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Major problems with Thunderbolt display & MB Air

197572 Views 431 Replies Latest reply: Mar 26, 2014 6:27 PM by benduncalf33 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • 11MBAir2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 19, 2013 8:37 AM (in response to bazaarone)

    I downloaded a new MBAir SMC firmware update yesterday which seems to have fixed my USB problem.

     

    Check for updates.

  • rpg51 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 19, 2013 9:38 AM (in response to 11MBAir2)

    Suggest you wait a week or so before reaching any conclusions.

  • ttsang5 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 19, 2013 9:47 AM (in response to bazaarone)

    I am 200% sure that that is not relate to any issue of "disconnection" as I was having Skype or other Video conference through the ethernet of Thunderbolt Display and the screen was flashing and the connection is still alive including the charging of my iPhone, as you guys know the Thunderbolt Display will not charge your iPhone or iPad which you plug at the back of the display until your connection with MacBook Air is "awake", therefore it is relate to the Logic Board on MBA, bring your MBA to the Genius bar and tell them the issue, they will probably ask you to update the firmware to 2.0 which I did over the call with Genius Bar as I am the Joint Venture customer, then I still bring the MBA to Genius bar and took me 3 and half working days for the logic-board delivered, replaced and whole MBA polished before hand over to me, no data lost issue but backup to your Time Capsule is recommended.

     

    It's been 2 week now, no more flashing.

    REPLACING A NEW MOTHERBOARD (LOGIC BOARD) PLUS LATEST FIRMWARE UPDATE is the ONLY and 100% WAY TO SOLVE.

  • 11MBAir2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 19, 2013 10:26 AM (in response to ttsang5)

    I, too, had the board replaced in my MBAir since it was reporting a kernal panic again and again.

  • bashthebox Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2013 7:12 AM (in response to 11MBAir2)

    I'm having massive problems with my Retina MBP and TB display. Updated to Mountain Lion from Lion yesterday, and I'm getting several issues:

    1. Firewire port not working at all on the display - though it is showing up on the system profiler as a FW bus with no drive attached. Have tested two drives with two cables which both work via a separate TB to FW adaptor.

    2. USB failures when connecting monitor from sleeping laptop/USB failures when already atached and waking from sleep.

    3. Just encountered a weird issue where the display slowly flashes on and off. Might be an issue that has something to do with resolution switching? When connected to the display, my laptop screen runs in highest res possible, when disconnected it runs in retina scaled mode.

     

    I should reiterate: Didn't have a single problem with the display running under Lion. And now I've got an extremely expensive display which doesnt do a lot of what I bought it for.

    Time to brave the tech support hotline.

  • sc0ttdav3y Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2013 11:37 AM (in response to bazaarone)

    I've been through two thunderbolt displays, and I believe Apple have now fixed the problem for me.

     

    First, I'd like to say that I think there are multiple problems being reported in this thread, so let me explain mine. On the first TBD, I first noticed a crackling through the sound when playing music or using skype and selecting the TBD's sound. This would recover by switching back to the MBA's speakers and back again, but would go crackly again after a few minutes. AppleCare replaced that monitor after diagnosing it over the phone.

     

    The second TBD came and worked great - for about 1 week. Then, one by one, all the peripherals would stop working. It started with my connected iPad not charging through USB. Then, sound stopped working. Then iSight. Then ethernet. I basically ended up with a fancy display with no non-video data capability.

     

    The test Apple used was this - plug it into my MBA and boot up into rescue mode (to bypass any software issues), and plug in a USB memory stick the drive would not show in disk utility. However plugging it into a local USB worked. This was the case for both a 2012 MBA 13" and a 2012 MBP Retina.

     

    AppleCare ran some isolation tests and concluded it was the mainboard, and sent a tech out to replace it. However, this failed to fix the problem. They then concluded that it must be the cable, so sent a tech back out to replace it. The good news - replacing the TBD's inbuilt cable fixed the problem.

     

    TL;DR - a technician replaced the thundebolt cable and the TBD is now working again.

     

    As a side note, when the display was opened for repair, the technician showed me how the built-in cable connected to the mainboard, and it seems to be connected to a common thunderbolt hub that also connects through to the ports on the back. He suggested that I could have bypassed the built-in cable and connected my MBA via an external thunderbolt cable. I didn't try this as I didn't have one on hand, but this may help someone test their own display.

     

    As I said in my intro, I believe this thread may have users with multiple problems, and I may have even had a different problem with my first monitor than I had with the second. But I hope this may help some to diagnose or work around their problem.

  • hejish Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2013 8:29 PM (in response to tonym20)

    I added a powered USB hub and now my macbook air and thunderbolt monitor appear to work quite well for two days now.  I use two external USB-powered hard drives attached to my thunderbolt monitor.  I always had to have the laptop open when connecting to the monitor and wait for the drives to mount before closing to keep drive mounts working.  I have now connnected and disconnected repeatedly and I am now able to plug in my closed macbook air to the thunderbolt monitor and the drives automatically mount every time; all of my problems are solved.

