I have an old Dell screen from an equally old PC, and it only takes VGA input. Conversely, I have a MacBook Pro which only has a HDMI port. So I bought a VGA -> HDMI adapter and attached it, then plugged the HDMI end into the laptop (as usual) with the monitor's power on. The laptop adjusted its inbuilt screen to fit the older monitor but the problem is that nothing came up on the monitor. Does anyone know what is happening and how to fix it?

Also, in the 'Display' System Preferences it says that it is hooked up to the Dell monitor and lists it as the current option, and when I press any button on the monitor it says:

"In Power Save Mode

Press Any Key Keyboard or Move Mouse"


After searching I found info that suggested using system_profiler SPDisplaysDataType to analyse connected displays, this is the result (for both inbuilt screen and monitor:

Color LCD:
      Display Type: Retina LCD
      Resolution: 2560 x 1600 Retina
      Retina: Yes
      Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
      Mirror: On
      Mirror Status: Hardware Mirror
      Online: Yes
      Built-In: Yes
      Resolution: 1280 x 1024 @ 60 Hz
      Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
      Display Serial Number: F504545M5H9U
      Main Display: Yes
      Mirror: On
      Mirror Status: Master Mirror
      Online: Yes
      Rotation: Supported
      Television: Yes

not sure if it will help, but it shows that it thinks it is connected.

  • Which version of OS X? Yosemite: support.apple.com/kb/PH19039?locale=en_GB&viewlocale=en_US - these instructions show how to enable to "extend desktop" capability. I think, although you've connected it all up, that you'v enot told the MacBook to turn the second monitor output on.
    – Kinnectus
    Aug 12, 2015 at 8:23
  • @BigChris yes I have followed those instructions; I have gone to display, set both to the same resolution and it also says that video mirroring is on - still nothing is coming up on monitor
    – DJpotato
    Aug 12, 2015 at 8:34
  • Try setting a lower resolution (1024x768, for example).
    – Kinnectus
    Aug 12, 2015 at 8:35
  • my lowest was 800 x 640 and I tried every available resolution (including 'Best for Dell E173FP') and nothing came up on the monitor
    – DJpotato
    Aug 12, 2015 at 8:42
  • FYI my monitor resolution is 1152 x 864
    – DJpotato
    Aug 12, 2015 at 8:43


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