Running a MBP with the display removed - does it work?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NetZwerg, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. NetZwerg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    #1
    Hello,

    Some month ago my old MBP's (Core2 2.4) went black - no backlights any more. Trying some smaller repairs (like the Inverter) didn't help and anything more expensive (like the panel) wouldn't make much sense. Now I have a new Notebook and the old one is sitting around.

    Then I saw this and started thinking. As the MBP on the picture runs Windows, but I wonder how OSX (and the EFI) will react to the internal display missing completely.

    * Would OSX boot?
    * Does it try to display something on the internal screen that isn't there any more ? (bad)
    * Does it recognize that the display is missing, fall back to the external display and simply behave like a Mac Mini? (this would be really nice...)

    Background is: a "decapitated" MBP would fit easily under the TV table and could serve (with Plex or XBMC) as a pretty nice media center.

    Did anybody try something like this already?
     
  2. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    Aug 22, 2010
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    #2
    that would work. you would have to make sure the mac thinks its in clamshell mode. (I think) other then that there would be no problems, although I feel like that's some sick abuse to a machine like that. get it fixed, its a $300 flatrate fee.
     
  3. NetZwerg thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 2, 2010
    #3
    Hmm... that would mean I'd just have to find the lid-sensor and set it to "permanently closed".

    I already thought about "just getting it fixed" - but the "certified apple repair" just wants to replace the whole panel (without even looking what's broken) - and that's a bit expensive - especially here in Germany (Apple prices are generally pretty rough over here).
     
  4. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    #4
    ah yes, european socialistic highly taxed prices. I just presumed you lived in the states. I live in europe as well, I just happen to go to the states a couple times a year.

    You don't know anyone who goes to the states on a regular basis?
    when the logic board died on my old 2007 model, I had a colleague of a friend who was going over anyway, take it over, he then had it repaired over night.

    sadly service in Europe, generally is crap. - and expensive.

    Only reason I bought my current MBP in europe is because my local legislation forces apple to provide a two year limited warranty, at no cost :)
     
  5. NetZwerg thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 2, 2010
    #5
    That's why my screwdriver and me want to make a headless monster/mediacenter out of this poor old MBP :)
     
  6. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    #6
    your screwdriver and yourself are sick, would you behead a beautiful woman?! ;)
     
  7. NetZwerg thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 2, 2010
    #7
    Some weeks ago I wouldn't touch that MBP with a screwdriver - but now the display is dead anyway (and I already got a shiny new one).

    And if you had a dead leg, wouldn't you chop it off? Just to keep the rest healthy?
     
  8. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    #8
    well seeing that you can't replace body parts, but you can replace a computer screen, probably not ;)
     
  9. bhattsan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #9
    Why don't you try powering it on to see if you hear the standard boot sounds, etc? Maybe mess with the volume buttons to hear any response from OSX? Or better yet, why not try plugging it into a monitor and trying out for yourself?
     
  10. NetZwerg thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 2, 2010
    #10
    well - i didn't remove the display yet. It still sits around with a dead backlight. I wanted to know if somebody already tried this and could tell me how the EFI and OSX reacts to it.
     
  11. eng42ine macrumors 68000

    eng42ine

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    #11
    if you're going to be using it as a media center, why not just keep the monitor on and use it in clamshell mode? :confused:
     
  12. green86 macrumors 6502

    green86

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #12
    You do not have to worry about it thinking its in clamshell mode if you detach the entire display assembly. It will just not detect anything on the internal video connection (which is true) and output solely to the external video source. I have done this.

    Jealous of you living in DE. Ich wünschte, ich lebte dort!
     
  13. Tortri macrumors 6502a

    Tortri

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    #13
    I don't see why not. I've done this to a couple of PC notebooks (dell, sony) and work with no problem. If you connected a monitor to it right now it should work with the display left on. Disconnecting it does nothing to it. Just go to ifixit.com to see how to take it off, try it and if it doesn't work put it back on and use it that way.
     
  14. NetZwerg thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 2, 2010
    #14
    Thank you for your replies.

    First - I don't want to use it in clamshell mode because as cooling doesn't work that good in clamshell mode, I'm not sure this is a good idea - this model is already "not very silent" when under little load. Also, clamshell requires the "sleep trick" or extra software - not very elegant - and if the software (or the sleep trick) doesn't work right, i'm stuck with error messages on a dark screen.

    green86: this is exactly what I want to do and I'm happy that it works exactly that way. I already took the beast apart before (to change the inverter) - so that should be doable.

    Tortri: If you leave internal and external display attached the external display will stay off until someone logs in. And then you can either use clone mode or extended desktop. There's no documented way for using external only except the OSX "clamshell" mode - for what I think this is just an OSX bug that can be used for advantage.

    I'll update once I have the time to detach the display.
     

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