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Author Topic: Macbook screen cracked; how can I use it?  (Read 1528 times)

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    Macbook screen cracked; how can I use it?
    « on: October 23, 2014, 12:09:05 AM »

    I have a Macbook (not sure what type or year, probably 2009, maybe 2008) that has a severely damaged screen.  It is cracked in several places and is completely unusable.  It would cost hundreds of dollars to get it replaced, so I would like to hook it up to another monitor and use it that way.  I've seen some things about Clamshell Mode, but it seems you have to have a working screen to get it into clamshell mode.  How can I use it if the screen won't work at all?

    BTW, in case you couldn't tell, I am completely computer illiterate, so if you think you need to explain a term or procedure, please do.


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    Re: Macbook screen cracked; how can I use it?
    « Reply #1 on: October 23, 2014, 07:27:12 AM »
    What model Macbook is this?.... if you have a VGA, DVI, or HDMI port you could connect it to a monitor or TV if HDMI ready and use it that way.

    If there is no display output feature to this laptop then you might get lucky with one of those USB VGA adapters, but I am not sure if a functional display is needed to get that working with driver installation.

    If the USB VGA adapter needed a software install to function and you had a second MAC computer available, you could document step by step how to get it working on the  trouble free laptop and then follow these steps on the one without a functional display, and if all steps are followed exactly get it to work. However instead of pointing and clicking on selections you will have to use all keyboard controls to navigate to pull this off.

    One trick to get mouse controls to work would be to create a keyboard/video macro that goes through all the installation steps and through automated process installs the video driver for the USB VGA adapter, but this requires special software + a second Mac with same screen resolution setting for x/y mouse coordinates to line up perfect etc.

    Chances are the USB VGA may be plug n play and so it might automatically install the proper driver and operate, but if its not then it will need drivers installed etc.

    Adapter below requires Mac 10.6 or 10.7 to work, and i have never used this brand before to report whether its good or bad, however my experience with these adapters are that they are fine for word processing and surfing the web, but videos and video games struggle with these because they are not very powerful in GPU processing power. So if you looking to be able to get back to surfing and typing up documents/email etc it will be fine, but anything that requires a powerful GPU to pull off these are pretty bad at.

    Here is a USB VGA adapter:


    There is a better USB DVI adapter here:


    According to this review from a Macbook Air user:


    Probably okay for Mac OSX 10.8 or earlier

    I have a Macbook Air, and use the built-in display and an external 1920 x 1080 display connected by Apple's Thunderbolt-to-VGA adapter. I purchased this unit to connect a second 1920 x 1080. I installed the software, plugged it in, and it worked. The first thing I noticed, though, was that the new monitor appeared in the display preferences as a second built-in display. Since I could resize and rearrange it, that didn't bother me too much. Then I noticed that moving windows around the screen was very jittery. I figured that for $35 I should live with that. Then I put the computer to sleep. When I woke it up, the display was garbage and didn't fill the whole screen. I tried messing with the display preferences, unplugging/replugging the cable, powering down/up the monitor, but the only way I could get the screen back was to reboot the Mac. I soon discovered that it wasn't just sleep mode that caused this problem, disconnect the display and reconnecting it did the same thing. Frustrated, I created a support ticket with j5create. They said this was a known issue and they had a new driver coming out in a week. Two weeks later I contacted them again (they didn't contact me) about the driver, and they said they were still working on it, and they weren't sure when it would be ready. I told them that my Newegg return policy expired after 30 days and that I could only hold onto the product if they'd give me an extension of the return time themselves. They didn't even answer. Finally, as the deadline approached I returned the product to Newegg (which, of course, treated me like their best customer).
    Other Thoughts:

    I replaced this with a StarTech USB32DVIPRO. That unit cost twice as much as the j5create. I installed the software for the StarTech unit, plugged it in, and it has been perfect. Fast, works properly in the display preferences, smooth operation. I'd called ahead to check on the appropriate model for Mavericks and they went through this situation with me in detail and helped me choose the best product from their portfolio. The exact opposite experience from j5Create.
    Here is the source of this feedback review: http://www.newegg.com/Product/SingleProductReview.aspx?reviewid=3979146