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Maybe I misinterpreted
Authored by: VRic on Mar 30, '06 10:37:49AM

Having re-read your question, it seems you want a way to route the display to a secondary monitor IF and AFTER the built-in one dies, but without having it connected by default in normal use.

The suggestions I made above work for that of course, but you could also:

- connect the monitor you would be using (preferably that one, as the system is likely to recognize it and may not treat another one the same)

- use the Monitors prefpane to set it as the main monitor

- shut down, disconnect the secondary monitor until needed

On subsequent reboots, the secondary monitor will be main if present, if not the OS will revert to the built-in one. The setting should remain until you make another change to the monitors prefs or zap the PRAM.

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Maybe I misinterpreted
Authored by: sjk on Mar 30, '06 08:03:22PM

I'll try temporarily making an external monitor the primary display, then detaching it and seeing if the internal monitor is used automatically. If that doesn't work I'll investigate your other suggestions (thanks!).

For starters, maybe it's enough to set output-device to screen1 (or other value) in Open Firmware; I'll check that OF variable and other things after making the external monitor primary. That mode wouldn't initially have to have optimal settings, just enough to see things and make adjustments afterwards. Hmm, just noticed "output-device-1 scca" in OF; I'll search for info about that.

I've never used a second monitor on my Macs or I'd probably already know more about this stuff by now.

I'm more than "OK" with the command line.

I'm not thinking the internal monitor will die, just wanting to be prepared with a less expensive option than getting it repaired or buying a new system. I want a safety net for hardware failures whenever possible.

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