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MacBook Pro :: What Is Clamshell Mode And How To Set It

I want to know what clamshell mode is and how do I set it?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3)

View 4 Replies (Posted: Mar 28, 2012)

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MacBook Pro :: Airport Only Works When In Clamshell Mode Mode
One day I was using my MBP open and external monitor hooked up. Everything was fine until the internet went down suddenly while I was using iChat.

My airport wouldn't see a network and after a couple restarts and a few resets my airport finally connected to my network. Once connected it would only issue a self-assigned IP, which obviously wouldn't work.

I was able to get around this by manually entering in the correct info but the speeds were low at best, usually pausing and stalling every minute.

After frustratingly trying get it to work, I entered clamshell mode because there was no reason at the time to have dual monitors. Once I did, viola, the airport kicked in and started working full force. It's been this way for about a month now.

My laptop is a MacBookPro5,1 with a 2.8 GHz processor and 4 GBs of RAM.

I've read that airports will have serious degradation issues if overheated and while that may be the issue, it doesn't seem to be the case.

I have smcFanControl installed and the MBP seems to be relatively cool to the touch. The fans never seem to be loudly kicking in and I have it raised on a fan powered cooling pad.

I do, though, use pretty much every port on my MBP. External monitor, speakers, both USBs, and firewire 800 are all in use, so maybe this is a resource issue or a very area specific heat issue.

Posted: Aug 28, 2010

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I'm running my MacBook (not "Pro") in clamshell mode to drive two external monitors.  Am I risking anything by having the lid closed?[url] Please bear with me for a second.  I'm a long time Mac user—since the Mac Plus came out—and diehard Power Mac and Tiger fanatic, so I'm new to Mac-Intels and Snow Leopard. A full description of my MacBook setup is here:[url] This is my only Intel Mac.  I rescued it from the trash, literally, after my wife had discarded because of a bulging battery that was making the keyboard, trackpad and mouse inoperative.  I only use it to run Photoshop 13 ("CS6") which doesn't run on my Power Mac G5 Quad.

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I successfully migrated from my MB to a new MBPro. I seem to be unable to duplicate the clam shell mode of operating my Cinema display that I had hooked up to my MB. I set the bluetooth to wake the MBPro from sleep, which it does when the MBPro lid is open but it won't wake it when the lid is closed. This method worked perfectly with my MB.

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Posted: Sep 17, 2009

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I have a new june 2009 15 Macbook pro and an external monitor hooked up to it. The awakening and everything works, but here's my question: The computer gets hot, real hot... What are the effects of the labtop's monitor and internals with using it when it's closed? The top of the computer gets really hot, and the screen, even though not on, is basically touching is while closed. I do high performance video rendering and don't know if I should use my computer in clamshell mode while doing this. My old 17" has screen bending and I don't know if it is because of this.

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Posted: Aug 21, 2009

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I have an Apple 30" Cinema Display connected with the Dual Link DVI adapter to my unibody MacBook Pro. For the most part I use it in clamshell mode, but if I decide to use iChat or Skype I need to open it to use the microphone, speakers, and sometimes the camera. However, when I open the lid the screen does not turn on, but the everything else works (camera, speaker, microphone, keyboard, etc.). I need to know the following:

1. Is this normal?
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3. When in clamshell mode will the heat build up be a problem for the screen?
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Posted: Sep 17, 2009

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Am I able to stream video to my xbox in clamshell mode? I don't have an external display, mouse or keyboard connected. Right now I just turn the screen off, but I'd like to close the lid.

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Not sure what time frame this started happening but everything was working fine for a while and all of the sudden my macbook started going to sleep on its own after a wakeup (BT Keyboard).

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I have a new MacBook Pro 17" laptop running Snow Leopard 10.6.2. When I had my old MacBook, I didn't like how I had to plug in the Power, Video, Keyboard, Mouse and Audio each time I went to use it. For this new computer, I bought a Kensington USB Docking Station (Model K33930)


The device works as advertised. DVI external monitor connects to the back, as does my USB devices. When the laptop is powered on it takes about 30 seconds before the MacBook recognizes the USB Hub and then it mirrors the display on that external screen.

My problem is, i want to close the lid of my laptop and just have the external screen be my only display. This works fine if I were to connect all the devices manually, but that is the point of the dock.

Apparently from my reading, Clamshell mode only kicks in if the video cable is connected to the computer.

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I have come to the conclusion that my laptop is in 'clamshell' mode. It remains on, and does not sleep when I close the lid. I have put it to sleep form the apple menu, disconnected the external monitor, and the opened the lid again, and when it turns back on from sleep, the screen flashes on for a second, but then goes to sleep again. I have tried turning it off, restarting, taking the battery out, everything I can think of, but unless the external monitor is connected it almost immediately goes back to sleep.

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However, in learning how clamshell mode works, I discovered my network speed drops significantly when in clamshell mode. For example, I just ran tests with the lid open and in clamshell mode using With the lid open, my download speed was 18.49 Mb/s. In clamshell mode, my download speed was 0.49 Mb/s.

I then tried running the tests multiple times with lid open and in clamshell mode and consistently saw similar results. I also tried holding the MacBook vertically in clamshell mode so the display is in the same position it would be when open--just to be sure it wasn't an issue with the angle of the internal antenna. Similar results. Strange thing is, if I start a test in clamshell mode then open the lid during the test, the speed quickly jumps up again.

I could live with a small decrease in network speed, but this is ridiculous. Wondering if its a problem specific to my MacBook, or a known issue with clamshell mode. Can anyone else reproduce?

MacBook 13" Aluminum (Late 2008)
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