How To Connect An iMac To External Monitors?


Ormond

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Greetings Mac Gods,

I recently purchased a used 2011 27inch iMac and am trying to connect it to external monitors.

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac-core-i5-2.7-27-inch-aluminum-mid-2011-thunderbolt-specs.html

I've tried using a firewire to VGA adapter to connect a 19inch Dell monitor which I've used as an external monitor on my MacBook laptop for years. I know to click Detect Displays in the display prefs, but that's all I know. This isn't working.

There's a good chance I'm confused about Apple adapter terminology, so hopefully that's the problem. Is a "Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter" the same thing as a firewire to VGA adapter? Am I trying to make this work with a wrong adapter?

I've tried reading about 20 articles, but this seems to be getting me even more confused. :)

Thanks for any advice!
 
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Cory Cooper

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I have never heard of a FireWire to VGA adapter. If there is indeed such an animal, I would guess it would be a mini FireWire to VGA for use with FireWire video cameras. It will not work to connect your Dell display to your Mac.

Your iMac has 2 Thunderbolt ports, which can also be used as Mini DisplayPorts for connecting monitors. You will need this cable:

Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter - $29 @ the Apple Store

It's not the same thing at all, but it is the correct adapter for your needs.

C
 

Ormond

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Thanks Cory, appreciate it.

I'm happy to learn I am the problem here, for that can be fixed. Yes, there is such a thing as firewire to VGA adapter, because I now have two of them. :) Like you, I'm not really sure what they are for at this point. But they look pretty much exactly like the photo on the page you linked to.

I'm curious if you might be aware of cheaper alternatives to the Apple adapter. I watched a video today of someone who found two different adapters at half Apple's price, which seems a pretty normal situation given Apple's retail plus pricing.

In any case, thanks for steering me in the right direction!
 

Ormond

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The mystery continues...

So I did more research and discovered that the adapter that I have looks EXACTLY like the
Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter pictured here:

http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MB572Z/B/mini-displayport-to-vga-adapter

MacOfAllTrades sent me this adapter, and claims it should work at connecting monitors without difficulty. However, everything I've ever received from them in the mail has been either broken or wrong, so...

I keep reading, and on this page....

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201158

... I learn there is firmware involved. So now I'm thinking, "Aha, this is it!" I run the firmware and it says ....

"The Updater could not find a Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter to update."

I reconnect to the 2nd firewire port and try again. Same thing.

I search Apple's adapter page....

http://www.apple.com/shop/mac/mac-accessories/power-cables?page=1#!&f=adapter&fh=4595+45b0

...and see no mention of a firewire to VGA adaptor, so perhaps such things don't actually exist? Except that I was able to order just that on Amazon. I have a 2nd "firewire to VGA" adapter about to arrive. Maybe that will help.

My external monitor connects easily to my laptop, so the monitor is probably not the problem.

THEORIES:

1) My adapter is wrong, or dead.
2) Both my firewire ports are dead.
3) Donald Trump fondled my ports.
4) I'm missing some important piece of information.

SOLUTIONS:

Anybody know how to test my firewire ports to ensure they are working?

Any other suggestions?

Thanks.
 
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honestone

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To determine the status of your Firewire ports, did you try to connect any other devices to them?

Also, you missed a theory:

5. Hillary Clinton deleted the information you need from her server.
 

Ormond

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I screwed up, I screwed up, I screwed up. I keep calling thunderbolt ports firewire ports, even though I do actually know the difference. Actually, firewire ports have nothing at all to do with this thread. My apologies!

I have no other THUNDERBOLT devices to test my THUNDERBOLT ports with.

I have no brain to test my posts with either apparently. Oh well, it's just dementia setting in, nothing to worry about. Or if there is anything to worry about, I forgot what it is. What are we talking about anyway, does anyone know?? :)
 

honestone

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Has Donald Trump affected you this way? Or Hillary?

Also, if you have an external device with a Firewire 800 port, and the needed Thunderbolt-to-Firewire 800 adapter (I have one), you could test the Thunderbolt ports.
 

Ormond

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Ah... Let's see. I have a Firewire 400 hard drive. And a firewire 400 to 800 adapter about to arrive. So as you say, if I also got a thunderbolt to firewire adapter, I might be in business. Good idea, thanks!
 
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honestone

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Don't know about Firewire 400, then Firewire 400 to Firewire 800 adapter, then Thunderbolt to Firewire 800 adapter. Mine is a Firewire800 cable connected to an external Firewire 800 port, then the Thunderbolt to Firewire 800 adapter, with the Thunderbolt "part" connected to the Thunderbolt port on my MacBook Air.
 

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