Pages tagged with: "apple"

Austerity win: my free laptop stand

I'm working my way through the process of getting my posture sorted out at work, so I've picked myself up an office chair which you kinda kneel on - it doesn't have a back - and perch.

That's all well and good of course, apart from the inevitable and accurate - if slightly-cruel comments - that it looks like a birthing chair, but I also needed to sort out which way my head was pointing; with my tiny laptop and a normal-height desk, I was spending most of my day with my head canted down at a 45-degree angle. Not particularly good for posture!

Anyway, being a tightwad, and not having the patience to wait for a postal delivery even if I could bring myself to spend money on a laptop stand, I decided that the easiest approach would be to nip downstairs to Argos (yup, we have an Argos in our building) and grab some of their catalogues. As an added aesthetic bonus, two catalogues placed spine-to-spine provide a perfectly-sized footprint for my laptop.

Two trips, some huffing-and-puffing, odd looks from Argos staff and a little desk-based feng-shui later et voila! We have ourselves a laptop stand.

Massive win =o)

Installing Mac OS X on the HP Mini 2140

This page was a work-in-progress when I wrote it, and I haven't had a chance since writing to improve it, so information here is probably out of date (this page was written around April 2009). The content here owes a lot to a number of other websites where many people have worked very hard to hack OS X onto various non-Apple hardware. I have added links to as many sites as I can, and will be happy to add more if you have a useful link which isn't listed below.

Contents

What's this then?

My new HP Mini 2140 arrived a couple of days ago. They're almost certainly the best-built and nicest-looking netbooks around, and resemble a mini Macbook. Looks aside, they're based on the very common Intel Atom platform, and most of the key components - wireless card, hard disk, audio controller, etc - are based on chipsets which have already been made to work with the various [ OSX86] flavours of Apple's OS X Leopard operating system.

Please read the disclaimer, below, before starting anything!

Comments, questions, corrections, random abuse, etc? Send them to me here.

Within two days, I have

  • OS X iDeneb 10.5.6 (other distros are available ;o) booting and running quickly from the HP Mini's hard drive (and dual-booting with Windows 7)
  • Working:
    • Wireless
    • Built-in audio
    • Display at 1024x576
    • External displays via the VGA port
    • USB (and mounting disk images, etc)
  • Not working:
    • Keyboard and trackpad - pretty major showstoppers, but a USB keyboard and mouse work fine. Please see below for more information about this problem - it seems to be a known and intermittent issue on the HP Mini 1000/Compaq Mini 700s, too
    • Ethernet port
    • Webcam? I need to check this one
    • Microphone
    • Headphone and mic/line in jacks

Little tip

To speed up the reinstall process, you might want to put the OS X installer on a USB key.

You will need

  • An HP Mini 2140 (obviously) - other guides are available for other HP Minis, including a guide to install OS X iDeneb on the HP Mini 1000
  • An OS X installation image on a USB flash drive or a copy of the OS X installer DVD
  • A few utilities and kexts which you'll have to track down:
    • Apps, essential:
    • Apps, others:
      • SwitchResX
      • DisplayConfigX
      • Trackpad - MSI Wind 2 finger driver app (not working?)
    • Kexts, essential:
      • AppleAzaliaAudio (audio)
      • AppleHDA (audio)
      • AppleIntelGMA950 (display)
      • AppleIntegratedFrameBuffer (display)
      • ApplePS2kexts_10.5.6.ready (keyboard)
      • AppleYukon (ethernet)
      • ClamShellDisplay
      • EHCISleepEnabler (sleep)
      • HDAEnabler (audio)
      • MACam
      • Natit
      • OpenHaltRestart
    • Kexts, others:
      • AppleHDA for HP Mini 1035NR
      • IO80211Family
      • IOUSBFamily
      • LAN9500
      • VoodooBattery
      • VoodooPower

HP Mini 2140 hardware information

These HP Mini device specs might come in useful when you're looking for kexts (drivers):

  • Processor: Intel Atom N270 (single core - use CPUS=1 fix in OS X installers)
  • Wireless card: Broadcom 4322AG 802.11a/b/g/draft n (works straight away with iDeneb 10.5.6)
  • Ethernet: Marvell-Yukon 88E8072 PCI-E (use AppleYukon kext)
  • Graphics: Intel GMA950 (use AppleIntelGMA950 and AppleIntelIntegratedFramebuffer kexts)
  • Audio: Intel High Def Audio (use AppleHDA kext)

How to install OS X Leopard on an HP Mini 2140

The information below will be split into guides covering the various different flavours of OS X as I try them. At the moment, I've only had any luck with iDeneb, so that's where I'll start... ;o)

Preparing your computer, dual boot, etc

At the time of writing, OS X doesn't work well enough on the HP Mini 2140 to be able to use it as your day-to-day computer so, if you would like to continue using your HP Mini while you're experimenting with OS X, you should consider either repartitioning your hard disk (so you can dual-boot OS X and another OS, e.g. Windows, Linux, etc), or install OS X on an external USB hard disk or flash drive.

Repartition or external USB drive?

Note that external USB devices might cause their own issues with your OS X installation, so it's best to repartition your hard disk if you can.

How to...

Since there's plenty of information available on repartitioning, I won't cover it again here, but to get you started, I used PartitionMagic to preserve my existing Windows install, and installed EasyBCD bootloader (free) to let me switch between operating systems on boot.

iDeneb 10.5.6

This guide is based on iDeneb 10.5.6. There is a good guide to installing iDeneb 10.5.5 on the HP Mini 1000 here, most of which applies to the HP Mini 2140, too.

You will need...

  • iDeneb installer on USB key, USB hard drive, or DVD with USB DVD drive
  • USB keyboard and mouse
  • External monitor
  • The ZIP file, above, with utilities and kexts, on a USB thumb drive

Install OS X

  1. With the Mini 2140 turned off/about to restart...
  2. Connect your USB keyboard and mouse
  3. Connect your monitor
  4. Insert your USB flash drive/USB hard disk/USB DVD drive with your iDeneb OS X installer
  5. (Re)start the Mini and press F9 to select the boot options menu
  6. Choose the USB device with your installer and press enter
  7. As soon as the OS X Darwin loader "press any key to enter boot options" prompt appears, press Fn+F2 until the external display is active and the internal display is turned OFF
    1. You should do this display switch each time OS X starts until you have installed the kexts which give the correct 1024x576 display resolution
  8. Start the installer app without any options selected
  9. Once the installer starts up, accept the license (which contains notes and instructions in the iDeneb distro)
  10. Do any partitioning/formatting you need to using Utilities > Disk Utility as required
  11. Select your install partition
  12. Select "customize" to change your installation options. The options below worked for me:
    1. ICH fix
    2. ACPI fix
    3. CPUS=1 fix
    4. Remove Firewire fix
    5. Kext helper application
    6. OSX86 Tools application
  13. Install OS X. Go make a cuppa tea/coffee/grab a beer/etc
  14. Once OS X has installed and restarted, feel free to hit Win+Q (Cmd+Q) to skip the registration process
  15. Use Kexthelper to install the kexts in the "Kexts - essential" folder in the useful apps ZIP
    1. Tip: install the kexts one at a time and reboot after each installation - this will allow you to identify which kext, if any, cause problems with OS X. This method isn't foolproof and won't save your installation from going wrong if your system disagrees with a kext, but it does mean you can avoid installing it the next time you install OS X

This is about as far as I've got so far - with all the essential kexts installed, the keyboard and mouse aren't working, which is a pretty major issue.

