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MacBook air and projector connection.

138987 Views 72 Replies Latest reply: Oct 29, 2013 3:58 AM by Ruthie22222 RSS
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jklumpp Calculating status...
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Aug 15, 2011 1:01 AM

Hi everybody


I am having some issues with the new Macbook air (mid-2011) and connecting a data projector. I got the adapter to VGA and everything seems to work fine most of the times when booting MacOS Lion. However, sometimes the Macbook would not recognize the beamer resolution and switch to 648x480. This can then be adjusted manually and works.

Booting into Windows 7 (Bootcamp installation) gives different issues. 2 out of 3 projectors tested refused to recognize the signal from the Macbook. The third did everything automatically with the correct resolution. Putting the baby to sleep and waking up did not help. Connecting the adapter before/after beamer was ready did not help. Manually setting resolution as well as using Win plus P shortcut did not help. The graphics card driver seems to be the newest available.


Any ideas what I could try?




MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • KeanuReeves Level 3 Level 3 (535 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 15, 2011 5:41 AM (in response to jklumpp)

    Regarding your windows problem:


    Some projectors don't work properly if the broadcast resolution is not supported by the projector. If you know the supported resolution, try setting it to that in your macbook prior to connecting to the projector.

  • KeanuReeves Level 3 Level 3 (535 points)
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    Aug 15, 2011 8:38 AM (in response to jklumpp)

    Do you have any other cables you can try with the projector? Eg: Macbook air ---> HDMI ?


    Rather than struggle figuring it out, if you can I would suggest you ask apples technical support, or someone at their store. I imagine this should be a common enough task that it should "just work", so since it isnt they should have an answer

  • Alister from Melbourne Calculating status...
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    Aug 18, 2011 3:21 PM (in response to jklumpp)

    I am having exactly the same problem. I have a new MBA with the thunderbolt port runnng Win7 64-bit in a bootcamp partition.  Tried connecting to two external projectors with no success.  With one the MBA see's the projector and adjusts the display resolution but will not display on it; with the other it didn't even recognise the projector. 


    Tried all sorts of things to make it work, including re-booting both devices while connected, but with no success.

  • peterfromridgefield Calculating status...
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    Aug 20, 2011 12:34 PM (in response to jklumpp)

    Looks like we're all having the same issue of getting a VGA adapter to work when ruuning from a Win 7 partition.

    I have tried the VGA adapter under the Lion OS to project a Keynote slide show - works like a dream. That would pretty much eliminate any hardware issues. I  tried a number of projectors under Win 7 OS without any sign of life.

    I also tried the Intel Graphics control panel in Windows which kept telling me that I didn't have an external monitor connected.There would seem to be a problem with the Windows driver for the Thunderbolt port.

  • Alister from Melbourne Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 21, 2011 11:38 PM (in response to jklumpp)

    I've found the cause of my issue - dodgy DVI to VGA convertor.  Bought a mini-displayport to VGA adapter and all working fine.  Then removed the DVI to VGA converter from my original mini-displayport adapter and connected that to a DVI monitor and also worked fine.


    I have to say it was a guy at the Apple store in Perth that pointed out to me that previous mini-displayport adapters were compatible with the newer thunderbolt ports.  So points to them.

  • sookk Calculating status...
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    Aug 22, 2011 1:29 AM (in response to Alister from Melbourne)

    So does that means the new Macbook Air should not have any problems using the MiniDisplay to VGA while in Bootcamp? I'm afraid to get the newer Macbook Air because of the problems I'm facing witht he Thunderbolt port on my Macbook Pro .... once bitten twice shy

  • Alister from Melbourne Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 22, 2011 3:34 PM (in response to sookk)

    Well, it's working fine on mine now using both DVI and VGA cables.  I thought it was going to be a saga of incompatible drivers or some such thing but once I replaced that dodgy adapter it works a charm.    Just like my old Dell running Windows 7 native.

  • peterfromridgefield Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 22, 2011 4:35 PM (in response to sookk)

    I purchased a MB Air (2011) and at the same time ordered a Thunderbolt to VGA converter. This does not seem to work with Windows 7. Apple claims that devices that utulize a mini displayport connection will also work through the thunderbolt port. I have no experience or data to verify or doubt this. Maybe, as Alister says, an 'old' mini displayport adapter will work. But there are many cases documented here that indicate the current VGA adapter isn't working with Windows.

  • Alister from Melbourne Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 22, 2011 4:54 PM (in response to peterfromridgefield)

    Hey Peter - my DVI cable is a new thunderbolt one; the VGA is an older mini-displayport one.  Both work in my case - one thing I did do though which I didnt think made an difference but perhaps did was open up the Intel graphics options from the windows desktop and made sure it was set to duplicate the display. 


    I got that hint from something I found on youtube here:


    <iframe width="420" height="345" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    It relates to the older MBA so the video driver is different but maybe it's related.

  • sookk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 22, 2011 7:00 PM (in response to Alister from Melbourne)

    @Alister > may I ask what is the brand of the projector that you are using to test?

  • Alister from Melbourne Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 22, 2011 7:35 PM (in response to sookk)

    Sure - it's an old Toshie TLP-XD2000.  I tested the VGA on that and the DVI on my desktop monitor which is a BenQ FP91G. 

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