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bazaarone Level 1 Level 1

Since I received my Thunderbolt display yesterday and hooked it up to my 2011 MB Air,  I've had nothing but problems.


Software update is fully up to date, including the TB Display firmware.


I'm experiencing three major issues:

1. About half the time when I connect the display, my connected USB devices are non-functional. Unplugging and reconnecting the devices does not fix it.

2. Also, about half the time when I disconnect the display, the MB Air does not reconfigure the monitor layout. Putting it to sleep and/or disconnecting / reconnecting monitors does not fix this. I have to hard restart my laptop.

3. When connected through the TB Display, my Mac will infrequently not recognize key up events from my USB keyboard, causing keys to repeat until I hit them again. For an idea of frequency, it has happened 4 times so far thus far while writing this post.


Also a couple of minor niggles:

1. The default color calibration is WAY different from the MB Air's screen. It's most obvious with yellows which have a severe green tint on the TB display. For example, note windows in Mail appear very slightly orange on my MB Air (as expected given the color value), while on the TB display it is florescent yellow with a slight greenish tint.

2. The sound is a lot poorer than I had hoped. I wasn't expecting anything really amazing, but with the "built in subwoofer" I expected noticeably better bass than my MB Air's built in speakers provide.


The minor issues can either be minimized (with color calibration and equalizer) or ignored, but the major issues make this display completely unusable for me. Is this just a defective unit, or are these widespread issues?


Thanks in advance for any help.


PS. Total instances of keys getting stuck while writing this post: ~9. Seems to only be space and delete that get stuck so far.

MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.7.1)
  • Smudge Level 1 Level 1

    Since these are brand new, you'll just have to wait to see if anyone else has the same issues.  However, I would call support immediately to get it fixed/replaced.  For the cost, these should be perfect.

  • puneet.dna Level 1 Level 1



    I have the same setup; MBA (2011, i7 1.8, 4GB, 256GB SSD) + Thunderbolt Display.


    As of yet, the only problem i've had since plugging in the display is that the thunderbolt wont allow me to connect my original mini display port monitor. But iv'e found that this is a limitation of the MBA .


    Im also running everything perfectly in bootcamp (Win 7 x32).


    When I first plugged the dispay in, Software Update found a Thunderbolt display F/W update, did you perform that? There was a past release that updated the MBA's EFI which was releases before the display F/W.

  • aadw Level 1 Level 1

    I'm having the same issue with the external USB keyboard with a new MB Air and TB Display before and after the latest Software Updates. Flakey and a worry but hard to imagine it's a fault with the specific unit I've got.

  • aadw Level 1 Level 1

    Just applied the TB Display Firmware Update (sorry, thought that Sofware Update had done it at the same time as the MB Air Firmware Update) and the keyboard issue seems to be resolved. Nice!

  • Steve Garfield Level 1 Level 1

    I have similar keyboard issues on a MacBook Air. When connected to the Thunderbolt monitor, some key depressions are not recognised.


    I have applied the Thunderbolt monitor firmware update and the system update is current.


    Keyboard works fine when connected directly.

  • BryantAXS Level 1 Level 1

    I'm having very similar issues.  At first the USB and camera worked on the TB Dispaly when plugged in, but now none of the USB ports are working and the camera is not being recognized.  Extremely frusturating.


    MBA (2011, i7 1.8, 4GB, 256GB SSD) + Thunderbolt Display




    Actually now I've found that when I disconnect the thunderbolt plug from my MBA, the usb periferials that are connected to the display come back on. Very strange.

  • iconmaster Level 1 Level 1

    YES! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with some of these issues. Like the OP I've completely updated both my MacBook Air (13", Thunderbolt-capable) and the Thunderbolt Display's firmware. I've only experienced the spontaneous screen power-down once, but...


    The USB issues are a real pain. I've had to disconnect both my wired keyboard (brand-new, latest Apple model) and my wireless mouse receiver from the Thunderbolt display and connect them to the USB ports on the MacBook Air.


    When connected to the display, keystrokes were frequently ignored -- even swapped -- and the mouse would often stop working altogether, requiring me to disconnect and reconnect its receiver.


    With these devices plugged directly into the Air's USB ports, the problems disappear. It's definitely something wonky in the way the Thunderbolt Display handles USB connections.

  • tthiel1 Level 2 Level 2

    Do a hardware reset on your Mc.

  • iconmaster Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks -- seems like that might have helped. Hard to say till I've used it for a couple hours.

  • BryantAXS Level 1 Level 1

    Did a reset, same issues still happening.

  • tthiel1 Level 2 Level 2

    Did you do an SMC reset as well as zap the pram?


    SMC reset


    Zap the PRAM


    I have no specific reason to think either of this will solve your problem but anytime hardware is acting wonky it would be the first thing to try.


    I have TB display with 1.8ghz i7 13" MBA and am having none of these issues btw.

  • waa Level 1 Level 1

    Same issues here with a new (2wk old) display and a MBP. USB keyboard won't work with display, but the keyboard does work when plugged directly into the MBP.

  • BryantAXS Level 1 Level 1

    Reset the SMC and PRAM per both articles that were submitted, nothing fixed.  Thanks for the tip though.

  • tthiel1 Level 2 Level 2

    Also you have applied both the MBA and the display updates?  I thought I had but it turned out I only applied the Air update.  So I just now applied the display update.  But I wasn't having issues like you even before then.


    MBA update


    TB Display update


    Maybe try each one again?  If that doesn't do it take it to an Apple stoore along with your MBA.  It does seem like some kind of hardware issue.

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