I have a 2009 Mac Mini A1283.

I have 2 displays hooked up.

1) Mini Display Port -> Mini Display to DVI (female) adapter -> DVI Cable (male to male) -> DVI input on monitor

2) Mini-DVI Port -> Mini-DVI to VGA (female) -> VGA cable (male to male) -> VGA input on monitor

My second monitor only has VGA input so I have no choice but to use Mini-DVI to VGA

I wonder is this causing my problem which is:

My DVI monitor works fine. My VGA monitor shows a blank screen. My mac mini is picking up both monitors however, with the option of mirroring displays etc. Whatever option I choose (mirror/second display) it still shows a blank screen.

Any ideas why this is? Is it because of the VGA? Or the mix between VGA and DVI? If so what is a possible solution?

1 Answer 1


Your Mac Mini has a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card which uses either 128 or 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with your computer's main RAM.

If you're wanting to simultaneously use the Mini-DVI port and the Mini DisplayPort, then your Mac Mini needs to be set up as follows:

  • Use the Mini-DVI port to connect a DVI or VGA display at 1920x1200 pixels
  • Use the Mini DisplayPort (with an optional Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter) to connect a dual-link DVI display at 2560x1600 pixels

If you've got the right resolutions set and are using the correct cables, then you can try resetting the NVRAM to see if that resolves the issue.

Here’s how to reset the NVRAM on your computer:

  1. Shut down your machine. Yes, a full shut down, not just logging out.
  2. Press the power button and then press the commandoptionpr keys. You have to make sure you press these keys before the gray screen appears or it won’t work.
  3. Hold those keys down until your Mac reboots again and you here the startup chime.
  4. Let go of the keys and let your Mac reboot normally.

Note: When you log back in you may need to readjust some of your system preferences (e.g. speaker volume, screen resolution, startup disk selection, time zone information, etc).

  • Thanks for the answer. I will try resetting the NVRAM. I've also heard resetting the PRAM might help. I do have the ports and cables set up as you said, is it OK to mix VGA and DVI? Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 3:08
  • Resetting NVRAM did not work unfortunately Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 3:11
  • My DVI monitor is 1600x900 and VGA is 1600x1050 Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 3:12
  • Also note that my mouse leaves the first display and enters the second display. However the second screen is still blank Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 3:29
  • Older Macs had what's called Parameter RAM (PRAM), newer Macs use Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory (NVRAM). The process for resetting them is exactly the same. What happens if you change the screen resolution for the VGA display? I'd try different resolutions and refresh rates (if you have the option).
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 3:51

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