Shar­ing mon­i­tors be­tween com­put­ers

Mac Format - - APPLETALK -

I have two com­put­ers and two mon­i­tors – a Mac Pro with a 27-inch Dell mon­i­tor con­nected us­ing Dis­playPort, and a Win­dows 8 PC with a mon­i­tor (also a Dell), that’s shared be­tween both the PC and the Mac Pro (over DVI on the PC). If I’m us­ing the PC and then un­plug the mon­i­tor and con­nect it to the Mac Pro, the Mac recog­nises the new dis­play, but the screen stays black. After a few seconds the mon­i­tor goes into standby. Is there any way to hot-swap th­ese mon­i­tors? Steve By­ron OS X sends a query to the mon­i­tor through the video cable when the Mac first boots or wakes from sleep, when you plug in the Mac end of the video cable, and when you hold å down in Dis­play Pref­er­ences and click the De­tect Dis­plays but­ton.

If the mon­i­tor doesn’t an­swer with its dis­play ID at any of th­ese points, the Mac will con­clude that there isn’t any­thing at the other end of the cable and will stop send­ing video data through it. And the mon­i­tor in turn, will drop to standby as soon as it goes a few seconds with­out re­ceiv­ing a video sig­nal.

It may be that your mon­i­tor isn’t re­spond­ing be­cause it’s only lis­ten­ing to the PC through the DVI port at the time and doesn’t switch over im­me­di­ately. You could try us­ing the De­tect Dis­plays but­ton on the Mac to send a few ex­tra ID queries down the cable and see if the mon­i­tor catches any of them. If that doesn’t work, try cy­cling the power on the mon­i­tor first, be­fore you plug it into the Mac. Even if this works, it’s a lit­tle in­con­ve­nient to have to turn the mon­i­tor off and on again ev­ery time you switch com­put­ers.

How­ever there is a glim­mer of hope. There are a few mon­i­tor de­tec­tion bugs in Mav­er­icks 10.9.4 that Ap­ple is aware of. By the time you read this, 10.9.5 will be out, not to men­tion the pos­si­bil­ity of 10.10, Yosemite. There is a good chance that Ap­ple may have fixed this is­sue in the dis­play driver by then, al­low­ing bet­ter hot swap­ping de­tec­tion.

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