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  • Tracy Reynolds Level 3 (560 points)
    So what's wrong with leaving it open?

  • dalani Level 1 (0 points)
    Lid open? the macbook should be able to run with lid closed..I can do it with Windows laptop. Id like to use my laptop as a media server connected to my system to play dvd/cds and itunes. Insomniax doesnt work at all on 10.5.8.

    It is a reasonable expectation to be able to use the laptop with lid closed on a network.
  • BlackMeister Level 1 (0 points)
    I felt compelled to add my input to this thread as I had the same issue at the start. Why do people ask "why do you want to do this" in a forum question.. I don't know why! But there are many reasons why people want to operate the MacBook with the screen closed and in this thread its so we can use the device as a media server and don't want the computer open or out on show. For me its so I can stream music to the garden and not have to worry about my 2 year old running in the house and touching/knocking over my MacBook.

    As for the overheating issue. I am not sure why people are going off thread talking about Apple warranty; by all means highlight the initial Apple concern, but its a computer run off SW you can code it to do anything, which includes being able to stay on with the lid closed and achieve the same heating parameters as if an external screen was connected, you just need to write the correct code or in Apple's case see the need to write the code.

    The bottom line is if the lid is closed and the screen is turned off, for what we are trying to do in this thread, you are in a no worse situation than when the lid is closed and connected to an external screen. I followed the link for InsomniaX and it works brilliantly. If you are worried about overheating change "Display Sleep" to 1 min in Energy Saver in System Preferences. Thus your additional exposure over the apple allowed process with external screen is only 1 minute each time, failing that use the brightness (F1) and turn the screen off before you close the lid.

    Or am I missing something.....I am sure you will let me know.
  • watchdogrmp Level 1 (0 points)
    "+The bottom line is if the lid is closed and the screen is turned off, for what we are trying to do in this thread, you are in a no worse situation than when the lid is closed and connected to an external screen+."

    I'd have to agree. The stuff about overheating with the lid down and warranty is bunkum.

    The current and recent Macbook Pros are designed to run closed and attached to an Apple Cinema Display. That's how you are supposed to use it with an external display.

    It's going to produce heat running closed attached to a display or not. And in most cases it's probably going to produce more heat while attached to the display.

    In this particular case the questioner wants it to play iTunes while it is running closed. That's not going to overtax the fans at all - which is probably the case with most other reasons for using the MBP closed and running but not attached to the display.

    Yet while a MBP is attached to an external display (and with the case closed) it could be running Photoshop, Toast, Final Cut, playing a movie - (even all at the same time if you are lucky...) and plenty of other things that could easily have its processors running at full speed and the fans going like demons.

    And with the massive sales of the Ipad there are more reasons to have the MBP running but closed (but with noexternal display) such as AirPrint via the MBP to a printer, the various adaptations of Airplay and similar etc. etc.
  • beattz Level 1 (5 points)
    Just throwing in my 2c in case anybody else stumbles upon this thread...

    Firstly, Apple clearly documents that clamshell mode is supported, therefore there will be no "burning" of computers or voiding of warranties:

    Secondly, you don't need to have a mouse and keyboard attached prior to closing your laptop, nor do you need to install any other software to trigger clamshell mode. Simply plugging in any USB device will wake your laptop from sleep, and since it is closed, it will go into clamshell mode.

    In the OP's scenario, you could have iTunes open with the desired playlist, track and AirPort Express selected, close your laptop to put it to sleep, plug in a USB keyboard (which will wake up the laptop into clamshell mode) and press enter/return to start playing, then unplug the keyboard if you desire (you can then open the laptop and use the built-in keyboard without aborting clamshell mode).
  • fenechy Level 1 (0 points)
    I think I understand this now. I've been looking into this issue since I had my G4 Powerbook and it is only today that it has become clear. The reason Macbook Pros are only designed to run lid closed when connected to an external display is to prevent human stupidity like mine!

    I've been running mine lid closed hooked up to my home cinema no problem. I plug in the mini display port cable and off I go. Then I unplug it before putting the mac away in its sleeve. Yesterday I tried out the InsomniaX route with the screen powering off after 1 minute. Worked great for streaming music to my PS3. Only problem is, later on when I went out I forgot the **** thing was still on and popped it away in its sleeve.

    I was out for a couple of hours and when I got home I eventually tuned into a whirring noise. It was coming from my laptop which was now doubling up as a hot water bottle! Some internal temperature gauges had reached 70 degrees C! Hopefully this is within its capability and I've not melted anything but it seems to be working ok.

    So my conclusion is that Apple figured that if they restrict clamshell mode to when a display is connected then people are less likely to forgetful idiots and put their macs away while still running... like me!
  • JMignone Level 1 (0 points)

    Within three minutes of reading your InsomniaX tip, I was listening to music on my laptop on my way to the coffee shop. Obviously, this will not become a habit (I need a new iPod), but it's definitely convenient!



  • AceNeerav Level 1 (95 points)

    what apple needs is to make os x let the display remain off when woke from sleep 'if the lid is closed' irrespective of whether an external display is connected or not. then users can wake the mac from sleep using an apple remote and play music while the lid is closed.


    Message was edited by: AceNeerav

  • AceNeerav Level 1 (95 points)

    the damage to the led caused by overheating is probably in reference with the heat generated by the led itself when its lit and not open/ doesn't have enough ventallition. in clamshell mode the internal lid is not lit and so it doesn't produce heat.

  • AceNeerav Level 1 (95 points)

    when the lid is closed and its sleeping, and u plug in a usb device, it does wake up, but doesn't it automatically go to sleep on its own?

  • alexadelaide Level 1 (0 points)

    I have a late 2010 mbp, and this is how I understand it. To run in clamshell mode, you need two things:


    1) the power connected

    2) external display connected


    I use a tv for the external display, and my Mac goes to sleep (and won't normally wake at all) if I turn the tv off - as if having it off amounts to not having one connected at all.


    I use "iTeleport" and "Air Video" iPhone/iPad apps to use my Mac remotely, neither of which work with the tv switched off. I have been leaving my mbp open slightly with the screen dimmed 100% to get around this.




    Today I came home, used "Remote" when my Mac was off, with tv off - and it connected! I am now listening to AirTunes over the network with my tv off. Not sure of Apple have tweaked the software but if I'm correct, this would work even of I unplugged the screen. Prob still need te power source though.


    Hope this has helped!

  • AceNeerav Level 1 (95 points)

    its ok if the tv is off. the display port needs to be connected.

  • ben174 Level 1 (0 points)

    In case anyone gets this far, my macbook pro running Lion DOES play music in clamshell mode WITHOUT being connected to an external monitor.


    It does need to be connected to power.


    Itunes needs to be open when I close the lid.


    When in clamshell mode, I wake it up with the bluetooth keyboard or mouse. (USB should work also but not tried)


    I can then use bluetooth keyboard or mac remote to control itunes.



  • AceNeerav Level 1 (95 points)

    i think it will turn on the display with the lid closed if woken from sleep without an external monitor connected. and thats inviting trouble!

  • ben174 Level 1 (0 points)

    The backlight remains off and there is very little heat generated - slight warmth around the power input. Much less heat that when an external monitor is attached in fact, which seems to cause more heating.


    I also find that using the video out can cause interference in the audio signal.. mmm there's another thread...