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Apple issues Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter Firmware Update

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Apple appears to be distributing a new firmware update that will attempt to address flickering and blank video issues on the latest generation of MiniDisplay Port-equipped Macs connected to external displays using the company's Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter.

The Cupertino-based company is believed to have been working on the update since last fall when early adopters of the new unibody MacBook Pros began experiencing issues when connected to an external display, where the display would sporadically lose signal for a few seconds and flick back on.

Since then, it appears that external display issues have spread to a variety of other new Macs equipped with Mini DisplayPorts, in particular the new Mac mini. There are quite a few threads (1, 2, 3, 4) on the Apple support discussion boards pertaining to similar issues, though not all involve problems when using the Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter.

For those users who are connected to an external display via the Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple is quietly distributing an 11.2MB "Mini DisplayPort to VGA Firmware Update" over Software Update that will reportedly update the firmware on the adapter itself.

"This firmware update addresses intermittent flickering and compatibility issues such as no video on some external displays when using the Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter on your Mini DisplayPort enabled Mac," the company says in a brief set of release notes. "The Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter firmware update will be downloaded to the Utilities folder and will automatically launch to update the firmware on the Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter."



In order to trigger the update, Apple says the Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter must be plugged into your Mac and a compatible VGA display. The company also says that the Mac's power adapter must be plugged into a power outlet if the Mac is a notebook.

It should be noted that as of press time, there was no mention of the firmware update on Apple's website and only a couple of users have reportedly seen the update turn up in Software Update, mainly those located overseas.
post #2 of 29
I'm in the US and the update showed up for me this morning. Very nice to finally have this issue resolved.
post #3 of 29
Can you confirm that it is resolved?
I want to buy a mini and it would be nice to know that this problem is fixed.
post #4 of 29
My mini is supposed to arrive tomorrow and I bought my mini-DP-to-VGA adapter yesterday. Thsi update could not be more timely!

I'm glad to hear that someone in the US found the update -- the picture in the story is clearly foreign since they used the comma (,) not the period (.) to mark the decimal point in the size of the file. How's that for some detective work? Elementary, my dear Watson!
post #5 of 29
There is firmware in the ADAPTOR? Wow.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjojade View Post

There is firmware in the ADAPTOR? Wow.

That's what the description appears to imply, but it may be poor wording. Read the description in the screenshot. That's where we based that assumption.

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post #7 of 29
I have the new Mac Mini, worked fine for me from day one. I have an old display though. A ProView 19in. It's Flat LCD, but not HiDef. My new Mac Mini is rocking my world. Normally a laptop guy, but wanted a small desktop. I was waiting for the Mini refresh for like a year, then ordered it the day it came out. Rocks my world.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by x713 View Post

I have the new Mac Mini, worked fine for me from day one. I have an old display though. A ProView 19in. It's Flat LCD, but not HiDef. My new Mac Mini is rocking my world. Normally a laptop guy, but wanted a small desktop. I was waiting for the Mini refresh for like a year, then ordered it the day it came out. Rocks my world.

Welcome to AI. Which version did you get? I may get one next week and hook it up to my HDTV.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayaru View Post

I'm in the US and the update showed up for me this morning. Very nice to finally have this issue resolved.

Mini-Display Port isn't just referring to Mac Minis, should be all Macs with Mini Display port.

I have a 15" Pro having these issues with the 9400M but the update does not show up when I check for updates. Anyone else having this issue?
post #10 of 29
Any VGA to miniDisplayPort adapters out there?
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Which version did you get? Did you ever own one before? I may get one next week and hook it up to my HDTV. I wish I could turn my ATV into a portable hard drive because it's gettin put out to pasture.

Get the cheap mini and upgrade yourself unless you want the processor bump. Even with 1GB the base mini is pretty nice. I'm waiting for my HD to show up before I open it up to upgrade the memory. I might just punt the Momentus 7200.4 500GB drive and stick in a 320GB drive instead.