Disclaimer

The information above can seriously damage your computer. Don't carry out these steps if you don't know or are not sure what you're doing. If in doubt, seek advice. If you're still in doubt after that, better to not do it than to risk breaking your computer, an expensive flash drive, etc.

Also, some of the instructions above may reference software or practises which may invalidate your warranty or infringe copyright. Please take care to ensure you are acting on the right side of the law where you are.

Finally, all trademarks and copyrights are owned by their respective owners. No endorsements of any kind, implicit or explicit, are given for software and, likewise, I'm not approved or authorised to do this by anyone. Please bear in mind that this information is provided for people curious to get their computers doing unusual or unheard-of things.

Or, to put it another way, don't sue me if it all goes wrong. Please :o)

WUXGA conversion research page

(This page is my summary of this forum discussion - please see the Installing a high resolution display on a Macbook Pro guide for a step-by-step instructions guide. This page is only really useful if you're looking to separate the useful info from the random chat in the macrumors forum thread. As always, YMMV, so don't blame me if it all goes horribly wrong... ;o)

Contents

About this page

The display panels used in the 15.4 inch Macbook Pro are a standard size, and it's possible to switch the standard WSXGA (1440x900) resolution panel for a higher resolution one, for example from a Dell laptop. This page is my attempt to pull together the 46+ pages of chat posted on the Macrumours forum after member Baxterbrittle managed to fit the display from a Macbook Pro on to his Powerbook.

Having seen this, several people reported back saying that a number of higher resolution panels fit the MBP, but success was limited. The long and short of it is that the best panel to use is the WUXGA (1920x1200) panel by LG (under Leopard) or Toshiba (under Tiger), but it only works in the Core Duo and Core2 Duo MBPs with CCFL lighting - conversions on Santa Rosa C2D (2.2GHz and 2.4GHz) LED-backlit and unibody models don't seem to be possible at the moment, so the search is on for a high-res LED-lit panel.

Machines you can upgrade

  1. Core Duo and Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro 15.4" models with CRT backlighting (the LED backlighting is a problem at the moment as there don't seem to be many (or any?) high resolution LED-backlit panels available right now.

In a nutshell

  1. It's possible to fit a WUXGA (1920x1200) screen to a 15" Macbook Pro. Using SwitchResX and a Toshiba panel, the modification has been proven to work. Connectors in many newer screens are largely similar, although YMMV so please read on...
  2. Almost all screens tried seem to work fine under Leopard, but Tiger has been a PITA for most users
  3. No conversions can be done on LED-backlit MBPs as there are no WUXGA LED panels freely available, and converting from one light source to another is difficult or impossible

More detailed thread overview

This is as short a summary of this Macrumors forum discussion thread as I can manage:

