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How to get rid of display preferences?

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How to get rid of display preferences?
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Veteran Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
2005-11-05, 05:20

I'm stuck.

I have an iBook outputting 1024x768 and 1920x1200 on the external screen.
I had to adjust the external screen and it occurred to me to put it in pivot mode. This has worked before, but I haven't used it more than about twice.
Both screens went blue. There was no way to back out. I did a hard reboot: problem persisted. I disconnected the external display. iBook booted fine. I looked at display preferences, saw no way to adjust the other display without connecting it, and then connected it. Blue screen (of death) again.

After a little websurfing, I removed files from ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost that said display or windowserver. Reboot. Connect. Blue screen of death.

I removed the files again, rebooted, zapped PRAM (cmd+opt+P+R till I heard an extra chime) and booted up. Connected screen. This time, no blue screen of death, but the external display didn't show anything and the iBook screen had one (?) pixel in the middle glowing, otherwise black. edit: the iBook is not even giving the external display a signal, as evidenced by the screen's backlight not being on. I disconnected the external display, and internal display reset to 1024x768, so no "crash" this time.

Anyone have any suggestions? What more do I need to delete for total reset of display settings?

Last edited by Koodari : 2005-11-05 at 05:26.
Veteran Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
2005-11-05, 08:07

... and once again, obeying The Thread would have fixed the problem.

The procedure that finally worked was doing a Safe Boot. After that both displays were up and preferences could be changed. My earlier attempts in deleting preference files resulted in that the now-working displays were mirroring at low resolutions. I booted, saw perfectly working mirrored 1024x768, and re-installed Screen Spanning Doctor to get back to where I started.

Willing to confirm that the problem can be replicated, I tried pivoting again. Exact same problem, fixed with Safe Boot. No reinstall of Spanning Doctor required, so I'm guessing that was just because I deleted the preference files.

I get the feeling Apple has (purposely?) degraded the hacked spanning performance. Since Tiger upgrade I have had major problems running VLC or DVD Player fullscreen (they tend to show artifacts or nothing), and now the pivot fails to work, too.

Did they enable Quartz something-or-other in 10.4 that could make the computer run out of VRAM or something?

I have recommended the display hack as safe, and will continue to do that, but I can't say anymore that it gives flawless performance.
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