Dell display not working properly with PowerBook G4


I decided to try attaching my PC's monitor to my PB. Works fine on the
PC, up to 1600 x 1200. When I plug it in to the PB the screen comes on
but does not quite display properly (looks a bit like a TV with the
vertical hold gone). The displays preference pane detects the monitor
by name and shows all the right resolutions/frequencies, but none of
these selections work. Turning on mirroring also doesn't work.

There are adjustments on the monitor, but only for
colour/contrast/trapezoid, etc, and none of these make any difference

I don't think the VGA port on the PB is duff because I am pretty sure I
have connected it to a projector without problems.

I read here --> l about clearing out the
window server preferences but it seems a bit like bare-back riding to
me - any thoughts on doing this, anyone?

Any help much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


U.S.D.A. Prime
Sounds like the refresh rate is either too high or too low for the monitor... have you tried setting it to something you know the monitor can handle, like a low resolution/refresh of 1280x960 or 1280x1024 @ 75Hz?


Yes, I've tried every setting from 640x480 @60 Hz to 1600x1200 @70 Hz. When I change the setting the display changes, and I can move the mouse into the display (although I can't see it when it is there I can tell from the way it moves that it is doing it) but it is still out of whack.

Very strange. If this was a TV I'd be looking for the vertical hold knob :)


Update: I've tested that display with my Mac Cube too now, and it works fine on that. The only differences are that the Cube is running 10.4 Server and the connection is a direct VGA (i.e. I don't need to use the mini-DVI to VGA adaptor). Assuming there is no major difference between Tiger and Tiger server it is looking like either I have a duff mini-DVI to VGA adaptor or there is a problem with my PowerBook. Sooner the former than the latter. Does anyone know of any tools for testing the external video connections?




The plot thickens... I have now had a chance to try the same PowerBook with the same VGA adaptor on another monitor (HP TFT display) and it works fine. So now I am baffled: the Powerbook works with other monitors but not this one, and the monitor works with other computers but not this one.

I'm close to giving up on being able to use this display, but I'd still like to understand what's going on here. I've never had a problem driving an external display from a Mac before.


I have the same problem with a Dell monitor I'd really wanted to use with my new Powerbook. I've tried attaching the monitor different ways and worked through all the options I can find.

I've also tried, like macfizz, clearing out the window server preferences (as descibed at, but find the same results.

I'd be very grateful if anyone knows of a solution!
Many thanks.

Powerbook G4 1.5Ghz
Dell 19" Monitor D1025HE