  1. Baxterbrittle posts asking if anyone's interested in a hi-def conversion. They are. Photos are posted. Turns out he's modified a 15 inch Powerbook to fit the (slightly wider) Macbook Pro screen. Everything looks fine apart from the lid being slightly wider and not closing as the catches are different:
  2.     
  3. Loads more photos and info can be found on baxterbrittle's macmod.com website.
  4. This conversion was using a Sharp (154xxx?) [1] panel via eBay. Connector for LVDS cable didn't match and display was 15.4" not the more common 15.2" of the MBP, hence the MBP lid. LVDS cable has to be swapped with one from the last-gen Powerbook (loads of photos). On the Powerbook it seems the display can literally be plugged in and it works straight away. Unfortunately this isn't the case with the Macbook Pro, possibly because of the EFI interface (linklater link).
  5. Loads more photos of the panel and laptop disassembled
  6. Some questions over which inverter to use - seems the MBP one is probably fine.
  7. Dell laptops (e.g. Precision M70) fitted with high res displays seemed to be able to handle the Sharp, Samsung and Toshiba panels interchangeably, but it's later posted that the MBP doesn't like the LG LP154WU1 panel (or any LG panels, it seems).
  8. Turns out the 17" iMac can probably take WUXGA upgrades too.
  9. Quote: "The supposedly "compatible" screens from the 15.4 Inspiron are: Samsung, Toshiba, Sharp"
  10. The video card should be able to handle WUXGA and high resolution external displays as well, although driving for e.g. the 30" Cinema display might be a challenge or not possible on the 128MB-equipped MBP (link).
  11. Two good photos: one of the high res display next to a MBP, and one of the connector. Toshiba panel though - turns out to not work in OS X.
  12. vv-tim got the panel working but only in Windows under Bootcamp. Panel wouldn't come on for bootloader or OS X. Again, EFI looks to be the cause.
  13. Suggestions include trying a PRAM reset and forcing a lower resolution to get the panel working. PRAM reset lets the panel work until the next reboot, but colours are very messed up ([ pics]).
  14. Mini-diagrams and instruction for removing metal tabs from donor panels.
  15. Samsung panel works perfectly in Windows via Boot Camp, but displays as if the refresh rate is out of sync in OS X. DisplayConfigX is recommended as a solution - copy display timings from Windows usingPowerstrip and create a custom resolution for OS X using DisplayConfigX (screenshots) (with an external monitor so you can see what you're doing). More information and discussion - it works, but colour profiles are broken.
  16. Problems with not being able to adjust brightness may be related to not having the right monitor profile installed. This post tells you how to get the vendor ID of the panel. Also, Anderson22 asks how to change the monitor's make and model information to repair a non-dimming screen. Baxterbrittle explains how to do it.
  17. Btw, the LCD is glued into the casing on the MBP.
  18. Recap: panel works fine in Windows, but OS X seems to push some settings into PRAM/EFI/? which causes Windows to also have colour issues.
  19. Baxterbrittle points out that the colour issues are probably not related to colorsync, as it is not applied until just before the login panel appears on OS X startup.
  20. Scottsummers asks whether a similar modification could be done on the (4:3) early 12" Powerbook. Baxterbrittle suggests that a 1400x1050 Toshiba Portege M200 panel.
  21. Twwheeler asks whether booting from the install CD might be worth a go to see if the installation can get the colour issues right - apparently not as the refresh rate is a problem under OS X installer. Vv-timreplies that he couldn't get 1920x1200 working on his Dell laptop under OSX86.
  22. Vv-tim posts some bad news - having tried to override the graphics settings, he thinks he may have caused permanent damage to the panel, causing vertical lines to appear on the screen even in Windows. Having reset the PRAM, deleted the override profile, and let the Mac sit with the battery out the problem still remains.
  23. Psylance points out that he remembers reading that they couldn't get OSX86 up to a 1920x1200 resolution; the largest they could go was 1650x1080.
  24. Gangis asks whether deleting the hidden EFI partition (possibly via Windows) or working with the creator of rEFIt might be worth a try due to their knowledge of the Mac EFI system.
  25. Getgreg has spotted that the graphics card on the 17" MBP (which is the only Mac with a native 1920x1200 option) is a minimum of 256MB, not the 128 of the lower-spec'd 15" MBPs. Could this be the cause of the colour issues? Vv-tim replies that it's highly unlikely/impossible - a GMA950 with shared memory can support 1920x1200, and the display works/worked perfectly fine under Windows.
  26. Tarjan suggests trying Omni's Callisto to inject EDID information into the OS.
  27. Freddyflinty asks for some clarification - how can he make sure a new panel has the right connectors, and is fitting straightforward or does it require a lot of gluing? Twwheeler replies that the 15" 16:9 screens all seem to have fairly standardised connectors, and the panel fitment is tedious, although the scariest part apparently was un-gluing the original panel.
  28. Freddyflinty replies that he's interested in doing the mod on a 17" G5 iMac. Baxterbrittle replies that, as long as it's the revision C iMac G5, it should be possible (as these were the earliest iMacs fitted with the required LVDS connector). Also worth remembering that the iMac panel uses two LVDS connectors on the stock panel, so leaving one disconnected to fit a replacement panel without two LVDS connectors might result in a dimmer display.
  29. Vv-tim posts three photos of his MBP display conversion with associated problems:
  30.   
  31. Having seen the photos above, Baxterbrittle points out that the colours remind him of how computers sometimes handle 256 colours when it's not expecting it, and suggests trying the panel colour profile from another display, possibly an Apple 23" cinema display (with the same resolution), and also suggests using the Callisto app mentioned previously.
  32. Mrdice87 asks whether resetting the PRAM might fix the vv-tim's display problems. vv-time replies that it might help to fix the display problems in Windows.
  33. Stingerman points out that OS X's Beamsync might be to blame for the display problems, and posts a way of disabling it.
  34. Rickadair posts some findings corroborating vv-tim's colour issues. He writes that he managed to enable the screen under OS X but only in the 256 colours vv-tim got, but pushing the pixel clock 3MHz over the windows display values. The colour problem also exists in the OS X boot screen. This seems to support the theory that EFI is a major culprit here.
  35. Baxterbrittle asks whether anyone has tried modifying the com.apple.boot.plist strings to get things working, and posts some suggestion strings to try using.
  36. Belldandy seems to have got things working with SwitchResX and a Toshiba LTD154EZ0C (which I've just bought from eBay US for £95 inc postage - search eBay for LTD154EZ0C) screen, and posts the XML file to be used to get things working. Baxterbrittle (thread starter) replies that he's impressed, and has a theory that SwitchResX works differently to DisplayConfiguratorX in that it re-routes new display res/frequency to existing resolutions, while DCX creates new resolutions. Apparently, 56Hz is the magic refresh rate number...? Unfortunately, this doesn't work for the Samsung panel. Narzola seems to corroborate these findings, posting a step-by-step how-to to get the panel working. Gudy posts some hints, including one which points out that, for his panel (on a CD MBP), he had to use GTF or CVT in the display config instead of CVT-RB.
  37. Jrsade suggests a way of obtaining the (working) Windows panel timings to plug in to SwitchResX by using Powerstrip.
  38. Narzola lists a couple of good panels to try fitting, and also posts the display config files needed to get the monitor working on his machine.
  39. MichaelPritchard also posts that he's had success on an early CD MBP.
  40. Jeeb75 provides lots of useful tips on dealing with configuration issues. He also explains how to get the panel working in Vista via Bootcamp by copying the OS X settings from SwitchResX, and later notes that the LNT154U2-04 panel seems to be much better quality than the -03.
  41. Skippy911 posts pics of the right snips needed to remove the metal brackets from donor screens.
  42. Another success story for the Toshiba LTD154EZ0C from Faye, using CVT or GTF in SwitchResX and 56Hz timings: "Timing parameters for the custom resolution: 1920x1200 55.939Hz. Use simplified settings CVT. Everything else greyed out."
  43. ... and then Faye broke it, but has posted up lots more useful information here. Also, this guide on fixing bad colour issues should be of some help, and this post provides some more detailed instructions.
  44. ukp has found the solution to the screen going black when the external monitor is disconnected with the Toshiba screen.
  45. Faye reckons that there's no need to use SwitchResX with the Toshiba panel, at least on a CD MBP; instead she suggests that all that's needed is to add the vendor/display info file to OS X. Save the following text as file "DisplayProductID-5000" in the "DisplayVendorID-3064" folder (in /System/Library/Displays/Overrides/). Faye adds "Installation of a new LTD154EZOD screen should be as simple as copying [this file] to the appropriate location on your HD, shutting down, swapping screens and powering back up. The only problem with this screen appears to be that the EDID returns incorrect settings for the panel to work properly which is corrected by this overrides file":
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
	<key>DisplayProductID</key>
	<integer>40022</integer>
	<key>DisplayProductName</key>
	<string>Color LCD</string>
	<key>DisplayVendorID</key>
	<integer>1552</integer>
	<key>IODisplayEDID</key>
	<data>
	AP///////wAwZABQNjk4NAQOAQOAIRV46k/VnFdLjCcfUFQhCAAxQEVAYUCBQIEAqQCp
	QAEBlEaA0HGwP0AgkKYUS88QAAAYAAAADwAIKBA4ARECER4gCBIAAAAA/gA4VDc0OaEx
	NTRFWjAKAAAA/gDfuaWTdlcoAAIACiAgAOA=
	</data>
	<key>IOGFlags</key>
	<integer>4</integer>
	<key>dmdg</key>
	<data>
	AAAAAg==
	</data>
</dict>
</plist>
  1. Faye has also spotted that the broken colour profiles aren't just a product of installing an unexpected panel, but can come about from installing Windows via Bootcamp, as this support topic on the Apple discussion forums shows (which mentions using the ColorSync utility's "repair profiles" tool to fix things.
  2. ukp posts an update confirming Faye's method works, although his custom DVD with the custom plist, above, didn't work as the file wasn't listed in the OS X installer's file manifest. Also, a problem with distorted fonts ("like they were in 3D") can be easily fixed by opening the Appearances Pref Pane - this automagically resets the problem for most users, and setting the Font Smoothing option to "light" should rectify the problem for everyone else.
  3. Faye responds to adavid's questions about the quality of the Toshiba panel on brightness, viewing angle and quality. In a nutshell, it may not be as bright, but it's perfectly usable. The viewing angle is a little narrower (although that's a good thing as far as Faye is concerned for on-screen privacy), and in any case, it hasn't affected her being able to share movies. On another post, someone did mention that the matte screens tend to appear a little less colour-saturated, although this is a frequently-cited matter of debate (example).
