Enable screen sharing remotely via firewire

Ran into a problem this morning with a friend’s MacBook Pro.  It went to sleep and then the display never came on again. WTF?!

So, after messing with it for an hour, I had an idea – wouldn’t it be much easier to work with it via Leopard’s Screen Sharing.  So, with the laptop powered down, we connected it another Mac via a firewire and then started the laptop up holding down the T key – this starts the laptop up in “target” mode.  A few seconds later, the laptop hard drive appeared as a mounted drive on the 2nd Mac. (*note – I read somewhere that if the 2 mac hard drives have the same label – ie “Macintosh HD” you will have to rename the volume on the 2nd mac for it to mount the laptop’s drive).

Once the drive is mounted, fire up a terminal window, and type (all on 1 line) :

sudo vi /Volumes/<your laptop hd>/Library/Preferences/com.apple.ScreenSharing.launchd

You may see a warning about protecting your password, etc… and then you will be asked for your password. Once in the vi editor,  hit the i key (for insert mode), type the word enabled then hit the colon : to exit insert mode, then wq (to write, quit)

Unmount the laptop drive :

sudo diskutil unmount /Volumes/<your laptop hd>

Reboot the laptop (if you can’t see like his case, hold down the power button until it turns off.

Once it reboots, you should be able to see the laptop appear in the “Network” section of Finder.  You should be able to click on the icon for the laptop, choose “Share Screen”, then enter the username and password you log into the laptop with – and you should be in!

In my friend’s case, this did not help in the long run – there is an outstanding issue with MacBook Pro’s made between May 2007 and September 2008 with the Nvidia 8600 graphics cards – Apple has issued a recall and will fix.

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