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Archived - Mac mini (Original): Troubleshooting "Out Of Range" alert message

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Symptoms

If you start up your Mac mini but get nothing but an "Out of Range" message on the screen, or you see the normal gray startup screen with the Apple logo, but the screen suddenly turns black, follow these steps:

Resolution

  1. Start up in Safe Mode. For instructions, click here.
  2. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  3. Click Displays to open the preference pane.
  4. Select any resolution and refresh rate that your display supports.
  5. Restart your computer.

If you followed these steps but still see the same message or black screen, you can try the following additional steps.

Warning: This section involves use of the rm command. Be sure to type the commands exactly as shown. Any typographical error you make when using the rm command could result in severe data loss, including all information on your computer. To verify characters and spacing, copy and paste the command text below from your web browser to a text editor, such as TextEdit.

  1. Start up in Single-User Mode. For instructions, click here.
  2. At the prompt, type: mount -uw /
  3. Press Return.
  4. Type: rm /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver.plist
  5. Press Return.
  6. Type: cd /Users/username/Library/Preferences/ByHost
    (Replace the text username above with your username, which is also the name of your Home folder.)
  7. Press Return.
  8. Type: ls
    (This command lists all the visible files and folders in the ByHost folder.)
  9. Locate the file named "com.apple.windowserver.xxxx.plist" (where "xxxx" is a series of letters and numbers).
  10. Type: rm com.apple.windowserver.xxxx.plist
    (Be sure to replace the xxxx characters with the exact letters and numbers that appear in your file.)
  11. Press Return.
  12. Type: reboot
  13. Press Return.
  14. While the computer starts up, you should reset PRAM to fully clear any stored preferences.

If you have Apple Remote Desktop, and you have another display available that is compatible with the Mac mini, use the compatible display to configure the Mac mini to allow Remote Administration. Once configured, re-connect the Mac mini to the display with the Out of Range error, use Apple Remote Desktop to remotely login to the Mac mini, and then change the Display Preferences to a resolution and refresh rate compatible with the reconnected display.

Last Modified: Jul 14, 2010
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  • Last Modified: Jul 14, 2010
  • Article: TS2213
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