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I have been having issues to consistently be able to connect two external monitors (both HP Z23n G2 Displays) to my MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) and cannot pin down the problem.

I connect one monitor using a standard HDMI cable from the MacBook's HDMI port to the monitor's HDMI port - this is never a problem. Issue is getting 2nd screen to work. For this, I connect the MacBook via a Thunderbolt connection to the HDMI port on the 2nd monitor, using a HDMI/Mini DisplayPort cable.

The issue is - it DOES work, but unpredictably and sporadically, and only after I restart the MacBook what seems like endless times sometimes. If/when the connection picks up, it works perfectly fine without interruption. If I disconnect and reconnect it, or switch on the computer after turning it off, the connection almost never picks up straight away and I have to go through seemingly endless cycles of restarting the MacBook until the connection does pick up. It's ONLY a problem with the Thunderbolt/Mini Display Port connection.

Really at loss at what to do! The connection DOES seem to work, but I don't understand why it does not work first time and is simply at random/sporadic. I have tried:

  • Using a standard HDMI cable (used the one that works perfectly fine with other monitor) with HDMI/Mini Display Port adapter, plugging into the Thunderbolt port on the MacBook. No success.
  • Using a Display Port/Mini Display Port cable between the monitor (it has a Display Port connection) and the the MacBook. No success.
  • 'Detecting Display' after holding down option and selecting it on the system preferences. No success.

I have ordered a VGA/VGA cable, with a VGA/Mini Display Port adapter - if this combination does not work, I am at the stage of giving up.

Many thanks in advance for reading and/or suggestions! I have wasted hours with this issue!

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  • What brand/manufacturer of HDMI/MDP cable? I suggest you get a Belkin 4K MDP > HDMI adaptor, and a good-quality HDMI cable instead of an all-in-1 cable. I've had two all-in-1 cables which failed because they were not very durable and manufactured shoddily. I wouldn't go the VGA route either. Note: No financial or other ties to Belkin Inc. I find their adaptors to be very well constructed - I purchased hundreds of them for my business. – IconDaemon Apr 2 at 18:59
  • This is the HDMI/MDP I am using: amazon.co.uk/iVANKY-Thunderbolt-Compatible-MacBook-Surface/dp/… – Zhez92 Apr 2 at 20:38
  • Is there a HDMI/MDP cable you would recommend? And may I ask what you mean by an 'all-in-one' cable? I have ordered the Belkin adapter now. Many thanks! – Zhez92 Apr 2 at 20:41
  • All-in-1 is a cable with a MDP connector on one end with HDMI on the other. Any HDMI cable of decent quality will do. – IconDaemon Apr 2 at 22:27

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