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The Lapzilla of my stable has given up the video ghost. Everything else works, save for the fact that when booting it either ends up on a white screen, or a blurry black & white checkerboard. I can ssh to it and do most anything you can do from Terminal sessions, I can even go into single user mode, if the screen does not misbehave completely. It is running Lion. I have done all the things you can think of, change hard drive, tried with external monitors, reinstall from scratch to Leopard, Snow Leopard and Lion, do the NVRAM dance, etc. So apart from the video, it works, and I am not going to go for a new logic board, not worth the hassle and the expense. I am planning to use is as "test server" for when I want to play around with Nginx and PHP, that sort of thing. My fear is that if I change something and it doesn't boot or hangs in the process and I cannot ssh to it, I will have no way to troubleshoot and the machine will be in a sort of vegetative state.

So my question is: Is there a way to get a terminal session, say with a screen connected via USB or something, so that even if do not get the bells and whistles of the Finder, which I do not need, I can still see what's happening without having to rely exclusively on ssh via Wifi?

Thanks and apologies for the long intro.

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migrated from Dec 13 '12 at 18:34

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@TK - Tks for the efforts. However note that I can ssh over Wifi as is. I would like to be able to get video to a Terminal session through a physical means that does not involve the regular DVI connection. USB? Ethernet? FireWire?. Possible at all? Cheers. – cucu8 Dec 13 '12 at 19:13
Sorry, only seeing this comment now. I'm more familiar along the lines of Linux distributions, but x11vnc can be tunneled over SSH, meaning that you can view the computer's display and interact with it visually as if you were at the terminal. This will run best over an Ethernet cable due to bandwidth. – Naftuli Tzvi Kay Dec 26 '12 at 1:45

Take out the hard drive, boot it in another Mac.

Set up SSH and everything you need. If you have another device, test SSH connectivity and everything else you've configured over the network. If this works, continue, if not, do not pass GO until its setup properly.

Finally, put it back in the borked MacBook and boot it and enjoy your pseudo-working notebook :)

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Try screen sharing from another Mac. You need to turn it on in the prefs though. Use VoiceOver to do that.

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