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Ask Max: How can I resolve Firmware upgrade and monitor problems?

Asked on 04/30/2007:

I have an iMac 400 MHz machine that was running system 9.X just fine. I wanted to upgrade to System X but someone told me I'd have to upgrade my firmware first. So I did and lost the display in the iMac. I now have a second monitor hooked up to the iMac and system 9 or X runs fine. Is my iMac's display salvageable or must I have the other monitor hooked up until I replace the computer? A PC tech couldn't get this issuecorrected either.....


I have seen this problem many times before when OS X was new. An iMac loses connection to its built-in screen most often when you upgrade to OS X without first installing the firmware update. It could be that the firmware did not install on your system or was installed improperly. The fix can be as simple as reinstalling the firmware. From this link you can find all available firmware that you need to install OS X. Here is the specific link for your iMac's firmware. Please follow the directions on this page point by point. You will have to download and run this update from OS 9. At the end of this process, you should see a message that says your computer's firmware has been successfully updated to version 4.1.9. You may see a message saying that the firmware is up-to-date and will not run. If you see that message then your only other "Home Remedy" would be to zap your PRAM. To zap your PRAM, start up the computer holding down the "Apple," "Option," "P," and "R" keys. Let the iMac chime four times before you let go of the keys.

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