4 Replies Latest reply: Jul 10, 2009 1:48 PM by Gerald Raddatz
LaGringuita Level 1 Level 1
My powerbook's display has been seriously damaged from being banged from the outside. The screen now has a starburst and a series of heartbreaking lines that make it unusable. Because my budget really doesn't allow me to purchase a new computer right now, I am thinking about connecting it to an external monitor as a temporary fix. Is this a possibility for me? Would it have to be an apple monitor or can I just go ahead and get one of the cheapest ones that I can find? What equipment would I need? Is it possible to use the keyboard and mouse that are part of my laptop or do I need to have external ones? Thank you so much (I'm not exactly a computer genius, as you can tell)!

Powerbook G4, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6
    Mac OS X
    Using an external monitor is extremely common and easy. Just plug it in. Any brand at any price will work, as long as it has the right plug on the cable, that matches the video port on your PowerBook.

    There's one potential problem. If the video card has been damaged, an external monitor might not work either. If the video card is OK and only the screen is damaged, an external monitor should work fine.
  • Nancy 12a1 Level 1 Level 1
    I have a similar problem with a loose connection between the keyboard section of my G4 Powerbook and the screen. Sometimes the screen works. Sometimes I can jiggle it until the connections are correct but I know this will not last forever.

    Today, I purchased a LG monitor. I've been able to set up the new monitor. It works today because it is mirroring the laptop screen which is working. What will happen tomorrow if the G4 screen doesn't work. Will the LG monitor mirror the white screen?

    I would like to know if I can make the LG monitor the main or only screen for this computer. If so, would you kindly share the settings with me.

    Thanks, Nancy
  • Gerald Raddatz Level 3 Level 3
    I have not tried this but there is an article on how to do this at:

    Using Only the External Monitor
    Attach a USB keyboard and mouse to your PowerBook. These devices can be attached to the USB ports of the laptop.

    Put your computer to sleep by shutting down the display of your PowerBook.

    Hook the monitor cable up to your PowerBook through the PowerBook’s ethernet monitor port. Plug in the external monitor's power cord. Switch on the external monitor. The PowerBook detects the external monitor automatically.

    Wait for few seconds and press any key on the external keyboard or roll the mouse over to activate the PowerBook back from the sleep mode. You can now use the external monitor.
  • Gerald Raddatz Level 3 Level 3
    from the website Low End Mac:


    Lid Closed Mode: TiBooks supports "lid closed" (or clamshell) mode, which leaves the built-in display off and dedicates all video RAM to an external display. To used lid closed mode, your 'Book must be plugged into the AC adapter and connected to an external display and a USB mouse and keyboard (you might also want to consider external speakers). Power up your 'Book until the desktop appears on the external display and then close the lid. Your 'Book will go to sleep, but you can wake it by moving the mouse or using the keyboard. The built-in display will remain off, and the external monitor will become your only display. Since all video RAM is now dedicated to the external monitor, you may have more colors available at higher resolutions. The TiBook is designed to run safely in closed lid mode, but if yours runs hot (perhaps due to overclocking or high ambient temperatures), you may want to open the lid when in lid closed mode: The screen will remain off and the computer will more readily vent heat from the CPU.

    To resume use of the internal display, you need to disconnect the external display, put the computer to sleep, and then open the lid. This will wake up your 'Book and restore use of the built-in display.