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Macbook Pro and Thunderbolt USB problem

58398 Views 169 Replies Latest reply: Mar 17, 2014 7:23 AM by String Bass RSS
  • kneedrag Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 23, 2012 11:39 AM (in response to ejkitchen)

    I wanted to provide an update on my particular situation.    Having exhausted all my options with the suggestions here, I scheduled an appointment at the Genius Bar and dropped off my Thunderbolt for repair.

     

    They replaced a circuit board and the wires that connect the TBD to my MacBook and returned the display to me. It worked for about a day, then I had the same problems all over again.

     

    I scheduled ANOTHER appointment and visit to the Apple Store -- highly frustrated by now.    When I show up, the TBD works 100% perfectly at the Apple store, and they basically tell me there is nothing they can do if they can't reproduce the problem.

     

    I told them I'm not leaving with that TBD and that they can keep it an continue to examine it or give me another one to leave with.    They held onto my TBD and did more diagnostics.

     

    I received a phone call a day or two later confirming that they were able to reproduce my problem and that AppleCare had authorized a new TBD for me.

     

    I picked up my new TBD a few days ago, and all is perfect.

     

    I would highly suggest to anyone having problems to go to the Apple store, and be persistent, if you want to get your problem solved.   You may also need to make a phone call to Apple Care if the Apple Store does not provide you with a solution.

     

    Good luck, and hope that everyone has as pleasant an outcome as I did.

    --Sam

  • Ryan Sandridge Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 7, 2012 5:43 PM (in response to ejkitchen)

    I am on the latest version of Mountain Lion and am still experiencing this problem exactly as described here by so many. So those who are hoping the Mountain Lion update resolves the issue, don't hold your breath!

     

    I'm taking mine to an Apple store tomorrow.

     

    Ryan

     

    Message was edited by: Ryan Sandridge

  • jflow Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 7, 2012 5:48 PM (in response to ejkitchen)

    I am the IT guy for our small Mac office.  We have 2 Macbook Pro 15"  2011 2.2ghz and 3 Macbook Pro 15" 2012 2.3ghz.  All have Thunderbolt Displays, so that is a total of 5 TBDs.  Two of the TBDs have been having this issue where the keyboard does not connect.  Usually it is when returning the laptop to the TBD after using the laptop in another room.  The laptop is closed and asleep - connected to the display - then the laptop display is opened - and the keyboard unresponsive.

     

    Workarounds have consisted mostly of simply disconnecting the thunderbolt and then reconnecting it.  Restarting the Macbook Pro.  And resetting the PRAM seems to help this issue become less frequent as well. 

     

    It looks like some have had luck taking the display back to Apple, so I will do that and update here.  If the problem does not occur when I am in the store - which it most likely will not be reproduced - I will demand they keep it and continue testing.

     

    A side note - we have also had issues with the displays blinking black.  We have already had 3 of the 5 TBDs replaced.  Very frustrating because the entire office switched to Mac from Dell's last year and we are having more problems with these displays than we have had with any of the Dell computers and displays combined!  In short, we paid 3 times as much for twice as many problems.  

  • Chatlanian Calculating status...
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    Sep 8, 2012 9:25 AM (in response to jflow)

    @jflow

    In response to your post a small update that might ease the pain a little (will not cure it, just ease it a bit)

     

    Mountain Lion update did not help.

    Replacement TB did not help.

    But… If I open the MackBook first and let it wake up, then connect it to TB it seem to recognize keyboard. So for now (sadly) my work around is to open the MacBook, let it re-gain it's senses so to speak and then (only then) plug it to the TB. The unplug procedure is the reverse. Open the MB, let it take over the "main screen" then unplug it from TB. As long as I do that it works fine on both TBs (office and home). Only if I forget to "properly" plug or unplug it do I get these USB problems.

     

     

    This is not an ideal work around, especially considering price of the equipment but it is better then rebooting.

     

    I am a programmer, (web and mobile). As far as switching from Dell to Apple, my team did that same switch. Will not speak for my colleagues, but as far as I am concerned, programming on Apple MacBook is million times better then programming on a cheaply made slow Dell machine, where I have to re-install drivers all the time when I need to connect a different mobile device or dealing with anti-viruses and slow NTFS, ocasional freezes and general "Windowsness" of the thing. So to me benefits outweigh this one-and-only annoyance. Still it is a fly in a punch-bowl. I hope Apple does something about it.

