    If it is being blocked by the system admin after my first try, is it possible to check it by reading the system report?

    I am assuming that I do not need to reset the SMC and the NVRAM of the iMacs because it is not working in either of them and it seems unlikely that all of them would require those resets.

    What to try next?
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    If Command-F2 doesn't work
    If your iMac doesn't switch to Target Display Mode when you press Command-F2, check these things:

    • Make sure the iMac you're trying to use as a display supports Target Display Mode.
    • Make sure you're pressing Command-F2 on the keyboard that's connected to the iMac you want to use as a display.
    • In Keyboard System Preferences, if the checkbox is enabled for Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard functions keys, the key combination changes to Command-Fn-F2.
    • Make sure your Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt cable is connected to both computers.
    • If you're currently logged in on the iMac you want to use as a display, try logging out to return to the login window. Then press Command-F2 again.
    • Some older Apple keyboards and third-party keyboards might not allow Command-F2 to toggle display modes. If this happens, use the keyboard that came with your iMac to toggle Target Display Mode on and off.
    • If your iMac is currently started up in Windows, it won't enter Target Display Mode. Target Display Mode isn't supported in Boot Camp.
    Give all that a try and maybe question IT about any protection that might be on the iMac to stop outside connections....
  3. apkopi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2016
    I have tried all that. None of them are the source of the problem.

    I have spoke to the IT but that lead to nowhere as the IT person believes there is no thunderbolt port in those iMacs, which is completely false as I was already successful once.

    I am wondering whether the system report on the thunderbolt port may point to the source of the problem, or if the connection is indeed blocked, wondering whether that can be checked through the system report somehow...
  4. Adam552 macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2006
    Liverpool, UK.
    Tried plugging it in and restarting both Macs straight after?

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