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Two Thunderbolt Displays not working under Windows 7

16139 Views 46 Replies Latest reply: Mar 11, 2014 1:03 AM by Shaluda RSS
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Noman84 Calculating status...
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Sep 21, 2011 2:41 AM

I just got the two Thunderbolt Displays I had preordered delivered and I was shocked to find out that both of them can not work together under Win 7 on my MBP.


My Set up :


Macbook Pro - 15" i7 - 2011 - with Thunderbolt Port

Two brand new Thunderbolt Displays - One (Display 1) connected directly to the MBP and the other (Display 2) daisy-chained to Display 1.


Mac OS X fully updated, Windows 7 running on BootCamp, also fully updated.


With this set up ... all three screens work with Os X ... Under Windows 7, MBP Display works and Display 1 works, but Display 2 shows a blank black screen.


Surprisingly All three FaceTime HD cameras are deteceted and working. All ports on both displays work and Speakers on Display 1 and Display 2 work ... but no image on Display 2.


Any help appriciated ... I'll be returning these beauties if they can't work on Win 7 because I work on Windows most of the time


I've tried a bunch of stuff already ... Including trying to get windows device manager to detect the displays etc. and to scan for hardware changes.


Apple states on the product page that dual thunderbolt displays are supported on all 15" and 17" MBPs - they don't say anything about dual dusplays not working on Windows 7 and working on OsX ?


I would like to add that I when I updated OsX it installed the following as well:

- Thunderbolt firmware update

- Thunderbolt Display Software

- Thunderbolt Display Firmware Update


... and now when I try and update OsX says that software is up to date, which means all latest firmware updates made available by apple have been installed.

Apple Thunderbolt Display
  • Smudge Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 21, 2011 9:08 PM (in response to Noman84)

    Call support and see if they can help (although since these are brand new, support isn't very educated in these problems yet).  The only KB article that I could find regarding TB displays and Windows is this one which only mentions that the F8 key doesn't work when the keyboard is connected to the display.

  • Smudge Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2011 10:16 AM (in response to Noman84)

    Sorry to say but you might be stuck for now.  You will probably just have to return them (and re-buy later) or just wait for updated BootCamp drivers.  Previously it has taken Apple a few months to release Windows/BootCamp drivers for new hardware support.

  • Smudge Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2011 11:12 AM (in response to Noman84)

    I really have no idea but if I were to guess, it would be a an issue with the display driver not being able to see the 2nd display down the same video channel.  It sees the first display and it just stop there.  A 3rd party driver might work but since Apple is the only one making ThunderBolt displays right now, there isn't going to be a 3rd party driver yet.


    The other features on the 2nd display are working because those run over the data channel of the ThunderBolt chain.  Similar to a USB connection going to a hub.  Inside the display is a data channel hub which is connecting those devices and the ports on the back.

  • dwagner Calculating status...
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    Sep 26, 2011 10:57 PM (in response to Noman84)

    I too was very disappointed by the fact that Windows 7 in BootCamp did not work on the two TBD I bought - BUT - what I did to work around this issue was install Parallels Desktop 7. Point it to load Windows from Bootcamp (from within Parallels>> Works great. I also have Display Fusion in my BootCamp and that works across both TB screens. So I keep the OSX on my 2011 MacBook Pro and Windows via Parallels on TB display 1 & 2.


    This should work until Apple updates BootCamp.


    Whoever said Apple does not support Windows should have been told...who created BootCamp?


    Let us see what they do.


    Let me know if this works for other users.




  • Hackarchive Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 26, 2011 11:12 PM (in response to dwagner)

    its normal u went to fast windows 7 hasnt mentioned thunderbolt on there intel motherboards.If u loved windows so much it was better going in for an HQ pc.Anyway I understand u wanting the mac to have the power to run both but windows 8 is coming out and macs will cry for it.

  • dwagner Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Hack Archive -  I need Windows for work. I had a 17" HP laptop two years ago. I got the Blue screen of Death one too many times. Then one nght when the BSOD appeared, I threw the laptop against my concrete wall. After that, I went to Mac. Again, Windows is only for work - but hey - Windows does run better on a Mac.

  • Hackarchive Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 27, 2011 5:47 AM (in response to dwagner)

    u got it friend Apple is fancy,stylish and expensive.Good but windows offers so much more to a computer by the way it is versatile and has so many software to do anything I noticed that after using Mac OSX.And as u said for work u can see many offices got programs working mostly with windows.So u said it right.

  • JosiahS Calculating status...
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    Sep 28, 2011 2:15 PM (in response to Noman84)

    I have Dual Thunderbolt 27" Displays and a MBP 17 (2011), Bootcamp Win7x64 Pro... I'm at the same place everyone else is with all features of both monitors working Except the secondary display is black.  I've been manually going through all the bootcamp drivers as well and ATI drivers trying to see what options could be available. 


    Catalyst Control Center 2011.0908.1355.23115 (I believe latest) installs and loads properly but under Displays -> Detect Displays it still only shows 1 Thunderbolt display...


    I am really looking for someone with better results that I have so I can start making use of this monitor...

  • mickey3 Calculating status...
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    Oct 13, 2011 7:21 AM (in response to Noman84)

    When I put a 2nd thunderbolt display on my iMac it works find in OSX but does not turn on when I boot directly to windows. But, when I booted first to OSX it stays on and when I reboot into Windows 7 x64 it does detect and use the 2nd monitor.


    When I put two thunderbolt displays on my Mac Mini it boots in OSX and both display work fine. But when I boot to windows 7 x64 the 2nd display does not turn on and windows 7 will not use it. I supposed if there was some way to turn it on windows 7 might detect it properly.  There is no on/off switch on the thunderbolt monitor to turn it on and I suspect that is the problem with getting windows to use the 2nd thuderbolt monitor.

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