Using a MacBook Pro with a broken display as a desktop computer

Unfortunately the display of my MacBook Pro is broken, the surface is fine but all you see is a white area and a long vertical line which seems to be the mouse pointer, no more details since it’s still painful just to talk about it…

Now the computer itself is still working fine, it’s just the display. So I thought I could still use it as a desktop computer using an external monitor. So I connected an external monitor I had at home. The problem is that the display of the MacBook is still recognized so the external monitor is just used as a second display. This can be changed in the system preferences but I cannot access them since I cannot see anything on the first display.

So I went to my best friend in such cases: Google. Of course not on my Mac since Safari started through Spotlight or Alfred was displayed on the first display and I didn’t know how to move it to the second monitor. So I had to search for a solution using my smartphone. I did find a few people recommending the following trick:

  1. Boot the MacBook
  2. Close the lid
  3. The external monitor is activated as primary monitor
  4. Change the system preferences

It kind of worked. The external monitor was activated as primary monitor… for a very short time… Closing the lid caused the MacBook to go to sleep. After trying it about 10 times, I decided it was a dead end…

I also read that connecting a USB keyboard/mouse, it’d be possible to wake the computer from sleep even though the lid is closed but it just work for me. Pressing any key or the mouse buttons had no effect, probably because the lid was still closed…

I had almost given up I got an idea: The settings when the computer goes to sleep or not are usually different when connected to a power source. So I fetched my power cord/adapter, connected it and gave it another try and there it was: Connected to a power source, it didn’t go into sleep mode when I closed the lid and I can now work with the external monitor.

Now the only problem left is that the keyboard I use is a Windows keyboard and many keys do not work. So now I have to remap them all using KeyRemap4MacBook… But at least I have some kind of self made iMac 🙂

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