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Ask Max: Troubleshooting Display Issues On a 17" Apple Cinema Display

Asked on 09/29/2008:

I have a 17" studio cinema display and it seems to have an "off and on" power problem, USB ports work sometimes. Could it be a bad cord or what?


The Apple Cinema Displays have many cables combined into one connector. Each has DVI, USB, and power wrapped together in a single cable and plug. Although it is a wonderful reduction of clutter, this can create problems.

The first place to check for problems is with the pins in the connector. Look and see if any pin is bent or missing… with that many pins it is possible for one to get misaligned. Provided that the pins look intact, you should next reseat your video card by removing it and then reinserting it. Every feature that runs through the ADC connection also goes through your video card and its connection to the logic board.

If the problem persists, then it could be a short in that ADC cable. See if you can cause and then fix the problem by manipulating the monitor's cable. If moving the cable has no effect, it is most likely a faulty USB hub in the display. I have seen this before but not too often. In the case of a bad USB hub, it is best to use an available USB port on the computer or get a desktop USB hub

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