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Released in July 2018, the 15" MacBook Pro, model A1990, features a 15.4 inch LED-Backlight display with True Tone technology, TouchID, and up to 6 Core i9 Processor.

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Clean OS Install on Broken Screen

My MacBook Pro screen is broken and currently using with External Display, I want to upgrade it to macOS Catalina. the problem is I am unable to see what is going in without the laptop screen in order to clean install when I try to boot with Option + CMD + R.

I also tried in clamshell mode with Power, External Display and Keyboard connected. nothing shows up.

PS: Replacing the screen is not an option for me right now.

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I have this same problem. Were you able to find a solution to it? My laptop screen is black now and is broken. It updated itself at night and is not switch on anymore.

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Sounds like you’ll need to wait on the OS upgrade until you get your display repaired. Apple requires the internal display to be functional (primary display) in all of their OS installers.

Frankly, Catalina is still a bit buggy. I would hold off until the 10.15.1 release shows up.

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Will disconnect display cable from logic board work ??

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Sorry no, that won't change the systems expectation.

The only option is finding a friend willing to allow you to borrow his display of the same model following this guide MacBook Pro 15" Touch Bar 2018 Screen Replacement and then swapping is back to his system.

Is upgrading that important that you can't wait till you get the display fixed?

Is it possible Apple might cover it under the AppleCare or AppleCare+ if you had bought the extended warranty?

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@danj I was planing not to fix the screen at all as the price of the screen in India is 65 % of the original price of my MacBook which is crazy and unfortunately I don't have AppleCard.

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@Lohen - Surprisingly that's what it even costs here in the States and the EU!

Here's the needed part from the BookYard in the UK- NEW $1,200 USD:

MacBook Pro 15" Complete Display - Silver (18/19)

MacBook Pro 15" Complete Display - Space Grey.

There are cheaper options getting a recycled display which will have slight blemishes. Here's the cheapest option $670 USD:

acBook Pro 15" Complete Display - Silver (18/19)

MacBook Pro 15" Complete Display - Space Grey (18/19)

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Unless… if you have friend that has *similar* mac book pro.. just put your HDD install catalina. Remove that HDD put it on your device.

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That would not be possible with this system as the storage is soldered to the logic board.

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@danj - I meant copy a working Catalina HDD from another mac and boot it here - as an external HDD.

Now you can use CC-cloner to clone your internal soldered SSD. System Rescue CD /gparted can be started with an USB stick.

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While that would have been possible (you would need to use the built-in Unix terminal commands as the cloner apps won't work correctly) with the 2016 or 2017 models.

The 2018 & 2019 now use a T2 chip to control access to the storage. By default its setup to prevent booting from an external drive as well as replacing the OS. Here's more About Secure Boot

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boot your mac with a systemrescueCD and then use linux command dd to write a complete partition?

Or use gparted to copy/clone a working a Catalina from another hard drive inside this??

I have even booted sierra from a external drive!

May be OP can try these!!!

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Sorry, this system does not have a optical drive. Even if it did or you had created a bootable USB drive instead the issue is still the same as the OS installer app is programed to work off of the primary display (internal in this case).

Take a look at the MacBook Pro 15" Touch Bar 2018 Teardown for your self.

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Open your mbp, deattach display (use iFixit tutorial), connect your external display and viola.

When you finish clean install reattach the display.

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