Let me describe my problem: In March 2011 I bought an "Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro" and an external 27" CinemaDisplay. Everything worked well as long as I was on SnowLeopard. During that time I also used an external HDD with FireWire800 connection for TimeMachine backups. I had no problems when I was connecting/disconnecting the disk.
Then, in the first week of August, I updated to Lion. Sometimes, when I connect the CinemaDisplay, it will not be detected, meaning that I cannot see anything on it. If I open the MBP, the screens - both on the MBP and the external CinemaDisplay - remain dark and the system is hanging. The only way out then is a forced shutdown. When I switch the system back on the MAC starts up until the gray screen with the apple logo and the spinning gear, but that's it. It remains in that condition. The only way to successfully restart the system is another forced shutdown and a start up in Safe Boot mode (shift pressed). Then, I can shutdown and restart the system in normal mode (sometimes it needs several cycles of this). As described above, this happens when I connect or disconnect the Thunderbolt-CinemaDisplay. Even worse is the problem with the external HDD connected via FireWire800: If I plugin the HDD I will end up in the same situation with the MBP hanging and the endless spinning gear after restart. If I connect the ext. HDD without the CInemaDisplay connected, I never have/had that problem.
During the past 4 weeks I did several system restores as well as clean installs of Lion. Nothing really helped. At some point I am back to the grey screen with the endless spinning gear.
Now the question is, what is the problem with LION that produces these issues? I guess that it is somehow connected to the power management through the thunderbolt port. I will connect the ext. HDD to an external power supply and see whether this helps to connect it savely..
Anyway, this is a huge problem and it needs a solution! I can hardly work like this and it is not acceptable to have such an expensive external display and not daring to connect it because it might force me to go through another round of safe boots and restore sessions...
Does anyone have the same problems? What would be the solution? Will there be a new update (10.7.2) that will solve this problem?
Any help and advice in this case would be greatly appreciated.