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I'm using Boot Camp to run Windows XP on a pre-2009 Mac Mini. The problem is that if no monitor is attached XP won't boot. From Googling I think this is a known problem and it seems to be because Boot Camp tries to detect the monitor and freezes if no monitor is attached. However I can't find any suggestions of how to fix it. So does anyone know:

  • am I correct that the problem is Boot Camp failing to detect the monitor?

  • is there any way to fix it with my current OS (10.5.4)?

  • if I upgrade to Snow Leopard will that fix the problem?

Some more, possibly irrelevant, detail: I'm not actually using the Mini without a screen. I have it connected to a Panasonic 1080p LCD TV with a DVI to HDMI cable. It seems that the Mac doesn't detect the TV so I get the same effect as if no monitor is detected i.e. a hang. I get the startup chord, then the white screen appears on the TV, but then the screen goes black and the Mini won't boot. If I hook up a normal PC monitor the Mac will boot, and if I then connect it to the TV HDMI connector the display appears (and looks great). But if I then reboot the Mini it hangs again.

Thanks in advance for any help.

John Rennie

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4 Answers

This is not my solution, but I intend to test this. Use 50-150Ω resistors across pins 1↔6, 2↔7, and 3↔8:

VGA connections can “simulate” a monitor by having resistance across 3 sets of pins. This can be done by literally inserting resistors into a VGA connector, as shown

vga hardware modification

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This is a much improved answer, after the edits. –  zero2cx Oct 2 '12 at 1:12
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I've now tried Snow Leopard and Boot Camp has the same bug. If I run Snow Leopard the Mini will boot fine with no monitor attached or when connected to my TV. Trying to boot XP via Boot Camp hangs the mini both with no monitor or when attached to my TV.

So it looks as if there is no solution to the problem :-(

JR

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BTW, the "why" this happens is described here: http://www.mythic-beasts.com/support/macminicolo_howto.html

... which implies that it could be fixed, but just hasn't been.

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I'm in the exact same boat as you, and have resigned myself to the fact that rebooting will always require a hackish fiddling...

If you haven't already come across this, there are HW dongles described here: http://forums.macnn.com/104/alternative-operating-systems/296206/headless-mac-mini-server-using-bootcamp/

Hopefully there will a better, more hands off, solution some day.

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Thanks. Have you tried Snow Leopard? I can't use the resistor trick because I'm using a DVI to HDMI cable and there isn't any way to get into the DVI end. I wonder if it's possible to buy a DVI to HDMI cable that has this built in ... –  John Rennie Oct 6 '09 at 7:46
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