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Why does my new Macbook Pro screen go dark when I disconnect it from a monitor?

Posted on 2014-07-29
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Last Modified: 2014-08-04
I have a brand new Macbook Pro. I currently have two alternative monitors hooked up in my office at work - one DVI monitor and an HDMI TV. When I disconnect one or more of the monitor cables, my laptop screen goes dark. I am not able to get my laptop screen to come back on without restarting my machine.

I looked in Apple forums and it appears that this is a known issue, but none of the solutions seem to work for me. Can someone help me troubleshoot this problem? I am lost as to what to do next to make this work.
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Question by:Brad Rubin
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Davis McCarn earned 250 total points
ID: 40229975
Command-Ctrl-Eject will, at least get you an organized restart which is way better than forcing it.

But; here is also a thread abot making your own keyboard shortcut to "detect displays" which may solve your problem: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=296246
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by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 40230125
There is no Eject button on the new MacBook Pro's - or I'm going blind (they don't have a built-in CD/DVD drive).

I have two external monitors (both via DVI / Thunderbolt convertor) and whilst my screen goes black after something is unplugged, it doesn't stay black forever.

What version of the OS do you have and what the spec of the MacBook Pro?  13" or 15" ?

Alan
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Author Comment

by:Brad Rubin
ID: 40230189
Alan, you are correct. No eject button.

I am running OSX 10.9.4
I have the 13" model.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 40230290
Okay - so you have the same one I do running the same version of OS.

What RAM / CPU did you get?  Don't image it's relevant but you never know.
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by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 40230297
Are you mirroring displays or extending displays?
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by:Davis McCarn
ID: 40230401
The power key replaces the eject key so Command-Ctrl-Power restarts it.

Did you read the article on creating your own hotkey for detect displays?
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by:Brad Rubin
ID: 40232055
Processor: 2.8GHz Intel Core i7
Memory: 16GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Extending Displays

The hotkey article seems logical, but my system preferences are different than the screenshots and there is no '+' anywhere in the GUI to add a hotkey.
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by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 40232160
Oi!  You've got my machine!

If you just plug in the Thunderbolt to DVI connector on one monitor and then unplug it, do you get the same issue?

I don't use the HDMI connector and I don't have the problem so wondering if it is that that could be the issue.

Alan
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by:Davis McCarn
ID: 40232190
Yes, it seems they removed numerous options from the create hotkey menus and worse, I can't find a single script or utility that could then be linked to a hotkey.
I did have a thought though, Brad; what happens if you turn off the external display?
And, does the restart work?
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by:Brad Rubin
ID: 40232206
I think the issue is when I disconnect the DVI monitor; I can't reproduce this problem with the HDMI disconnect.

I haven't tried the restart since I don't want to spend a ton of time fiddling with this at work; however, I will try that next.

The basic scenario though has been the computer is dark and the keyboard does not respond. This is why I have been doing a hard restart.

I appreciate your help. I will let you both know if I can get a solution. Please let me know if you have other ideas.
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by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 40232218
I'll break out my HDMI to DVI cable and see if I can reproduce the problem.  Hold fire!
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by:Davis McCarn
ID: 40232233
How are you connecting the DVI monitor to the macbook?  I have seen lots of issues with noncompliant adapters.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 40232238
Okay - running one HDMI to DVI cable and one Thunderbolt to DVI connector and when I unplug either cable, the screens go black for a short while and then comes back up with my normal display!
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by:Brad Rubin
ID: 40232242
I am using an Apple Thunderbolt Adapter for DVI. It is Apple issued and not aftermarket.

Screenshot attached.
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Assisted Solution

by:Alan Hardisty
Alan Hardisty earned 250 total points
ID: 40232255
Have you tried resetting the system management controller:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964

(Extract):
Shut down the computer.
Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.
On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
Press the power button to turn on the computer.
Note: The LED on the MagSafe power adapter may change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.
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Author Comment

by:Brad Rubin
ID: 40240308
Thanks for both of your efforts. I have created a hot key and will reset my system management controlled. Thanks for both of your input.
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