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Question: Connecting a broken Mac to a working one as a second screen?

Hi everyone


This is a long one!


I have a Macbook Pro 2011. I upgraded to the new OS software and then the laptop broke. I got a flashing folder with a question mark and when in recovery mode it seems that the hard drive is gone. I've been advised to go to a Genius Bar, which is fine. With this laptop I can go into recovery mode, and even use the internet if I click on "get help through safari", so it still technically works.


In the mean time, as the laptop was old anyway, I got a MacBook Pro 2017. I was wondering if I can connect the two and use the screen from the 2011 Mac as a second screen.


The equipment I have - as the new Mac's have no USB ports (sigh) I got an adaptor, plugged into that adaptor is a USB/HDMI cable. The USB end is plugged into the adaptor, the HDMI end is plugged into a HDMI adaptor which is then plugged into the 2011 Mac (wow).


Any advice would be welcomed!

MacBook Pro

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Target Display Mode only works with iMacs. It does not work on MBPs. There are software solutions that use USB and a hardware solution that uses USB, but these are slow methods and not usable for a second screen except in short-term situations.

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Dec 14, 2017 11:09 AM in response to kfurfie05 In response to kfurfie05

Target Display Mode only works with iMacs. It does not work on MBPs. There are software solutions that use USB and a hardware solution that uses USB, but these are slow methods and not usable for a second screen except in short-term situations.

Dec 14, 2017 11:09 AM

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Dec 14, 2017 11:12 AM in response to Niel In response to Niel

Ah, I see. Thank you!


Out of curiosity, when I am in recovery mode there is an option to to Reinstall OS X. But when I go to do that, there is nowhere to reinstall it (as the hard drive is gone). I have an external hard drive which shows up when I connect it - but I have a lot of important info on it - if I use this external hard drive to reinstall the OS X, is there a possibility I could lose the info already on the hard drive?


Thanks in advance 🙂

Dec 14, 2017 11:12 AM

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Question: Connecting a broken Mac to a working one as a second screen?