Scott Hanselman

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Micro-HDMI not working? Easy fix.

June 23, '15 Comments [28] Posted in Hardware
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Micro HDMI sucks.This blog post is likely not for you, unless it totally is. Which is why I'm posting it.

My Dad's Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro was driving him batty for months. It was bugging me even more, as I am the assigned IT manager for my family. I'm sure you are also, as you're reading this blog, right?

Anyway, I talk this computer up for months, he gets the computer, and it has this tiny Micro-HDMI connector.

Let me just say that Micro-HDMI is the most evil of all display connectors. I mean, it literally does everything wrong.

Micro-HDMI sucks because:

  • Micro-HDMI looks like Micro USB and I can't explain to my Dad that they are different.
  • Micro-HDMI is the most fragile of all ports. If you blow on it you'll lose signal.
  • It's like the tiny shorty soda pop can of Tab. It's not Diet Coke. It's not enough. It's useless.

Which brings me to the point. His didn't work. Never worked. I tried new drivers, flashing BIOS, new cables, jiggling the connector, everything.

Except the obvious - cutting up the cable.

It turns out that many cables (especially cheap ones from Amazon) don't expose enough metal to make a decent connection.

Take a razor blade and cut a good millimeter around the cable's rubber housing to expose more metal.

Yep, I cut the cableCut around the cable. Remove 1mm or so.

Boom. It works immediately. Dad's thrilled. I'm a good son again and Micro-HDMI continues to suck as a display connector.

Full-sized HDMI or Mini-DP (Display Port) from now on, my friends.

Please, regale me in the comments with tales of why YOU too hate Micro-HDMI, Dear Reader.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Tuesday, 23 June 2015 01:21:22 UTC
Cool fix but what made you finally realize what to do?
Taki
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 03:36:17 UTC
I don't like how "loose" the connector feels when it is pushed in all the way. Like you say, it feels very fragile.
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 05:52:49 UTC
I had the same problem with my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro. Love the computer, but the HDMI port was useless. I sent it to Lenovo for repair. They tried but it was still flaky when I got it back. So they completely replaced my laptop (with a Core i5 -> i7 upgrade while they were at it). Kudos to them for doing their best to solve the problem for me. I wish I'd known about your trick a few months ago, though. I have no idea how you guessed that solution...
Bob M
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 06:19:48 UTC
I have a Yoga 2 Pro (best laptop ever!) and had to cut my Micro-HDMI adaptor to fit.
The problem is that I'm on my second cable as the first one, someone picked up the laptop with it plugged in and the Micro-HDMI metal connector just broke off under the weight of the cable, be warned... :(
Niel Z
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 06:44:46 UTC
I also bought a Yoga 2 Pro and I am considering using it as a desktop PC replacement.
Only, there does not seem to be a decent docking station for it, right?
Any experiences or tips? I'll appreciate it.
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 08:06:34 UTC
I definitely hate micro HDMI. I'll try your trick! Thanks!
Daniel
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 08:52:24 UTC
I hate Micro-HDMI, not sure what I think of Micro-HTMI: which is to say you have typo at the end.
David Pendray
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 09:12:43 UTC
Hopefully dispalyport over usb-c will be adopted, vesa have approved it using usb-c alternate mode the same as thunderbolt has been. I just hope that doesnt cause confusion with different usb-c port supporting different technologies.
Pete
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 09:48:07 UTC
I hate HDMI. My 55 inch^H^H^H^Hcm Sony Trinitron display doesn't support it. What's wrong with composite or SCART anyways ;-)
Doeke
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 10:58:39 UTC
I bought a Yoga 2 Pro for a friend and also a nice Mini-DP to DVI/HDMI/VGA adapter I also use on my ThinkPad T430s and Surface Pro, because I did not check and just assumed a "Pro" Device would have Mini-DP nowadays - how suprised I was when she told me the adapter does not fit..........
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 11:17:16 UTC
Scott, didn't you read Chaos Manor when you were cutting your teeth in tech? "You’ll find by and large, the trouble is a cable."
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 12:59:13 UTC
The Surface RT (remember those?) had the same problem, but worse. The port was mounted straight, but the case edge was at an angle, so you needed get rid of quite a lot of plastic from one side of the plug housing if you used a standard cable.

I say "get rid of" instead of "cut" because I discovered this whilst on holiday when I wanted to connect my Surface to a TV to let the kids watch a film. I didn't have a knife so I ended up outside our hotel room rubbing the cable against a kerb to try and make it fit. It wasn't pretty, but it worked!

(Thanks for the tip, BTW. I just recently bought a Yoga 2 Pro myself.)
James Chaldecott
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 13:27:19 UTC
VGA should have never died! :)

I've had DVI pins bend, I've had HDMI connectors literally snap off in a TV, Mini-HDMI, DisplayPort, etc, etc - you name it all these digital video connectors are poorly designed for the harsh world we live in.

Ever have a VGA cable go bad - not me. Nice strain relief, solid screws to hold it into a case or adapter card.

