Dual-Link DVI Cable Causes Crash

So that my Mac Pro would fit properly under my desk I needed a longer DVI cable than the 6ft. cable that came with my Dell 30″. I ordered a 10ft CablesToGo cable from Amazon.

When I hooked up the replacement cable, I had a bit of a surprise: my computer wouldn’t boot. I thought something else had gotten messed up, but after a couple minutes of debugging I found it was indeed the cable. When the cable was attached, the Mac Pro would not boot, and if I attached it when the machine was already running, the machine would freeze. Something about that cable did not get along with my video card.

I was concerned that I might have ordered the wrong type of cable. After all, the Apple 30″ display I was replacing came with the monitor cable already attached; I’d never ordered a replacement before. I checked the replacement cable and found that it had the exact same writing on the side of the cable as the 6ft one that came with the Dell monitor, and worked properly. I also checked the Dell web site and found that they were selling the same CablesToGo cable.

With that information, I sent a replacement request to Amazon and with their usual great customer service had a replacement CablesToGo cable in a couple of days and free shipping sending the bad cable back. The replacement cable works a treat. No problems at all, worked from the first time I hooked it up.

So it seems that a bad Dual-Link DVI cable can cause a machine to freeze or not boot. I didn’t realize that.