Mavericks broke my second monitor
October 16, 2014 10:19 AM   Subscribe

I recently upgraded my iMac to OSX 10.9.5. Since the upgrade, my second monitor (ViewSonic VG2230wm attached through a DVI-Firewaire adapter) flashes to a black screen intermittently. I am unusually dependent on that second monitor and this problem seems perfectly designed to drive me insane. Please help me preserve what is left of my sanity.

This seems to happen more when I am 'doing something' - e.g. opening a new application, switching between apps or even Chrome tabs - but can also happen entirely at random. I've googled endlessly and this seems to be a problem others have experienced, but it has not been corrected by Apple and my google-fu has failed to turn up a solution. Rebooting has not helped. I will send a delicious cookie to anyone who can help solve this problem.
posted by googly to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How old is your iMac? Can you connect it through the thunderbolt /displayport instead of the FireWire? FireWire to DVI is kind of a rare beast. You will have to buy yet another dongle though.
posted by rockindata at 10:39 AM on October 16, 2014

Response by poster: Ack, sorry, that was a brainfart. It's not Firewire, its a DVI-Mac displayport adapter. 6 year old iMac so no Thunderbolt. :(
posted by googly at 10:50 AM on October 16, 2014

I fixed a similar problem on a coworker's machine by resetting the SMC. Mind you, this was for a Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort connection to HDMI.
posted by O9scar at 10:56 AM on October 16, 2014

I had (have) the same problem. I was able to plug one display port monitor in (via mini adapter) without any problems. After plugging in a 2nd one, it became unusable. random flickers, screen going blank, etc. I ended up using 1 display port and 1 hdmi -> dvi adapter in order to use two monitors.

This is on a Late 2013 15" retina.
posted by ijaaz at 11:07 AM on October 16, 2014

Response by poster: I just tried resetting the SMC as per O9scar's link and the problem is still there. :(
posted by googly at 12:59 PM on October 16, 2014

Are you running Photoshop by any chance? I was running into the same issue, but turned off "Use Graphics Processor". I then rebooted my laptop, fired up Photoshop. Issue disappeared. Turned Graphics Processor back on, rebooted again, and haven't had the problem since.

I realize you are seeing it in other apps, so this may not help you at all.
posted by g4zilla at 1:04 PM on October 16, 2014

This may not be a direct solution to your problem, but OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) will be released today, so doing an installation of Yosemite may help?

Also, repair permissions. May be a placebo effect, but repairing permissions do help fix some random problems. Doesn't hurt to try.
posted by dubious_dude at 1:06 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

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