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imac only has 2 resolutions

9322 Views 112 Replies Latest reply: Sep 20, 2012 7:52 AM by Howard Brazee RSS
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Howard Brazee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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May 10, 2012 7:05 PM

My wife's Mac changed resolutions - possibly as a result of running a full-screen game.   She says it has happened before.   I told her to reboot and let me know if that helped.

 

It didn't, so I went to settings to change its resolution, seeing only 2 options, 1920 x 1200 or 960 x 600.

 

I told her tonight to turn her computer all the way off, meanwhile I would see what I could find out.

 

What should I look at to trace down her problem?

24, Mac OS X (10.7), Home workgroup
  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2012 7:10 PM (in response to Howard Brazee)

    Try clicking Detect Displays in the Displays preferences.  If that has no effect then try a smc and pram reset.

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2012 7:48 PM (in response to Howard Brazee)

    If it didn't work I don't know why you flagged my suggestion as correct.

     

    I wouldn't expect you have a Gather Windows button if there is only one monitor, i.e., your iMac.  Also there shouldn't be an Arrangement tab either.

     

    The cmd-opt-p-r sequence, liek all the boot key sequences should be pressed immediately after the boot chime.  The machine will reboot again shortly after that.  You can stop pressing the keys when it shuts down to start that second reboot (this is explained in the pram reset link I gave you).  If this sequence of two boots did not occur you didn't do the pram reset correctly.

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2012 8:37 PM (in response to Howard Brazee)

    Just to make sure, we are only talking about an imac with no other connected monitors here, right?

     

    See what happens if you boot in safe mode (shift key after boot chime).

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2012 9:18 PM (in response to Howard Brazee)

    So smc and pram reset has no effect.

     

    Safe boot has no effect.

     

    I'm inclined to think it has nothing to do with that game and this failure is just a coincidence.

     

    The only thing left I can suggest it run Apple Hardware Test.  If the screen doesn't have or allow you to set the resolution when booted into AHT then it's time to take to apple for repair.  I think your video card may have failed.

     

    Intel-based Macs: Using Apple Hardware Test

     

    OS X Lion: Use Apple Hardware Test

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 11, 2012 1:29 PM (in response to Howard Brazee)

    The genius did two things I should have thought about:

    1.   Boot to an external drive - this showed all of the expected resolutions, indicating a software, not hardware error.

    2.   Ran a permissions repair.

     

    So after that did your system show the proper resolutions when you boot from it?  I ask because if it did it would be one of the few instances I've heard of where repair permissions actually fixed something!  Or...

     

    While the permissions repair was being run, she checked databases and discovered that this problem gets fixed by reinstalling Lion.

     

    ...is this the "solution" the "genius" came up with because you still didn't get all the resolutions after the repair permissions?

     

    So I went home and prepared to reinstall Lion.    In a couple of days her computer room will be painted and re-carpeted.   So I set it up in the basement, tested the access to the Internet, and rebooted with my OSX memory card pluged in (pressing option).    I started to run Recover, but my computer says it needs to be connected to the Internet.    I could not find anything to set up from this boot, so I will take the computer upstairs and plug the Ethernet cable in it and try again.

     

    Meanwhile, how do I fix it so that next time I don't need the Ethernet cable?

     

    Without an installer disk (or flash drive) I think you must have an internet connection to reinstall Lion.

  • MelvinMoo Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 11, 2012 6:50 PM (in response to Howard Brazee)

    I have same issue. It occurred after installing 10.7.4 .... So I imagine that you updated the os and then noticed the problem. Reinstalling Lion did not fix this for me. In fact I reinstalled about 3 or 4 times. There is a defect opened on this. I think it is only affecting older iMacs. Mine is an older 24 inch 2006 model. 

  • JazzmanJohn Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 11, 2012 7:11 PM (in response to MelvinMoo)

    I have a 2007 iMac and, after today's Lion update, it did the same thing. Is there a fix?

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