Engineers need to rethink connectors for ruggedness.
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 15:23:34 UTC
I just spit coffee at my monitor. Best Hanselman post of all time.
Chris Lee
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 16:58:13 UTC
I've done the exact same hack to make a micro-HDMI cable work with my Surface RT. (Sure, I could have spent extra on the "official" cable that was pre-beveled, but the official cable wasn't the right length for my needs.)

While I was surprised that they changed the video port when I upgraded to the Surface Pro 2, I can now appreciate why they made the change.
Mike C
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 17:25:10 UTC
@Zachary Burns

I've had bent pins on VGA, I've had the cable go bad, I've had cables that were poor quality and ghost no matter what, I've had the little screws come out while trying to unscrew the connector, I've had welded screws that couldn't be removed in the way of the cable.

VGA was NOT a panacea in my experience. I've never had a single problem with HDMI except a bad cable, which I replaced with a quality cable my wife found at the local 99 Cents Only store (which I am still using).

I'm glad that I haven't had these problems with the micro-HDMI on my Zenbook.
PRMan
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 20:15:55 UTC
The only way the solution could have been better if you had 3D-printed it.
Donnie Hale
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 13:17:40 UTC
I hate Micro-HDMI because this one time at a conference, this developer, whose name I cannot remember (Scott something-man), made fun of my computer...True story.

As an aside, good hack to know if I ever try to connect that thing to my monitors/projector.
Pete Milizia
Thursday, 25 June 2015 18:26:16 UTC
I had this problem with my Yoga 2 pro as well and ended up ordering another cable from amazon that had that "extra long" tip. Worked like a charm after that.

Something else I experienced on this laptop that was astounding:

I picked it up one day and a screw fell out from the bottom. Turns out all 11 torx screws on the bottom were loose. A quickly-fixed problem, but one that I definitely did not expect to have on a machine I spent $1500 on. This was after about 1 year of moderate use.

So. Close. To. Perfect.
George
Friday, 26 June 2015 03:37:10 UTC
Even more aggravating is that Lenovo made the same mistake on ThinkPad Yoga. It is a freaking business model and it has Micro-HDMI. WHY??? At least you can use a dock with full HDMI or DVI. As you said Mini-DP only please.
Brian Hoyt
Friday, 26 June 2015 11:55:12 UTC
I'm quite happy with my Yoga Pro 2, although I'm also wary of the HDMI connection, especially since I have to plug/unplug it multiple times a day.
I was also frustrated by the lack of USB ports and Ethernet adpaters. In an office setting, or as a desktop replacement, these become cumbersome to work around.

@Wolfgang Ziegler
As luck has it, I received today the Plugable UD3900 USB3.0 docking station I ordered on Amazon. It had good reviews and I must say I'm very impressed, it works flawlessly, dual video, Ethernet, 4x USB2.0 ports+2xUSB3.0 ports, audio in/out.
Just perfect for the cramped Yoga.
Friday, 26 June 2015 19:24:50 UTC
Well I kinda like Micro HDMI.

I have never had any problems, from over 18 months using Micro HDMI, connected into my Nokia Lumia 2520 Tablet, to my TV Screen, via a quality cable. Works every time, from the start. Very reliable, never seemed fragile to my mind.

Love my Lumia 2520 Tablet.[ Also has Miracast and so.... ]

But wireless Miracast ! - Don't get me started on that heap of pooh !
Jules
Friday, 26 June 2015 21:01:05 UTC
Lol! Where is the "don't try this at home kids!" Or "don't sue me if you chop your face off". Dodgy but Funny post!
Saturday, 27 June 2015 13:19:42 UTC
I broke my Yoga 2 Pro mini hdmi port the first time I used it. Totally my fault because I was using it with the laptop in my lap and when I reclined the chair I was sitting in the cable got yanked by the foot rest. Now my picture always has a purple haze which makes it essentially useless.

Combine the fragile mini-hdmi with the free copy of Superfish I got with my Yoga 2, I am a little disappointed with an otherwise excellent computer.
Felix Gutt
Monday, 29 June 2015 10:36:28 UTC
Very helpful! I didn’t know about any of this but now that I do know I feel very happy to be well informed. Thanks for sharing your advice!
Saturday, 04 July 2015 22:22:18 UTC
I've had the same problem with my Yoga 2 Pro, and finally gave up and use a Startech USB 3.0 to HDMI adapter for presentations. Works EVERY time, doesn't get loose, and my confidence level is back, though it was a bit more than an HDMI cable alone.
Tim Droz
Sunday, 05 July 2015 11:48:29 UTC
You saved me!
Thank you very much!
I bought a Yoga 2 Pro 13 yesterday and one of the first things to do is to connect it with my TV.
I used an existing HDMI cable which was working fine. I just put an HDMI to mini-HDMI adapter to use it with Yoga and wasn't able to detect TV neither on Windows 8.1 nor on linux.
I cut the rubber on the mini-HDMI adapter as you proposed and worked immediately!!
Thanks again!
Fotis Kapetanias
Wednesday, 08 July 2015 16:56:38 UTC
Guess my many small device manufacturer choose to implement the larger mini hdmi instead of micro?

Yes, the lousy physical connector is exactly the reason (they are saying this themselves).

Unfortunately, the manufacturers that implement micro hdmi doesn't have a clue.
Mr Mini
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.