  • Ryan Sandridge Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 8, 2012 10:42 AM (in response to Chatlanian)

    @Chatlanian

     

    I was coming to the same conclusion as that as a workaround for the problem.

     

    The last time this happened to me, I could do nothing to get the display to respond again. I tried all the tricks: rebooting, reconnecting, unplugging display from power, zapping pram on computer, etc. Nothing would revive it.

     

    Today I took it into the Genius Bar, and fortunately it remained broken there, and wouldn't respond to their computers either. They just gave me a new one, which so far is working. But unfortunately after reading countless posts of people on their 3rd or 4th display and seeing the same problem, I'm inclined to not tempt fate, and try to follow the protocol you describe.

     

    And more specificly, never ever plug a USB device into the display while the display/computer is sleeping. It is a shame I have to do a "rain dance" to make the most expensive display I've ever bought for a computer to work properly!

     

    Ryan

  • trailbehind Calculating status...
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    Sep 22, 2012 5:08 PM (in response to Chatlanian)

    Hi Chatlanian,

     

    I believe you left a review for my app, Gaia GPS.

     

    I mostly wanted to point out that you can enter coordinates in the app. Just press the flag, drop a pin, and you can hand edit the coordinates, or drag the pin, as you desire. You can choose from 5 different types of coordinates as well.

     

    I also have a few other comments on your review... if you'd like to send me an email at andrew@gaiagps.com, I'd be happy to share some more info.

     

    I'd also be happy to provide a refund, since the app was a bust for you.

     

    Regards,

    Andrew

  • t-leish Calculating status...
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    Sep 27, 2012 1:46 PM (in response to t-leish)

    FYI, it's been 3 months since I added a USB hub to my setup (see https://discussions.apple.com/message/18745230#18745230) and I have never had the same USB problems I was experiencing before... namely, my USB keyboard would stop working though the Thunderbolt.

  • Andy Hurwitz Calculating status...
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    Sep 28, 2012 6:32 AM (in response to ejkitchen)

    just curious--anyone else have this issue that I just posted:

     

    I'm running a brand new thunderbolt display on a ca. late 2011 17" MBP 2.2 GHz.  If I shut the MBP down with the Tb display connected, and then try to restart the computer without the connection, I intermittently get the 3 beep RAM error at startup.  Frozen UNLESS I start-up with the Tb display connected.  Apple replaced the RAM sticks, but it happened again, so they're trying the logic board.  Thought I would throw this out there....anyone else seen this?

     

    ps, we have used every troubleshooting restart combo....

  • Barry Breen Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2012 7:08 PM (in response to Chatlanian)

    Chatlanian,

     

    I use the same workaround as you. I have a MacBook Pro Retina and Thunderbolt Display. Upon having the computer sleep (manually or automatically) or conducting a re-start with the TD all-in-one cables connected (power and thunderbolt), I have to initiate a shutdown/re-start without the all-in-one TD cables plugged in, and then after the computer has booted, re-connect the two cables. Also, I never let the computer sleep (display sleep is fine with no problems).

     

    What appears to be happening is that unless the above procedure is followed, when the TD is started, video comes through, but no USB connection occurs with the computer to the display. Thus, none of the ports on the back of the display are functional or recognized (as if the hub inside the TD needs to be reset or something). Also, if you look at the System Information report you will see that under USB the TD display USB is not there and neither is Sound or the iSight/Facetime camera, and if a keyboard is plugged into the display USB port, you won't see that either. In essence no input/output functions are there except the video itself.

     

    Obviously, if one connects there mouse and/or keyboard to an external hub which is connected to the computer the keyboard and mouse will work fine (connecting a mouse and keyboard in this manner skip the display).

     

    I'm also taking my TD to the genius bar at an apple store since I have an open case number and Apple engineering requested I do that. I suspect I will be able to get it to repeat the problem since I understand what is happening.

     

    I'll post any results.

     

    Barry

  • t-leish Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2012 7:37 PM (in response to Barry Breen)

    Obviously, if one connects there mouse and/or keyboard to an external hub which is connected to the computer the keyboard and mouse will work fine (connecting a mouse and keyboard in this manner skip the display).

