I recently bought a Mini DisplayPort to DVI and DVI/DVI cable to connect to my monitor. However, when I connect my MacBook Pro (late 2009) to the monitor it doesn't work - laptop screen flashes blue, but monitor stays idle.

The laptop recognises the monitor ('Displays' in System Preferences shows 2 monitors); but the monitor does not seem to recognise the laptop (it just continues to scan and eventually goes to sleep).

So I borrowed a set of cables from a friend to see if the cables I bought were faulty. Tried all combinations of cables and all combinations worked - except for using the two that I purchased!

From testing out the combinations, I'm assuming that none of the cables are faulty.

From doing some research, I believe the DVI/DVI cable I bought is a DVI-D (Dual link), whereas my friend's is a DVI-D (Single link) - though that shouldn't make a difference should it?

The cables I bought:

Cables I bought

The cables I borrowed:

Cables I borrowed

Combinations tried

.             | CableA (Female) | CableB (Female)
CableA (Male) |  does not work  |     works
CableB (Male) |      works      |     works


  • CableA = Cables I bought
  • CableB = Cables I borrowed

I still don't understand why the only combination that did not work was using the two cables I bought - any ideas?

Would also like to know if there is a way to get the monitor working with the cables I bought.

2 Answers 2


There's no reason it should work with a single-link DVI cable, but not a dual-link one. The second link is only needed for resolutions higher than 1920x1200x60Hz, and the second set of wires will otherwise be unused. In fact, a standard passive Mini Displayport -> DVI adapter can't use (or see) the second link.

You could check if a lower resolution works - if it does, this would indicate that the cables suffer from too much interference to carry high resolutions. This would be the case if they had cheap/bad shielding. If both your adapter and the DVI cable are very close to the minimum required shielding, it could cause problems in combination but work OK when combined with higher quality cables or used on their own.

  • I've tried 800x600 resolution and it still doesn't work :( I am guessing what you said is probably true - that the cables I bought have cheap/bad shielding. If this is the case, is it possible to still get the cables to work together?
    – pyko
    Aug 24, 2012 at 22:03
  • @pyko I suggest you try to return at least one of them and replace it with the same type your friend has. As your cables worked in combination with the respective other one of your friend's, you only need to replace one.
    – pmdj
    Aug 25, 2012 at 9:25
  • yep that's what I've done and it's all working now. Thanks :)
    – pyko
    Aug 26, 2012 at 2:34
  • I have the same problem , my"ZR30W " isn't working on "GTX 650 Ti" Dvi by using a dual-link port so I'll try your recommendation ! Thanks
    – ahmad
    Oct 27, 2018 at 12:10

On my Mac Pro I use the mindisplay to DVI adapter from Apple. It has a usb (male) cable and a USB port on the DVI adapter end. I don't use the USB at the second monitor so nothing is plugged in. However, I only get a signal to my second monitor if the USB cable is plugged in!

The monitor has a separate power (D-plug) source, and I've tried restarting, rebooting and checking the monitor settings. The song remains the same. Unless that USB cable is plugged in, the signal doesn't appear on the second monitor.


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