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I'm setting up an old mac mini (specs below) with a dual boot (Ubuntu) and I've run into an issue getting to the Apple boot manager or the EFI boot manager. Essentially the monitor does not activate for either boot manager, however, if I wait or hit return straight away OSX loads, if I hit right and then return Ubuntu loads. So the boot manager is there but the screen simply isn't coming on yet. As soon as an os loads the monitor comes on and works just fine.

The monitor is connected to the mac mini using a display port cable. The monitor works just fine on other computers with the same cable. I've tried a whole load of things:

  • reset PRAM or NVRAM and SMC
  • tried a different cable (display port adaptor to vga cable - so different port on the monitor)
  • did a fresh install of OSX (initially 10.6 and then updated to 10.8.5)
  • tried a different monitor (an old vga CRT)

always the same. I'm now using the hdmi out of the mac mini (hdmi adaptor to dvi cable) and the monitor displays the boot manager as expected on boot up.

So the problem seems to be either the display port on the mac mini (which doesn't make sense - it doesn't work and then it works once the os is loaded) or perhaps a display port driver (is the driver that specific?) incompatibility with the monitor (but it does the same with a different monitor) - neither really makes sense.

Does the boot manager use its own drivers? Could they be corrupt (across fresh installs)? Is there something I'm missing here that I could try?

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Mac Mini mid 2010, 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo Nvidia GeForce 320m 256mb OSX 10.8.3

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