     

    The USB hub is not skipping the display, it's connected to the back of the thunderbolt,  I only connect power and TB connector to my MBP.

     

    I discovered the Thunderbolt USB looses power after MBP sleeps, which doesn't allow devices to completely connect.  Adding a powered USB hub between TB and USB devices provides the power necessary so that they never go offline to the MBP.

  • Barry Breen Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2012 11:02 PM (in response to t-leish)

    OK. I understand your connection now. Sorry.

     

    One question I have is this: Does this also cause the sound and camera to operate correctly in the display or does this just provide power in order for the keyboard and mouse to work.

     

    This is really intriguing. You would think that Apple could resolve the power shutdown issue.

     

    Thanks,

    Barry

  • t-leish Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 8, 2012 7:48 AM (in response to Barry Breen)

    I currently have no problems with my sound or camera on the TB with the USB hub, however I didn't use them enough before the USB hub to notice if it was a problem.

     

    I used to have frequent problems network connection, when my USB keyboard wouldn't work my LAN network also wouldn't work.  I would either have to reboot my MBP or switch to wifi.  Ever since I added the powered USB hub to the mix, my network connection over TB no longer goes down.

     

    It seems odd that the powered USB hub would solve the network problem, but my theory is that the power management of the card inside the TB that connects the periferials is problematic and the USB relieves some of the burden.

     

    I'd be curious if you are having camera and sound issues, if adding a USB hub helps solve them.

  • gianthobbit Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 8, 2012 7:54 AM (in response to ejkitchen)

    Update.  Before I disconnect my MBA, I take out the logitech bluetooth dongle, then disconnect.  To reconnect, I get it to wake the monitor, then connect.

     

    0 issues, kind of a pain but at least it works.  Will test things out again in a few months to see if Apple got it figured out.

  • Barry Breen Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 8, 2012 9:46 AM (in response to t-leish)

    FLASH UPDATE....

     

    Using your idea, T-Leish, instead of the USB hub, I disconnected the Thunderbolt connector of the All-in-One cable that comes from the TD. I left the power portion plugged in. I happened to have an extra Thunderbolt cable so I connected that cable between the Thunderbolt port on the TD to the Thunderbolt port on the computer. PROBLEM SOLVED (at least for now....). I can command the computer to sleep or to re-start, closed or open clamshell and not connect or disconnect any cables. I have my external keyboard and mouse plugged into the TD USB ports and all work fine. I tested Firewire, no problems.

     

    Perhaps others can test this configuration and put the results here.

     

    I got to thinking about T-Leish's idea regarding power and the USB and was thinking that perhaps either the Thunderbolt Display cable, cable connector, or electronics in the display leading to the cable has a problem. I'll pass this along to my Customer Applecare Worker at Apple.

  • WarWraith Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 9, 2012 3:24 PM (in response to ejkitchen)

    FWIW, I found this thread because I'm showing very similar symptoms, in a slightly different context, and it's the only thread I've been able to find that's even vaguely close to the symptoms I've been experiencing for the past few months.

     

    1. Instead of a TB display, I've got a Samsung 27" (2760x1440 res) running on a Mini DP - DP cable from the Thunderbolt port on my 2012 MBP (non-Retina).

    Occasionally, similar to the symptoms described here, the screen will just go black for several seconds, then come back on.

     

    I'm wondering whether the graphics card is momentarily switching over from discrete to integrated (which will stop external displays from working) and then switching back again.

     

    2. I have an Apple Aluminium keyboard with a Logitech unifying receiver. I have the same setup at home and work, but different powered USB hubs. Seemingly at random, in both locations, the external KB/M combo would not work. Mostly after waking up the MBP. They would, however, work if plugged directly into the MBP.

     

    After much hair-pulling, I found that if I plug in the keyboard WITHOUT the UR plugged in, it works. I can then plug in the UR, no problems. If I plug in the keyboard WITH the UR plugged in, it refuses to recognise either device. Disconnect the UR for a few seconds, it then will recognise the keyboard, then will recognise the UR.

     

    Apologies if this seems like thread-jacking, but thought it may provide some extra information that *may* be relevant.

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