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Recently I purchased an HDMI to VGA adapter that actually converts the digital signal to an analog VGA signal to connect a computer to an external monitor. It works perfectly with a Windows PC that I tested, but with my MacBook Pro Retina (early 2013 model), no display is detected. I've tried SMC and PRAM resets, several restarts, and hot plugging both ends of the converter, to no avail.

I read an answer on "graphics limitations" of the Mac but am still wondering how that may be the issue, considering that this is has both passive and integrated graphics, rated better than the PC I tested. I would suspect that it is probably a hardware detail that I don't understand here, but I have been having issues with other display cables (HDMI to HDMI) recently, too. I have noticed specific log messages that appear whenever I attempt to connect the two, which I will add in an update.

It is worth noting that I am regrettably on the Yosemite public beta (10.10.2) and I am checking to see if this is the issue with a Time Machine restore in a bit.

Update: Restored back to Mavericks and the issue persisted. I am thinking it is purely a hardware issue at this point, and not related to other display issues with 10.10.2.

The log messages that I are appearing:

1/3/15 8:09:57.150 PM WindowServer[1460]: Received display connect changed for display 0x42803c2
1/3/15 8:09:57.153 PM WindowServer[1460]: Found 27 modes for display 0x042803c2 [27, 0]
1/3/15 8:09:57.154 PM WindowServer[1460]: Received display connect changed for display 0x3f003f
1/3/15 8:09:57.154 PM WindowServer[1460]: Found 1 modes for display 0x003f003f [1, 0]
1/3/15 8:09:57.154 PM WindowServer[1460]: Received display connect changed for display 0x3f0040
1/3/15 8:09:57.155 PM WindowServer[1460]: Found 1 modes for display 0x003f0040 [1, 0]
1/3/15 8:09:57.155 PM WindowServer[1460]: Received display connect changed for display 0x78c81761
1/3/15 8:09:57.155 PM WindowServer[1460]: Found 1 modes for display 0x78c81761 [1, 0]
1/3/15 8:09:57.155 PM WindowServer[1460]: Display 0x78c81761 changed state to offline

More relevant logs from AmbientDisplayAgent reporting an "invalid display"?

1/3/15 8:09:26.417 PM com.apple.AmbientDisplayAgent[263]: AMBD initializing devices
1/3/15 8:09:26.453 PM com.apple.AmbientDisplayAgent[263]: Set a breakpoint at CGSLogError to catch errors as they are logged.
1/3/15 8:09:26.453 PM com.apple.AmbientDisplayAgent[263]: CGSGetSizeOfDisplayTransfer: Invalid display 0x00000001
1/3/15 8:09:26.455 PM com.apple.AmbientDisplayAgent[263]: CGSSetDisplayIntention: Invalid display 0x00000001
1/3/15 8:09:26.455 PM com.apple.AmbientDisplayAgent[263]: CGSSetDisplayIntention: Invalid display 0x00000001
1/3/15 8:09:26.455 PM com.apple.AmbientDisplayAgent[263]: CGSSetDisplayIntentionWiper: Invalid display 0x00000001
1/3/15 8:09:26.455 PM com.apple.AmbientDisplayAgent[263]: CGSSetDisplayIntentionWiper: Invalid display 0x00000001
1/3/15 8:09:26.471 PM com.apple.AmbientDisplayAgent[263]: AMBD Agent: xpc connection became invalid during event handler
  • We use only Apple-branded HDMI > VGA converters to connect Minis to VGA projectors and monitors at my school. We've found that 3rd-party manufacturers converters may not work correctly. – IconDaemon Mar 26 '15 at 15:59
  • Also see this question – drevicko Feb 17 '16 at 11:33
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Ive seen elsewhere that Mac HDMI doesn't support VGA, but Mini Display Port does, so the solution would be to get a MDP to VGA adapter

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I have read that these "active adaptors" run off the power provided by the HDMI port, and that Apple's HDMI port does not provide enough power for them to run.

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I haven't had any issues using third party adapters but it looks like your adapter isn't compatible. You can buy the official apple one on apples website.

  • 2
    There is no official HDMI to VGA adapter from Apple. – Kevin Grabher Jul 8 '15 at 20:34

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