  4. jrsade asks Faye whether her plist (above) can be made to work on a Samsung LTN154U1-L03 panel. Faye replies that it might work, but to use caution to avoid damaging the panel, and especially to ensure you have a copy of SwitchResX running with an external display in case of issues.
  5. Col22 reports another success story using the Toshiba panel on a CD MBP, and posts a step-by-step guide on how he got his panel working.
  6. Michaelpritchard posts bad news about his Samsung display - after using it for a couple of months he suffered a machine crash (kernel panic?) which caused both OS X and Windows to display the broken colours/colour profile again, and nothing he could find could fix it, including PRAM resets. Whateverandever replies that he has also had this problem with an LG panel. Jeeb75 adds that he has had to use Powerstrip in XP/Vista and SwitchResX in OS X to stop the colour profile problems.
  7. Charlon77 posts how his CD MBP on the Toshiba panel transplant worked, with some useful trouble-shooting tips in case the screen goes blank when trying to set the 1920x1200 resolution in OS X.
  8. thomas-chaos says he has discovered that the Mac pulls graphics card BIOS from EFI instead of an on-card BIOS (as on PCs), and that he has created a kext using atiinject which hard-wires the card to behave itself with the Samsung LTN rev 01 panel. It seems the .zip file may be corrupted though. thomas then posts up that he has managed to get the display working almost completely fine, and lists some of the display settings needed. whateverandever and aznastronaut confirm where the kext should be placed and how to set the permissions correctly. joelypolly reports that this method works for him.
  9. Aznastronaut asks thomas-chaos to help as he's trying to get a rev -03 Samsung panel working with thomas's atiinject kext having experienced an "invalid kext" warning. Thomas advises him to make sure the permissions are correctly set on the file by using "repair permissions" in OS X Disk Utility, and deleting the extensions caches. Apparently, this advice works.
  10. Faye and phox compare technicques for removing the un-needed metal mounting tags from the Toshiba screens.
  11. Whateverandever has got the Samsung -04 panel working, albeit without brightness adjust. Thomas-chaos' atiinject kext override doesn't work, but SwitchResX does seem to.
  12. Whateverandever posts a good outline of the steps involved in making Toshiba, Samsung and other WUXGA panels work.
  13. The 10.4.10 update has caused some issues with the brightness control for phox and his Toshiba panel. UKP seems to have a fix which involves copying the AppleBacklight.kext from 10.4.9 over - this should also be done for Leopard. Faye posts up a handy checklist of things to check to make sure the copy is successful.
  14. Amuraivel writes that an app can be downloaded from www.osx86project.org to generate override files from the EDID files.
  15. akraj41 posts up some useful pin-out information on the iSight. Mikec78 later replies with some extra information about pin-outs.
  16. Bryanus warns that the C2D panels are virtually permanently fixed in place - he had to replace the whole top casing with a backup. He later posts that he has got the screen working, but found that aznastronaut's instructions had some syntax errors, and posts the correct terminal commands. He also lists all the steps he went through to try and get the conversion working. He then lists a whole load more steps to try and get his panel working reliably.
  17. Whateverandever replies to bryanus to let him know that he managed to get brightness working on the same panel that bryanus was fitting (details linked previously, I think?).
  18. noetus lists a handy breakdown of the specs available for the four main panels mentioned in this thread, and it seems that the Toshiba panel - which is the easiest to get working - is the worst quality panel, while the LG panel is the best quality, but cannot be made to work. Noetus then posts with some more up-to-date information which suggests the LG and Toshiba panels' specs from the previous post weren't quite accurate.
  19. Noetus posts that he is in a bit of trouble: having installed a Toshiba panel (the same as Faye's?), the MBP won't initialise on power-up. The disks and DVD drive initialise, but no further activity occurs apart from the CPU cooling fans spinning up to maximum speed very quickly. A long discussion between noetus, bryanus and faye follows (all can be found on this page starting at post 658). The result seems to be that the panel is probably faulty. However, he later posts that he's having the same problems with a different panel as well. Odd...
  20. mediapirate posts that he's ordered two panels - WSXGA (1650x1080) and WUXGA; he doesn't have much luck getting the WSXGA to work in OS X, although it works fine in Vista. He has also found that downgrading the screen resolution seems to work straight-off, so the problems are linked to the increased resolution, it seems.
  21. byanus's screen has started misbehaving - not lighting up on reboot, especially after PRAM resets (it's later agreed that PRAM resets should be avoided) and posts his temporary workaround findings.
  22. harpersincleelu has managed to get the Samsung LTN154U2-L04 panel working on a C2D MBP, and posts up a brief how-to, the posts a much more detailed how-to here. zhixingzhao has also got this panel (but version -L07) working in a CD 1.83GHz model, and posts a fairly detailed walk-through. He also posts a follow-up covering fixing the blue cast by using Shade app. morffius has also got this panel working, apparently with little trouble. Bungle has also managed this. xJethro88x also had success with this panel and Faye's override. Finally, bungle posts an updated Colorsyn profile which should remove most of the blue hue from these panels.
  23. Morffius warns that a PRAM reset will reset the panel, resulting in having to uninstall and then reinstall the WUXGA panel, so avoid PRAM resets!
  24. harpers... also posts up how to hack the display override file to try and get brightness working with a non-Apple panel
  25. harpersincleelu posts an updated Samsung LTN154U2-L04 panel override file which gives better brightness and supports more resolutions
  26. don.key has tried this mod in a 17" MBP and, having put in exactly the right Apple hi-def panel, is still experiencing the colour issues which are related to not having the right display override file. He later poststhat he's had some success with, and posts a step-by-step guide to getting it working
  27. harpers... posts that he's been able to do an erase-install of Leopard and the screen continued to work perfectly with no modifications at all. byanus confirms it's working.
  28. bryanus posts some suggestions on getting around the problems some users have had with blank screens during Leopard install, and has found that the Samsung screen works perfectly in Leopard.
  29. mediapirate can't get the Samsung -04 panel working in Leopard - on bootup, the panel flashes brown and then goes off. jeeb75 posts some detailed instructions, but they [http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=4474608&postcount=738 still don't work, so jeeb75 tried some more suggestions. mediapirate realises he didn't follow the instructions perfectly, but despite re-doing everything still has a display issue. He later updates the thread, saying he can only use the built-in monitor as a second screen when his external display is connected. jeeb75 posts a possible solution which worked for him which involved downloading the screen_fix.zip from page 22. He goes on to mention that auto brightness and other resolutions also work well after this fix, which seems to all be down to the ATIinject file.
  30. mediapirate has found that changing the screen resolution breaks the screen on reboot, causing a blank screen, as OS X defaults back to 60Hz instead of the correct 56.
  31. minox has managed to get the Sharp LQ154M1LW-02 to work perfectly and posts up his step-by-step instructions.
  32. mediapirate posts up a very clear step-by-step guide to installing Leopard and getting the Samsung screen to work. Noetus replies with a couple of updates which worked better for his system.
  33. byanus updated to 10.5.1 with no problems at all
  34. noetus explains how he's managed to get past the blank-screen and no booting problem he was having, and has an almost perfectly-working screen now having installed Leopard.
  35. noetus has provided an explanation/image which shows the colour-banding problem he was having. There is a forum topic on macrumors which covers this issue with the stock 6-bit screens, instead of the 8-bit panels used in top-end (usually desktop) screens. He later posts up that, having switched the panel to 50Hz using SwitchResX (using the SRX control panel for Leopard, not the app), and possibly with the help of the ATIinject kext, the screen is displaying nearly perfectly now.
  36. rkfinley79 has got the Samsung LTN15U2-L05 panel from a Thinkpad T61p working and posts his step-by-step guide, then posts up a photo and screenshots for comparison. He also provides some more detailfor those wanting to do the same modification, and notes that when putting the MBP to sleep under XP, it comes up with the strange colours which won't go away until a reboot.
  37. Purlah posts that the 10.5.2 update with ATIinject works fine on MBP C2D 2.3HGz.
  38. ShadarJP has been successful installing the LG screen] and posts up some useful info and photos of the conversion:
  39. Faye pops into the thread to say goodbye - she's selling her Frankenbook. Boo...
  40. Noetus collates a lot of useful information into one summary 'how-to' post - well worth a look
  41. Noetus has installed the LG panel to replace his Samsung and reports that the improvement is remarkable.
  42. Noetus provides some useful comparison information between the LG and the Samsung. In short, the Samsung has better contrast ratio (600:1 vs 500:1), but the LG is brighter (210 vs 175), has better viewing angles (100 vert/130 horiz vs 50 vert/65 horiz) and response times (16ms vs 25ms). This discussion compares the two panels in more detail.
  43. Noetus adds a useful tip to recover from the dreaded unexpected black screen (which usually requires the sleep trick, which involves removing the case) - have an external firewire hard disk with a copy of OS X installed, boot off that, then shut down and boot off the internal drive again and the problem should be fixed. He also posts a useful hotkey combination which switches from extended desktop to mirrored for fixing problems when the main display doesn't work and connecting an external monitor doesn't show the dock, etc, because the laptop is in extended display mode
  44. bryanus has found an apparently reliable way of getting the screen working again after resetting the PRAM. It seems that ATIinject can be used to revive a black screen after a PRAM reset.
  45. 5to1 also provides a good write up of his experiences fitting the LG LP154WU1 panel from Lumenlab.
  46. A high pitched whining noise appears to be a frequency timing issue. Leopard seems to fix this for most
  47. Noetus has found that the 10.5.3 update now identifies his LG panel correctly in system info.
  48. Oh bugger, someone's beaten me to it - http://www.hiresmacbook.com has a small wiki dedicated to this conversion (although I'm sure I can improve on it... ;o)
  49. drayon has some concerns over using the LG LP154WU1 panel and requests some clarification, listing five users who are using it - three with issues, two apparently without. 5to1 replies that it's working for him under Vista but clocked at 162.135MHz using Powerstrip. Panzer06 gets it working at 74.114kHz but screen is dodgy on boot until Powerstrip loads (in Vista). 5to1 adds some more to the discussion, and gets it working after a bit more tweaking - problems return. D'oh.

