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MacBookPro only boots when an external screen is connected

My friends MacBook Pro 15" 2014 shows some pretty weird behavior.

When booting up the process suddenly stops and and a black bar appears on the upper part of the screen. Then nothing happens anymore.

I tried to find out if it was a graphics problem and connected it to a screen over the Thunderbolt port. It booted up normally and i can even disconnect the screen and work normally. It even works when i only have the VGA-Thunderbolt adapter connected without the screen. (For DVI and HDMI the cable/adapter isn’t enough, there needs to be a screen attached, guess that’s a digital/analog thing)

He had NVIDIA CUDA installed and i removed all that because apparently that isn't supported in Mojave anyway. This didn't change anything though.

Does anyone know what might be going on here?


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Carefully examine the display for any impact anomalies. It can even be the size of a pinprick.

Does it look kind of like this?

Block Image

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No nothing like this. It's a straight line about 2cm wide from left to right and it only appears after it booted about 2/3. The fact that it works when i plug in the VGA adapter makes me think it's not an issue with screen itself.

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Please post a photo of what you are seeing as this is a very unusual problem.

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To be on the safe side first do a PRAM reset and an SMC reset. If this doesn’t work are you able to boot into network recovery on the internal display? This will rule out a software issue.

See this guide on booting into network recovery:

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Thanks. I forgot to mention, did both of that and tried to boot from an external drive. From the external drive it's not a black bar but a thin fuzzy line which looks a lot like graphic errors.

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In that case try running Hardware Diagnostics: plug in the external monitor if you can't see anything in the diagnostics.

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I just did a safe boot and that booted normally. I thought i had tried that already...

So could it still be some remnants of the CUDA stuff?

Hardware Diagnostics didn't find anything.

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it could be, Maybe do a reinstall just to be sure its gone.

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is it definitely a 2014? it might fall under this program :

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