Monoprice should have a mini-DP to HDMI adapter around the 27th but it'll likely sell out quickly. There is a mini-DVI to HDMI adapter in stock for $9.88 but obviously no audio.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I'm not sure that the mini DP does audio anyway.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by trip1ex View Post

Any VGA to miniDisplayPort adapters out there?

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

ETA March 27th.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjojade View Post

There is firmware in the ADAPTOR? Wow.

What's even more interesting is that they have a mechanism in the adapter to update the firmware. It's not a trivial feature and for sure adds engineering effort and cost.

And 11MB for the firmware? You can have a functional embedded Linux system for much less than that space.
post #14 of 29
I had issues with the MiniDVI to DVI adapter, where I would get a full screen of retro style snow instead of my actual display (2009 mini). Luckily, it went away after a few days.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by trip1ex View Post

Any VGA to miniDisplayPort adapters out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

ETA March 27th.

For clarity sake, that is a mDP-to-DVI/VGA adapter, not VGA-to-mDP. I know you know, Vines, there are many who read AI that aren't aware that a system with DP/mDP can output to any VGA, DVI or HDMI monitor or TV, but you won't be able to buy Apple's new mDP Cinema Display for a system with VGA, DVI or HDMI. A cobvertor would be required and it will be pricey.
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post #16 of 29
Great, but when are they going to fix the problem with Mini Display Port to Dual Link DVI adapter problems?
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Get the cheap mini and upgrade yourself unless you want the processor bump.

I think you can BTO the cheap mini to get the processor bump. Anyone know for sure?
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post #18 of 29
If your display has only VGA as its video input/output interface, it is out of date. I'm sorry.

DVI is far superior.

If its an HDTV with only a VGA port "for computers" forget about it. Simply pick up an HDMI-to-DVI adaptor to connect your Mac to your HDTV with an HDMI cable. (Run sound with a simple 3.5mm audio cable)

For projector users, skip the VGA and go with a DVI or Component-based device, Far better picture.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

I think you can BTO the cheap mini to get the processor bump. Anyone know for sure?

Yes, you can!
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

I think you can BTO the cheap mini to get the processor bump. Anyone know for sure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by copeland View Post

Yes, you can!

I don't think so this time around. Previous minis might have had a socket, but I recall reports that said the processor is soldered to the board on this revision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vandil View Post

If your display has only VGA as its video input/output interface, it is out of date. I'm sorry.

DVI is far superior.

If its an HDTV with only a VGA port "for computers" forget about it. Simply pick up an HDMI-to-DVI adaptor to connect your Mac to your HDTV with an HDMI cable. (Run sound with a simple 3.5mm audio cable)

For projector users, skip the VGA and go with a DVI or Component-based device, Far better picture.

Component is still analog, I don't understand why you say it will be better than VGA. The best I can think is that long VGA cables are often more cheaply made, but given equal quality cables, you should get at least as good or better results with VGA. Of course, there are other variables. I don't remember component out being offered for Macs, even with a dongle converter.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbg View Post

Great, but when are they going to fix the problem with Mini Display Port to Dual Link DVI adapter problems?

Im with you on that. Originally my min display port to DVI would only work with some dvi monitors. That seemed to get resolved. I updated my mini display port to VGA this morning - and its working great. The DUAL LINK that I use on 30 inch dell monitors is terrible. Shimmering and a full screen flash about every 10 to 60 seconds is awful. Since I now 'know' even their cheap mini-vga has some kind of built in reprogrammable chip, I have faith that the DUAL link DVI to mini displayport fix can't be too far away. FWIW, I do not plug the USB from the Dual link into my macbook pro. I plug the USB hub part of my dell monitor into the macbook, then 'power' the dual link from the monitor. This improves the flicker (seems).
BTW, more often than not when I unplug it all (I keep my macbook closed and vertical) it turns the macbook ON.
Afterwards the macbook will not sleep by closing the lid. I have to use power button-sleep to put it to sleep. THEN it always turns on when I open it, but still never sleeps when I close it. Logging IN out doesn't fix this only a restart does. Do you have this problem also?
post #22 of 29
I was having the external display (Samsung Syncmaster 245BW) blink on and off after a warm up perioid when using the 9400M. It would not update when connected to the Samsung and failed 3 times. An unknown error. The samsung is VGA and DVI and I'm using the VGA mode for the laptop. Might be the display isn't quite compatible. After hooking up to a VGA only LCD (HP L1706) it updated fine. Now it's hooked back up to the Samsung and no blinking.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by trip1ex View Post

