WRT losing/not seeing attached USB and FW devices, I'm beginning to wonder if it's not the MBA's fault rather than the display.
After doing an SMC reset a couple of days ago everything worked fine. Plugged laptop back in this morning, attached [to display] drives spun up, then dropped, with Lion giving the usual error about unplugging drives without ejecting.
So I powered the Air down and reset the SMC again. Brought it back up, connected TB display - everything works fine.
Update: after installing the Thunderbolt Display firmware upgrade the USB connection on wake is now working fine. I also switched to always plugging/unplugging with the MacBook switched on, i.e. when I get to the office in the morning I wake the MacBook first and then plug in the display, previously I was doing it the other way around. Not sure if it's that practice or the firmware upgrade that solved the issue, but whatever, it's solved.
I'm back to losing keystrokes on the replacement display. So it's better than my first one (colors are more accurate, I haven't completely lost USB yet, it'll charge my iPad), but it's still pretty heavily flawed.
It's looking more and more like this is just a systemic issue with the display in general. I'll talk to Apple support one more time to see if they have any more ideas, and maybe give it a week in the hopes of a software fix, then I'm going to return it.
Can we all agree that rebooting reliably solves the problems for some time? Why is everyone posting "hey I got a new display and it's been working for the past 4 minutes just fine!" or "I reset SMC and now it's great" and then 20 minutes later they have to redact.
Don't get your hopes up until you've been running a full day or two with no issues.
Side note: Now that I'm using the gigabit display ethernet to move big fiiles I'm getting more frequent issues. Also my screen started turning black completely with the added load of ethernet. Twice so far in a couple days, first time it's happened. Also my Air completely locked up while doing some file transfers as well.
I've had similar problems to everyone in this thread. Brand-new MBA 11" and TB display. Everything worked great for the first few days (gigabit ethernet, firewire, USB, etc.), but now my MBA will not recognize anything when I plug it into the display. I've tried restarting, updating to the latest version of Lion, updating to the latest firmware for the TB display, etc., without any changes. I cannot get access to any devices through the display, even temporarily, no matter how many times I reboot. I'll try the SMC clear and then return this.
David is correct. The 2010 MBA won't support the Thunderbolt Display as it doesn't have a TB port but instead uses Mini-Display Port. So you have 2 options.
1. Return the TB display and exchange it for the Cinema Display. It is exactly the same display but just different connectors and internals. It is the same price so it should be quick and easy to return/replace it.
2. Sell your '10 MBA and buy a new '11 MBA that has Thunderbolt port.
To keep others in the loop:
Just got off the phone with Apple support again. This time they escalated the call. They want me to exchange the display one more time, this time with a "capture" number (so the display goes to engineering to look at). If this exchange also fails to fix the problem, they will likely refund the purchase.
I have two brand new Thunderbolt display both dropping USB keyboard keystrokes from an Apple USB keyboard.
My problems all started with 10.7.2, because we did not see this with 10.7.1. It would appear not to matter which display we use, they both are identical.
Has anybody else started seeing issues when connecting the display while the notebook is asleep in 10.7.2? Prior to the update my MacBook would switch to the external display as the primary display if it was attached while the top is closed. Now it seems to turn on the internal display about 75% of the time and use the external display as a secondary display.
My Thunderbolt display was dropping characters too. It's connected to a new MBA with a USB keyboard.
I think it might have something to do with a slow internet connection.
I had a call with Apple Support on Thursday, which was escalated to a higher level of support. Apple offered to take back my display and monitor so technicians could do further testing. Another option was to run a Capture Data program to look at what was hapening on my system.
I decided to run Capture Data first.
At the same time, I realize that the Thunderbolt display has a high speed Ethernet port on it. I had been using the MBA wirelessly, then more recently I was using the USB - ETHERNET adapter.
With the wireless connection I was experiencing dropped key strokes. Now that I think back on it, it might have only been online.
I swithched to the Thunderbolt wired connection and have not had any dropped keystrokes since.
My new speeds are:
Ping = 8ms
Download Speed = 34.60 Mbps
Upload Speed = 5.03 Mbps
I'll continue to watch this closely.
This morning I tried the experiment of plugging in the Thunderbolt Display first and then waking. It wouldn't wake at all by hitting keys on the external USB keyboard with the MacBook Pro closed, but when I opened the MBP everything worked fine. Then I could close the MBP again and it stayed awake. I've never seen dropped keystrokes.
So my display continues to work perfectly since I installed the firmware upgrade, which fixed the dead USB problem I'd been having before. I notice that a lot of people reporting problems here are MBA users - is this a general thing that the Thunderbolt Display works ok with MBP but not with MBA?