Cinema Display problem(?)
June 16, 2009 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Is the problem my Cinema Display and if so do I have any hope of fixing it?

I have a G5 Mac (circa 2004) and a 22" Cinema Display (circa 2001). Unimpressively old, I know.

Yesterday I had a problem with the mouse freezing and ended up rebooting the G5. Today, when I tried to start up, the Leopard login screen came up but the mouse was frozen. I did a hard restart by holding down the power key on the G5 (nothing else was having any effect). I did the same thing again, and now the monitor light is on but the display is black. The G5 will make all of the right sounds, but nothing happens on screen.

I tried disconnecting the power altogether, but each time I reconnect it the monitor light comes right back on and nothing else happens.

I found a site saying to start up while holding down Option-Command-P-R. I tried that, but with no luck.

Does this sound like a problem with the Cinema Display? If so (or even if not), is there anything that I can do?

I'd love to use this as an excuse to buy a new Mac and a new display, but I really ought to be more responsible than that at the moment....
posted by sueinnyc to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: When you say, "make all of the right sounds", do you mean just the boot chime, or even sounds after that.

Try turning the volume up and down, cmd F4/F5 on my laptop YMMV. If you hear noise then you can be sure you've booted correctly and your computer thinks it's drawn the desktop.. only the video is down.

If you don't hear anything.. try rebooting and then hold cmd v to go into verbose mode. The usual grey screen should be skipped and you should start in a text output mode, that should bring up the display and show you what's going on.
posted by ecco at 4:59 PM on June 16, 2009

Response by poster: After reading the two answers above, I tried booting again, and was poking at the volume key and Caps Lock and -- shockingly enough -- the monitor came on. I don't know what, if anything, made the difference.

That being said, I have a feeling that this is not the last of this problem for me -- so additional suggestions are still welcome as well.
posted by sueinnyc at 6:19 PM on June 16, 2009

Best answer: Assuming it's a ADC monitor with the mouse/keyboard plugged into the back and not directly into the G5 tower, it's possible the logic board inside the display is going. Apple won't fix it, as it's more than 7 years old. Your local, independent Mac dealer might have a used part, but I wouldn't hold your breath. Your computer has either a DVI or a VGA port (I might be able to confirm which if I had the serial number) and it's possible to get a decent quality 22" LCD for less than $200. Can't recommend any place in the UK, sorry.

The next time the mouse becomes unresponsive, try unplugging it from the back of the monitor. Either replug it back in to the other USB on the backside of the monitor or directly into the tower. The tower has USB ports in the front, so you wont have to crawl around the back of the unit.
posted by now i'm piste at 9:41 PM on June 16, 2009

Best answer: Honestly, it sounds like you had two unrelated problems.

Re: The freezing mouse. Can I assume this is the original mouse that came with your G5? I have a similar setup, and my mouse (or, rather, the cursor) will occasionally go jittery, slow, or freeze. Generally, plugging it into a different USB port will clear things up. I bounce my mouse between the two ports on the keyboard. The keyboard itself is plugged into the G5, not the monitor. Your mouse problem is not related to the monitor in any way. Unless, of course, you have the mouse/keyboard plugged into the back of the monitor.

The Opt-Cmd-P-R combo clears the Parameter RAM. It's possible you might need a couple of reboots to get thing settled-down, as you've discovered.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:09 AM on June 17, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you all very much. I now know a lot more than I did yesterday afternoon. I hope that I'll be able to go on for a while longer with this setup by using some of your tips.
posted by sueinnyc at 5:51 PM on June 17, 2009

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