Noetus posts some useful tips to check gamut and colours.

  1. To quote Noetus: "And in Mac OS I have found on both the WUXGA displays I've tried that I have to change the vertical refresh rate to 50Hz (Mac OS sets the default to be 60Hz) to get rid of all the speckling, although it isn't bad at the default of 60Hz."

/al

Installing a high resolution display on a Macbook Pro

(aka "How to install a 1920x1200 display into a 15.4" Macbook Pro")

The display panels used in the 15.4 inch Macbook Pro are a standard size, and it's possible to switch the standard WSXGA (1440x900) resolution panel for a higher resolution one, for example from a Dell laptop. This page is my attempt to pull together the 46+ pages of chat posted on the Macrumours forum after member Baxterbrittle managed to fit the display from a Macbook Pro on to his Powerbook.

If you have any comments, suggestions, or if I've made a mistake, please drop me an e-mail.

     Images (c) baxterbrittle

Having seen this, several people reported back saying that a number of higher resolution panels fit the MBP, but success was limited. The long and short of it is that the best panel to use is the WUXGA (1920x1200) panel by LG (under Leopard) or Toshiba (under Tiger). LED-backlit panels have only recently become available, so there aren't any success reports yet (that I know about), but it should be possible to do the same transplant by following the guide below.

   Images (c) baxterbrittle

This page should provide a fairly comprehensive outline of which panels do and don't work on which flavours of Macbook Pro. This guide owes a helluvalot to this excellent "how to" post by noetus on macrumors.com - it's one of the most comprehensive and accurate guides, and is well worth a read.

You can find a complete summary of all the points from the macrumors forum discussion on the WUXGA conversion research page, which provides hundreds of links to useful information on the conversions and people's experience.

Contents

Machines you can upgrade

  1. Core Duo and Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro 15.4" models with CRT backlighting
  2. Core2 Duo Santa Rosa and Unibody models MAY be upgradeable: LED-backlit panels are now available (see "choosing and buying a panel", below, for suggested panels)

In a nutshell

  1. It's possible to fit a WUXGA (1920x1200) screen to a 15" Macbook Pro. Using SwitchResX and a Toshiba panel, the modification has been proven to work. Connectors in many newer screens are largely similar, although YMMV so please read on...
  2. Almost all screens tried seem to work fine under Leopard, but Tiger has been a PITA for most users
  3. No conversions can be done on LED-backlit MBPs as there are no WUXGA LED panels freely available, and converting from one light source to another is difficult or impossible
  4. Nb: this modification is MUCH easier and more reliable under OS X 10.5 Leopard than 10.4 Tiger!
  5. Important: if you successfully complete this modification, avoid PRAM resets at all costs, as they are known to render the screen unusable, requiring the use of the "sleep method" of reinitialising the screen, detailed below, or, very rarely, you may not be able to get the screen working again at all.

