Received call from a client that his Formac Gallery flat panel LCD monitor (model: FGD2010-1) had stopped working and that he could no longer work with any files and folders on his Mac Pro. Moreover, he stated that before his monitor went dark that it had been exhibiting wake-from-sleep problems. Researching the Internet, he indicated that he tried several standard troubleshooting procedures such as zapping the pram, but none of them helped. He was at a loss as to what to do.
While his external monitor was inaccessible, my client worked on projects using his MacBook Pro. In discussing the issue with the client, I made it clear that we had to determine whether the problem was being caused by a hardware glitch (Mac Pro/Formac) or by software.
I mentioned that we could determine if the monitor was working properly if he had an adapter that would allow his laptop to connect to it. As it turned out, he didn’t have the right adapter, so that option couldn’t be tested.
To test the Mac Pro hardware, I suggested that he start up the computer in target disk mode (by holding down the T key) while a firewire cable was attached to it and his powered-up laptop. My client needed time to locate his firewire cable, so we decided to look for other ideas.
Finally, I suggested to my client to boot his Mac Pro into safe mode by holding the Shift key during start-up. I mentioned that problems can result if there is corruption in a system or user cache file, and that a safe boot may make it possible to start up the machine by clearing out old cache files.
Voilà! Success! He exclaimed that he could again boot to his desktop while in safe mode. Afterward, I instructed my client to start his machine in a normal manner without holding down any keys.