Any VGA to miniDisplayPort adapters out there?

I've installed the firmware update, and things don't seem much better with my Dell 5100MP. Sometimes it connects, sometimes it freezes the MBP display until disconnected, sometimes it just doesn't detect the projector. One of the best things about my old MBP was fearlessly plugging into any projector for a presentation and not worrying about it, while the PC-types were fretting about display settings. No more.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbuck View Post

I've installed the firmware update, and things don't seem much better with my Dell 5100MP. Sometimes it connects, sometimes it freezes the MBP display until disconnected, sometimes it just doesn't detect the projector. One of the best things about my old MBP was fearlessly plugging into any projector for a presentation and not worrying about it, while the PC-types were fretting about display settings. No more.

I agree about the "fearless its not" anymore....
what input do you use on 5100? I have one & had been using DVI - it did work at one point
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

I agree about the "fearless its not" anymore....
what input do you use on 5100? I have one & had been using DVI - it did work at one point

This was regarding the VGA input admittedly old, but still the most frequently encountered AV setup for speaking.

My tests on the HDMI input to the 5100 (via DVI and adapters) didn't fair well either. Tons of snow; wrong colors. Could be the adapters though. There doesn't seem to be a DVI input on my Dell (though there is a connector that looks a lot like one - just more pins). Maybe I'm missing a cable. The mDP > DVI works fine with my 24" Dell monitor.

What I really need is VGA, to talk to all of those older projectors out there.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbuck View Post

This was regarding the VGA input admittedly old, but still the most frequently encountered AV setup for speaking.

My tests on the HDMI input to the 5100 (via DVI and adapters) didn't fair well either. Tons of snow; wrong colors. Could be the adapters though. There doesn't seem to be a DVI input on my Dell (though there is a connector that looks a lot like one - just more pins). Maybe I'm missing a cable. The mDP > DVI works fine with my 24" Dell monitor.

What I really need is VGA, to talk to all of those older projectors out there.

I agree the VGA needs to work well. I also frequent corporate clients with many different projectors - all vga.

I will try to check my macbook pro tonight into my 5100 (using DVI) and see how it looks. I also have macbook unibody I can try.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't think so this time around. Previous minis might have had a socket, but I recall reports that said the processor is soldered to the board on this revision.

It is an BTO option even on the "cheaper" mini. (and sequitur mentioned it as a BTO option)
If you want to do it on your own you are out of luck,
as you correctly said the proc is soldered to the mainboard.
post #28 of 29
So I got the MiniDisplayPort to VGA adapter from Monoprice and it does not allow me to upgrade the firmware because it does not have any firmware. I experience 3 separate problems with my new mac mini. Sometimes I only see static, other times I can see the desktop but it is this wierd staticy wobbley, and the signal is lost and comes back every couple of minutes. The monoprice adapter is going back and I am getting the apple one.
post #29 of 29
I updated my mini-display port to VGA firmware, but the problem seems to persist.

Every time I try to move my MacBook Pro (15", 2.4GHz), even very slightly, the external display disconnects.

But when this happens, I can still drag windows onto the external display area (extended desktop), as if OS X still thinks the external display is connected.

It required manually un-plugging and re-plugging to get it working again.

Anyone has this problem as well?
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