What this modification does

Replaces your standard 15.4" Macbook Pro screen with a WUXGA (1920x1200) or WSXGA (1650x1080) screen.

What machines does it work on?

This modification has only been proven to work on CCFL Macbook Pros - i.e. Core Duo 1.83, 2.0, and 2.16GHz models, and Core2 Duo 2.16 and 2.33Ghz models.

LED-backlit panels which may be compatible with Santa Rosa and Unibody MBPs are becoming available now; see the "choosing and buying a panel" section for more information.

What's involved?

You will need to disassemble your Mac's bottom and top casings to remove the display. While it's technically possible to cheat by only undoing the two screws which hold the top-case bezel in place, this is fiddly and risks damaging your case.

What tools and parts will I need?

  • A good set of cross-head screwdrivers which fit the Macbook's screws (cheap screwdrivers run the risk of damaging screws). Magnetic screwdrivers are especially useful as they hold on to the screws when trying to get them into and out of fiddly places,
  • A special T6 Torx screwdriver,
  • A piece of flat plastic or small flat-blade screwdriver to help disconnect cables,
  • Plastic sticky tape and scissors will help to keep things out of your way, but be careful to avoid tape which leaves lots of glue residue,
  • See the disassembly guides (at iFixit.com or the more detailed screentekinc.com) for more information.
  • A set of bamboo chopsticks (no, seriously) will let you prise apart delicate casings without damaging them.

How long will it take?

Depending on your level of confidence, the conversion can take as little as an hour, right up to a couple of days. It's best to be prepared for your Mac to be out of service for a couple of days, just in case.

What are the chances of doing serious damage?

As long as you're careful (i.e. don't drop expensive parts on the floor), and you follow instructions provided, you shouldn't do any damage. If the worst happens, you should still be able to put your Mac back together as it was - with the original screen - and use it with no ill-effects. As always though, if you do this, any damage done is your responsibility and not mine or anyone else's. If you have any doubts about this, don't do the conversion!

Choosing and buying a panel

The following notes should help you when looking for a panel, and the table below will give you an idea of what does and doesn't work with your Mac.

Information for CCFL models (Core Duo, Core2 Duo 2.16 and 2.33MHz)

  1. Which panel is best? The LGs seem to be available with the highest specifications. The next-best panels in terms of specifications seem to be the Samsung ones. Compatible Toshiba panels (e.g. the LTD154EZ0D) seem to be inferior and harder to source, so are probably worth avoiding, but seem to be the easiest and most reliable to get working
  2. Which panel is easiest and most reliable to fit? The Toshiba panel seems to be the most reliable to fit (ironically, as it's a slightly lower spec than the others), particularly under 10.4 Tiger, where almost every other panel caused a lot of headaches. Under Leopard 10.5, it seems that a large majority of panels will work straight away, or with just a little bit of display timing tweaking using SwitchResX (this is why the instructions, below, advise you to have a second monitor connected, so you can work with OS X without a working internal display).

Information for LED-backlit models (Santa Rosa Core2 Duo - 2.2 and 2.4GHz, and unibody models)

  1. It is now becoming possible to buy LED-backlit panels which are compatible with these models of Macbook Pro (thanks to Wbyung for pointing this out on Macrumors!)
  2. eBay seller blue32701 is selling an LED replacement panel, and this eBay US search may turn up some more results (or try this eBay UK search if you're in the UK).
  3. Models seem to be Samsung

Information for all models

  1. Mounting tabs: panels without mounting tabs are available - if in doubt, ask the seller. Panels with Lenovo part numbers seem not to have mounting tabs. Panels from Dell computers seem to almost always have mounting tabs. The Apple displays don't seem to use mounting tabs at all. See the section below for tips on removing mounting brackets.
  2. Buying a panel: the best place to buy spare panels seems to be eBay or, failing that, try a Google search. Search for your panel's part number.
  3. Beware: a lot of panels, especially cheaper ones, will be listed as "Toshiba compatible", "Samsung compatible", etc - this may indicate that the actual panel is not the right part number. Again, ask the seller if in any doubt.
  4. Panel prices tend to range from around £70 to £300 in the UK (or $80 to $400 in the USA). You'll probably be buying a second-hand or refurbished panel if you shop at the lower end of this price range so, again, ask the seller lots of questions - is it the actual panel or a compatible one, is there any damage, is it new, second-hand or refurbished, etc.
  5. Note that some panels have extra letters after their part numbers, e.g. LP154WU1 (A1), LP154WU1-A1K2, etc. This seems to refer to the panel's mounting tab fitments, and shouldn't indicate the panel is noticeably different to another with the same basic part number. As always, ask the seller if in any doubt.
  6. Anti-glare (matte) or glossy: don't forget that these panels are available both in matte and glossy flavours. While glossy tends to give better colour saturation, more vivid highlights, and deeper blacks, some glossy panels will be a lot more shiny than the Mac glossy panels. Similarly, a lot of matte panels are more glossy than the Mac matte panels, and some are about the same. Your mileage may vary, and again feel free to ask the seller or Google it ;o)

Removing mounting brackets from donor display panels

Some displays will come fitted with mounting brackets, which the Macbook Pro doesn't use (it is fixed in place with screws down either side of the display panel). The following tips should help you to remove any such tabs. Be extremely careful when removing tabs - several people reported damaging (sometimes irreparably) their panels when trying to remove mounting tabs.

Compatibility chart

To use this chart, simply choose your model of Mac from the top row, then go down the list to see which panels work. Each panel has a difficulty rating, from easy to hard, and the entries in bold are the recommended ones (although ultimately it's up to you which panel you buy, of course!).