  • MyFaithfulLabAssistantBeaker Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 24, 2013 12:19 AM (in response to bazaarone)

    sc0ttdav3y has pointed out the likelihood that we are dealing with multiple problems related to Tbolt.  I agree.

     

    I cannot get ethernet to come through one of my Thunderbolt displays even with every other port on the Tbolt display unoccupied. When I plug the ethernet cable into the Tbolt display and connect my MBP to the display's Thunderbolt cable I get a 'network cable unplugged' error from the MBP.  When I unplug that same ethernet cable from the Tbolt display and plug it into the MBP directly I immediately am connected. No USB devices connected to Tbolt, no firewire device, nothing but ethernet going through it... and the display doesn't perform this basic function. 

     

    It did work, once, for a short time.  Now it is dead. The port is dead. A deceased parrot, an ex-parrot. 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace!

     

    The Thunderbolt display is a piece of @#%^.  It's like so many other version 1.0 Apple products.

     

    It's great that there are workarounds for some of the problems that some of the people with this display have but it is complete $#*&ing nonsense that someone would pay such a high premium to get a display that is supposed to pipe everything through a single cable to the laptop and then fail to get that very function.

     

    It is quite incredible that Apple could have so much trouble with a mainline product and fail to acknowledge it.

  • relax Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It is quite incredible that Apple could have so much trouble with a mainline product and fail to acknowledge it.

     

    Totally agree, that is Apple for you.  After all they know what is best for us, we have to follow.

  • bashthebox Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 24, 2013 2:24 AM (in response to relax)

    In my case, I'm positive it's a Mountain Lion issue - i.e. software rather than hardware.

    My display was working perfectly under Lion, just two days ago. Immediately on switching to ML - and this is doing a clean install - the problems with USB and Firewire popped up.

  • F9 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 28, 2013 9:51 AM (in response to bazaarone)

    When plugging in my Macbook Air 13 (Mid 2012) to 2012 Thunderbolt Display (SERIAL C02J71KWF2GC) my Macbook Air does not seem to charge.

     

    Here is a video:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/v2pv3pdma7zemn9/2013-01-28%2009.31.39.mov

     

    Couple of notes:

     

    -All available updates installed

    -Nothing plugged into USB

    -OSX Version 10.8.2

    -Power light on adapter will sometimes turn on after time.  Seems random to me.
    -Everything else seems to work pretty good which is better than what I have been reading.

     

    Any ideas?  Thanks in advance.

  • LAStory2011 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 8, 2013 6:16 PM (in response to bazaarone)

    Per Apple support, I reset the NVRAM or PRAM and it seems to have fixed the problem.  My USB ports are not longer turning off.  They were crashing every few hours and it's been 24 hours without an incident, so we'll see if it lasts.  For those who don't know how to reset there is a link below.

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379?viewlocale=en_US


  • rfw1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have tried the NVRAM or PRAM before.  It works for about a day and then the missing keyboard strokes issues is back.  After living with this for over 6 months now I have narrowed the issue down to a display bus issues that happens when either network activity is up (my either net cable is hooked into my display), such as running skype or a GotToMeeting with video or when time machine is backing up to my external thunderbolt drive, which is hooked to the display as well.  Time machine is not the issue here, its the amount of data that is going across the bus which is the issue.

     

    Apple needs to send out a recall on the displays and have them fixed.  Its ridiculous that a brand like Apple who gets such a premium for their products has not acknowledged this already and taken care of the problem.

  • MyFaithfulLabAssistantBeaker Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2013 6:45 AM (in response to rfw1)

    I agree.  The lack of Apple response is disturbing.

  • sc0ttdav3y Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2013 2:00 PM (in response to bazaarone)

    Hello everyone, my problem is now fixed...

     

    I had problems with my TBD and MBA as described by many others - crackly sound, USB problems which were seemingly load related. I went through two displays via AppleCare, and both were exhibiting the same faults. In the end, it deteriorated to the point that USB completely failed in the TBD. Apple sent out an engineer and replaced the main board of the TBD and it still had the same problems. The only thing left to replace was the cable.

     

    Replacing the built-in cable fixed my problem.

     

    While the display was open, I noted that the cable internally connects to the same TB bus that the external ports connect to, so here is a workaround for others to try - don't use the built-in cable, but instead connect your MBA to your TDB with a different cable.

     

    Also, I pointed Apple to this thread, and they said that it wasn't in their radar, and even this many comments doesn't indicate a systemic fault, given the number of products out there.

     

    So the lessons are:

    - try another cable

    - buy AppleCare for expensive things

    - don't think that apple will read this stuff

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