No HDMI signal and target disk mode does not work after screen broken

I bought this MacBook Retina 2015 with a broken screen. I can see the backlight come on but the screen is broken. However I connect a Satechi USB-C mulitadapter and get no HDMI signal. This adapter works fine on another similar machine. I can hear it recognize charging when I plug in a power adapter. But I am also not able to get the mac in Target Disk Mode. I can see traces of the bouncing USB logo so it must be in TD mode. But I need to get to the disk or get a video signal in some way to check the mac.

Any ideas why USB-C is not working with HDMI adapter or TD mode but seems to charge?

--UPDATE---

It seems that all USB-C MacBook systems support TDM with these 2 cables:

  • USB-C to USB-A. It must be the USB-3 and not USB-2 version cable. You can see if a cable is USB-3 by the 5 pins inside the connector. USB-2 only has 4 pins.

Block Image

Here's Apples cable: Belkin USB-A to USB-C Cable (USB 3.1) I managed to get a cheap one that works fine.

  • USB-C to USB-C cable. Apple calls it Thunderbolt 3 but as long as it is "data cable" and not the supplied "charging cable" it should work fine.

Here's Apples cable: Thunderbolt 3 (USB‑C) Cable (0.8 m). I managed to get a cheap one at the local gadget shop that worked fine.

I tested both these cables with TDM and the working MacBook 12" Retina. Works like a charm. But this MacBook has a broken screen and does not work with TDM. I guess I will have to get a new screen and will update!

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Are you connecting between two USB-C systems and connecting directly with the cable (no hub)? You'll need to do that for Target Disk Mode on this system.

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I have the same year MacBook Retina 12" here that I tested with and HDMI works fine with the Satechi adapter. I see now that Target Disk Mode does not work when I use a USB-C to USB-2 cable. I thought it would show up but only be slow. I guess it is just a charging cable. So I need a USB-C to USB-C data cable? But any ideas why there is not HDMI signal? Does the HDMI signal need the OS to load? Since I have no idea what state the drive is in now, it may not even have a working OS. I guess the adapter just works but maybe the Macbook needs to load drivers for external monitor? My guess?

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Sadly, you need a straight USB-C to USB-C cable to do Target Disk Mode (no adapters).

Yes, the OS needs to load as the drivers need to be loaded. So not having the OS running would explain that.

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The only risk here is you need to have a USB-3 system as a USB-2 system can't access the extra lines. I had forgotten this also works!

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I wonder if something is wrong with the SSD since i can see the floating USB symbol on TDM but no response on the USB part. I even tested a sertified USB-C to USB-C cable. My other MBP 12" works fine in TDM. This with the broken screen, no reponse. So waiting for a new screen then. Hope to update then.

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