Panel Earlier Powerbook (15.2") Last-gen Powerbook with LVDS connector (15.2") Macbook Pro Core Duo (1.83/2.0/2.16GHz) and Core2 Duo (2.16/2.33GHz) on 10.4 Tiger (15.4") Macbook Pro Core Duo (1.83/2.0/2.16GHz) and Core2 Duo (2.16/2.33GHz) on 10.5 Leopard (15.4") Core2 Duo Santa Rosa LED-backlit Macbook Pro (2.2/2.4GHz) on 10.4 Tiger (15.4") Core2 Duo Santa Rosa LED-backlit Macbook Pro (2.2/2.4GHz) on 10.5 Leopard (15.4") Unibody Macbook Pro (15.4")
LG Philips (LP154WU1) No *1  ? *3 No Unreliable? No *2 No *2 No *2
Samsung (LTN154U2-L04, LTN154U2-L05, LTN154U2-L06) No *1  ? *3 Medium Easy No *2 No *2 No *2
Samsung (LED backlit WUXGA panel, e.g. for Dell Precision M4400) No No No No  ? *4  ? *4  ? *4
Sharp (LQ154M1LW-02) No *1 Medium-hard*3   Medium-hard No *2 No *2 No *2
Toshiba (LTD154EZ0D) No *1  ? *3 Medium Easy No *2 No *2 No *2
  • *1 - Sorry - since these panels don't seem to use an LVDS cable, you will need to do your own research to find a compatible panel, if any exist, as I haven't found any definite information on this type of upgrade.
  • *2 - LED- and CCFL-backlit displays are not interchangeable - see note *4 below.
  • *3 - you will need to fit the display housing from a 15.4" Macbook Pro to do this modification, which means the lid will be slightly wider than the base, and won't latch closed.
  • *4 - a small number of LED-backlit WUXGA panels are becoming available on places like eBay. See the information in the "choosing and buying a panel", above.

Step-by-step instructions

Core Duo Macbook Pro (1.83/2.0/2.16GHz) and Core2 Duo Macbook Pro (2.16/2.33GHz) on 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard (15.4")

Read these instructions carefully before starting. If you are in any doubt, don't do the work - better to have a standard Mac than a broken one.

  1. Start by making sure you're working in a clean, uncrowded area which isn't going to need to be cleared (e.g. a kitchen table!) for the next six-or-so hours (it's better to be cautious here).
  2. If you have an external monitor, get it ready in case you later need to plug it in to start the Mac up.
  3. While we're on this subject, now is a very good time to start your Mac up, plug in your second monitor, and set the displays to "mirrored" (not extended onto the external monitor).
  4. Remove the laptop screen by following the iFixIt guide, but miss out the following steps:
    1. 11 (disconnecting the Airport antenna)
    2. 12 (removing the Airport antenna)
    3. 13 (iSight, inverter and left fan cables)
    4. 14 (display data cable)
    5. 17 (lifting the display off the computer)
  5. You should still have the superdrive and hard drive connected. If you disconnected them, replace them - there should be no need to remove them.
  6. Important: the cables which are still connected are extremely delicate. Be extremely careful to prevent them being damaged when you are moving the screen around
  7. You should now have a screen which is no longer fixed to the base of your Macbook Pro. A stack of books behind the screen may be useful here to stop it falling over.
  8. Remove the top half of the lid by following steps 1 and 2 only from the screentekinc instructions
  9. If it helps you, you can lightly screw the display housing hinges back on to the base unit (i.e. replace the screws you removed in step 16 of the iFixIt guide). This will help the display support itself later when you need to tilt it forward
  10. Don't dismantle anything else just yet! At this point you should have access to the display data and inverter cables at the back of the display panel.
  11. You're about to start your laptop up in its dismantled state, so you need to check the following parts are correctly refitted:
    1. The keyboard should be loose but the keyboard connector cable to the logic board should be fully reconnected
    2. Reinsert the laptop battery
  12. The following steps are called the "sleep method", and you will be starting your Macbook with the original display connected, putting it to sleep, and then switching the display data and inverter connectors over to the new panel which you will just place behind your old panel while you test to see if you can get it working.
  13. Working at the back of the display panel, remove any tape holding the display data connector cable to the back of the display panel (but leave the display data connector attached)
  14. Also at the back of the display panel, ensure you can disconnect the inverter's supply cable (but don't disconnect it yet)
  15. Last check: with the laptop partially reassembled, quickly check nothing is resting on the logic board or other electronic components which shouldn't be, for example screws, tools, etc
  16. You are now going to start the laptop, let it boot up, and then put it to sleep.
  17. IMPORTANT: do not touch the back of the display while it is turned on.
  18. Press the power button on the laptop; it should start up normally.
    1. If it does not turn on, check the connection between the keyboard and the logic board.
    2. If it does not start up normally, turn it off (hold the power button down until it turns off) and re-check all your connections. You haven't changed anything at this point, so everything should be working fine.
  19. Once OS X has booted up, put the computer to sleep (Apple menu > "sleep"). Don't close the lid to make it sleep, and avoid letting the lid close fully.
  20. Ensure your Mac is completely asleep - there should be no disk or fan activity at all. Do not proceed until the Mac has completely gone to sleep
  21. If you screwed the display back on to the base, you can now Close the lid approximately half-way (so the display is at an angle to the keyboard of around 45-60 degrees). If the display is still loose, move the display forward and find a way of propping it half-way closed (or replace the screws for now).
  22. Disconnect the display data and inverter cables from the display, and lay them on the table behind the Mac
  23. You may need an extra pair of hands for the next bit.
  24. Holding your new WUXGA display panel in front of you with the screen facing you, place the panel directly behind the Mac's display, on top of the display data and inverter cables.
  25. Connect the display data and inverter cables to the new panel.
    1. If a cable does not reach, work slowly and methodically to try and free enough cable to connect the panel up.
    2. You may be able to make it connect by leaning the new panel backwards.
    3. If you simply cannot get the panel connected, you will need to either:
      1. Completely remove the original Mac panel and hope (and pray, if that's your thing) that the new panel works so you haven't wasted a load of time, or
      2. Give up (I know, I know, it's unlikely, but some people might...)
  26. With the new panel connected, lean it back so you can see it.
  27. You are about to wake your Mac from sleep. One of three things will probably happen, and depending on what happens, you may need to quickly shut your Mac down by holding the power button down until it shuts down:
    1. The display works perfectly, either at the right resolution or a lower resolution, and either in full colour, or with messed-up colours - this is good. In fact, this is a "woohoo!" moment. Bear in mind the display might initially look messed up - vertical lines, shakiness, etc - before settling down and displaying something recognisable. This is ok.
    2. The display stays completely black. This is rare, but it's a bit of an "oh, cock it" moment, as it may indicate the display can't (or won't) turn on. You can still try the troubleshooting steps below, of course, but you should be warned that it will probably be bad news.
    3. The display comes on and either has no picture or is very washed out, and then gets steadily brighter and brighter. This is a bit of an "oh shit" moment, although some people have reported success despite this problem by following the troubleshooting information, below.
  28. Now you know what you're looking for, tap the power button and wake your Mac up.
  29. If the screen is readable, well done - you can skip straight to part 32, where you will swap the old screen for the new one and reassemble your Mac
  30. If the screen was black (very unusual), you can try some of the following troubleshooting tips, but note that this is very uncommon and may indicate a display fault. Accordingly, there is still a chance you will have to find an alternative screen or cancel the project.
  31. If the screen got brighter and brighter, there are a couple of suggested solutions, including the ATIinject fix, SwitchResX, and PRAM resets, by following the steps below:
    1. Note that while these fixes will be easier with the laptop reassembled (either with the new screen or with the old one), if it later turns out the screen is unusable, you have to completely reverse the process to remove the non-working screen. It's entirely up to you whether you reassemble, of course, but if you can do these fixes without reassembling, you will probably find the troubleshooting process takes a lot less time.
    2. If you still can't get the display to come on, or it comes on but is very messed up - lines appearing, random garbled shapes, etc - there are a number of fixes which may work for you depending on your panel. Please take a look through the WUXGA conversion research page to see if anything helps you out (because of the high success rate with Leopard, and because there are a number of very long solutions which people have posted for various problems, I'm not going to try replicating them all on this page).
  32. Now that your display is functional, you need to switch the old display with the new one and reassemble your Mac.
  33. Remove the battery and keyboard assembly from your laptop.
  34. As the display is very firmly fixed to the bezel, and the bezel is thin and easily damaged, you may want to completely remove the display from the laptop at this point - by following steps 11 to 17 in the iFixIt guide - before proceeding.
  35. Follow steps 3 to 7 from the screentekinc instructions to remove the old display from the display bezel. Be extremely careful on step 7 - a plastic butter knife, plastic spudger, and/or a scalpel may all be handy here.
    1. Tip: try using a book to press the display panel away from the bezel - don't press with your fingers.
    2. Remember: always enlist the help of a responsible child when handling sharp objects... ;o)
  36. Affix the new display into place by reversing the steps in the screentekinc guide and then the iFixIt guide.
  37. Quick tip: when snapping the keyboard back on to the lower case (step 9 in the iFixIt guide, you can avoid damaging the delicate metal strip which runs along the top of the Superdrive by placing an old CD half-way into the slot and using it to push upwards as you push the keyboard down to engage the "snap" connectors.
  38. You should now have a fully reassembled Macbook Pro with a WUXGA hi-res screen. Start the machine up to make sure everything is working - if it isn't, it's most likely you didn't reconnect something properly. Don't be afraid to go back and re-check everything - I'm often in such a hurry to get everything back together that I miss something or don't snap something into place properly.
  39. If your display is working perfectly, then you don't need to do anything more, but you might want to skip to step 41 to set your color profile.
  40. If your display isn't working properly, the following guides might help:
    1. If your resolution is wrong:
      1. First try setting it in System Preferences > Displays
      2. If that doesn't work, you might need to create a display override file - try this post for more info
      3. Failing that, you might want to search through the WUXGA conversion research page (my summary of the 1000+ posts in [http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=207751 this macrumors.com forum thread which started it all!).
    2. If your colours are messed up:
      1. This is often down to having an incorrectly set overrides file (I think because the overrides file tells the computer where the red, green and blue points are on the panel, so without these the computer's idea of red might be the screen's idea of cyan, etc). Search the WUXGA conversion research page for "<key>DisplayProductID</key>".
    3. If you still can't get the display to come on, or it comes on but is very messed up - lines appearing, random garbled shapes, etc - there are a number of fixes which may work for you depending on your panel. Please take a look through the WUXGA conversion research page to see if anything helps you out (because of the high success rate with Leopard, and because there are a number of very long solutions which people have posted for various problems, I'm not going to try replicating them all on this page).
  41. Finally, you may wish to go into System Preferences > Displays > Color and install the right colour profile for your display (you'll probably need to Google it).

