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I’m using a MacBook Pro 13" (mid 2010) running Mac OS X 10.7.5 (Lion). I just got a Viewsonic 24' monitor (2450wm-LED), and I connect it to my MacBook Pro using a miniport to VGA adapter (this one on Amazon). However when I plug into my MacBook Pro, I got some occasional crashes which lead to hard reboots.

I’m using it as a second monitor, i.e. with my laptop lid open. For from 30min to many hours it works fine, then suddenly I got a grey screen (or white, yellow, blue screen) on both (my laptops and the extra) monitors.

I tried to do a trouble shoot of my own but doesn’t work. According to this my firmwares are updated. Using my friend”s adapter leads to similar crash, using her monitor (Viewsonic 2431wm) and my adapter leads to similar crash too. Now I think it must be something wrong with my laptop, not the monitor or adapter.

Has anyone here experienced similar situation? What shall I do? Will using a DVI adapter instead of a VGA one help?

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Macbook Pro 15", early 2011. I had similar issues (Black screen. Crashes. A kernel panic) and noticed that the symptoms usually occurred after a period of use and usually when displaying video on the screen or when CPU load was high. Hypothesis: Machine is overheating.

I found iStat Menus from Bjango.com. This allows one to control fan speed (other apps exist but they all seem to be end of life'd. Also, iStat Menus lets you keep an eye on CPU and GPU temperatures).

After a bit of playing, I settled on using iStat Menus' "Medium" setting for fan speed. The fans are going at slightly over 4,000 RPM -- about twice usual speed. Temperatures seem stable -- and so is the computer. No crashes all afternoon (12:00 through to 19:00). Given that the machine had taken to crashing every 10 to 60 minutes previously, a definite improvement.

This solved it for me.

  • A word of advice: when you're writing an answer, especially while you are a new user and your reputation is low, try to get to the point more quickly. You spent six paragraphs describing your problem. Some people come here solely to say, "I had the same problem," and therefore some people will stop reading if, after a few sentences, you haven't said that you actually have an answer. (Consider starting with "I solved a similar problem ....") – G-Man Oct 16 '14 at 18:27
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This problem may stem from the video card. When using two monitors your video card has to do more work to support both. The reason it can last anywhere from 30 mins to hours is because of how intensive the load is. The only way to fix this, because it is mac and it's a laptop, is to get a new computer. If you can't afford one I wouldn't buy Mac in the future they're far to expensive for what you get.

  • How do I know if the video card supports my display or not? The video card is NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256 MB graphics, and it should support this monitor. I plug the monitor on my friend's mbp it has no problem. – h__ Mar 16 '13 at 18:33
  • Noooo 256mb isn't enough to support another monitor that large unless your doing like word. – Griffin Mar 16 '13 at 18:43
  • Well, my friend has an older mac with NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory, and it plays HD youtube video for hours just fine. How do you explain that? – h__ Mar 16 '13 at 18:51
  • Because it's not your computer. Also does it eventually fail? – Griffin Mar 16 '13 at 19:04
  • It doesn't, OK? Thanks anyway. – h__ Mar 16 '13 at 19:10
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I set refresh frequency to 75HZ on the second display then my Macbook did not crash.

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