3 Replies Latest reply: Feb 29, 2012 1:51 AM by Lupo_2000
Lupo_2000 Level 1 Level 1

Hello everybody,

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.

MacBookPro8,2, Mac OS X (10.7.1), 27" Thunderbolt CinemaDisplay
  • Lupo_2000 Level 1 Level 1

    The problem with the thunderbolt-display has been solved. The thunderbolt-plug was having a problem and the entire board had to be exchanged.

    However, the problem with the endless spinning gear during startup is still there, even after several reinstalls of LION.

    My "solution":

    - force-shutdown

    - reset NVRAM / PRAM

    In most of the cases that helps. If that is not enough I have to boot in safe-mode and repair rights in the disk utility. Then my MBP will start again...

  • UYCR Level 1 Level 1

    im also having a similar issue... i upgraded my '09 macbook pro to lion and the display port wont work.... itl recognize displays and projectors by falshing the sceen a light blue color but won't send any image.


    any sugestions on this that you might have heard of?

  • Lupo_2000 Level 1 Level 1

    The situation on my MBP was much better. But now I tried to install the newest EFI-Firmware update and could not restart my MBP. All the procedures described in my post from Dec 09 2011 did not help so I have to restore from time machine. I guess that the following is the problem of my MBP: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3676.