Core2 Duo Santa Rosa and Unibody Macbook Pros (LED backlit, on 10.5 Leopard)

I don't currently have any information on upgrading these models, but the principle of any conversion should be the same as for the CCFL models given above - take off the panel's back cover, start up with the old panel connected, put the Mac to sleep, swap connectors to the new panel, and wake it back up to see if things work. If you manage to carry out this conversion successfully, please e-mail me and let me know.

Last-gen Powerbook with LVDS connector

There isn't really a guide for this. An outline of the process has been posted in the macrumors discussion thread, and a summary from that thread goes along these lines:

  1. Baxterbrittle posts asking if anyone's interested in a hi-def conversion. They are. Photos are posted. Turns out he's modified a 15 inch Powerbook to fit the (slightly wider) Macbook Pro screen. Everything looks fine apart from the lid being slightly wider and not closing as the catches are different:
  2.     
  3. Loads more photos and info can be found on baxterbrittle's macmod.com website.
  4. This conversion was using a Sharp (154xxx?) [1] panel via eBay. Connector for LVDS cable didn't match and display was 15.4" not the more common 15.2" of the MBP, hence the MBP lid. LVDS cable has to be swapped with one from the last-gen Powerbook (loads of photos). On the Powerbook it seems the display can literally be plugged in and it works straight away. Unfortunately this isn't the case with the Macbook Pro, possibly because of the EFI interface (linklater link).
  5. Loads more photos of the panel and laptop disassembled
  6. Some questions over which inverter to use - seems the MBP one is probably fine.

(More information is available in the WUXGA conversion research page)

Patience fail: one very smashed laptop (mine)

Ok, you might have noticed my Twitter updates (1st, 2nd, 3rd) a few days ago where I mentioned a broken laptop.

Pugwash, monkeys, brass monkeys, stupidity, bitchin', geekery, and guilt-free holiday

Apologies for the 50-in-1 update, but I've got loads of equally important (or, if you're a normal human being, equally boring) things to ramble on about...

[Blatant advert!] Time for an eBay clear-out

Right, it's that time of month again where I'm broke, so I'm having a bit of an eBay clearout of some of my goodies. Up for sale from tomorrow evening (starting at 99p each) are...

Sony DAB walkman

A night at the movies (no popcorn, though...)

It's about half nine on Saturday 5th May. Portsmouth Guildhall is packed full of scrubbed, polished and groomed sports bods. Sports Sabb Jodie Austin is in charge of the mic, and up on stage, a little bald Spanish chap by the name of Fraggy is looking like he's about to have a heart attack as he prays - and prays, and prays, and prays - that the AU Dinner video, the result of two weeks' solid work* from him and Mike Cooter, works first time when he hits "play"...

Google Desktop for Mac - like Spotlight, only better

(Boring geeky ramblings below...)

Google desktop screenshotUp until recently, I was a Windows user, and made a lot of use of Google's desktop search toy. Secretly though, I wanted a Mac so I could use the wonderful Spotlight search system.

Apple's "smug little twit" fired

While wandering around Digg dot com, I noticed this story about the guy who (used to) play the part of the Mac user in the Mac vs. Windows adverts Apple have been running (although they were more likely to be found on US rather than UK TV sets).

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