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Thunderbolt Display turns off randomly

62601 Views 394 Replies Latest reply: Apr 3, 2014 6:24 AM by Tim Hassett RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • ramblinlamb Calculating status...
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    Jul 30, 2012 9:07 AM (in response to gadget_aussie_man)

    I have a 2012 MBP and a TBD. I elected to not get the Retina Display so I could instead opt for the TBD. Initally I was quite pleased with this setup!! It replaced both my Sony Vaio and my 2009 iMac. Mobility and a big screen all in one easy solution!

     

    Then the "oddness" started happening... The TBD would go black at random times. It never appeared to be tied to something I was doing to cause it. Like the other posters have said it was driving me utterly bonkers!! It would lock up my MBP, sometimes even crashing it!! My MBP would go to sleep and lock up. A hard reset being the only way out....

     

    I called Apple Care and they had me do the same resets others have done. I took my MBP to the local Apple Store and they ran diagnotics and it came back all green and happy.

     

    The Genius suggested a wipe and reload... This didn't make me happy at all! I just got it built out to the way I like it!! Rebuilding it would be a major PITA!!!

     

    So instead I started searching the web and found several threads here in the Apple Forums talking about this same problem. Dang I should have done this sooner!!

     

    I have deleted the com.apple.windowserver.plist file from the /Library/Preferences folder and rebooted.

     

    I changed the auto brightness setting to constant on BOTH screens. I had laready done this on the TBD. Then rebooted.

     

    So far this morning it's running fine. No issues at all. Of course time will be the best measure but this is the best it's run in several weeks!

     

    One other thing I noticed in some other threads on this TBD issue lots of folks are having trouble with Logitech's Universal Reciever plugged into a USB port on the TBD. My Performance MX Mouse was super jittery when running from the TBD. I moved it to the MBP and removed the mouse from the Logitech mgmt tool in System Preferences and added it back in and rebooted. That cleared that up nicely.

  • ramblinlamb Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 31, 2012 9:13 AM (in response to ramblinlamb)

    Turns out I was fighting 2 seperate issues! Google Chrome has been my go to browser for some time now. But, there is a bug in OS X that is allowing Chrome to cause a Kernel Panic! This should NEVER happen. OS X was designed to never allow any application's misdeeds to affect the kernel.

     

    After some digging and live watching in Console I started noticing that Chrome was always the root cause of the kernel panics I was seeing. Kernel Panics cause a Mac to lock up. Not fun!! Here is a link to C-Net that covers this issue: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57463603-263/google-yes-chrome-is-crashing- macbooks/?tag=mncol;5n

     

    To have both this and the TBD issue at once was um driving me NUTS!! I've switched to Safari which is now quite a smooth browser.

     

    The good news is I think I now have a stable MBP and TBD.

  • ramblinlamb Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 31, 2012 8:04 PM (in response to ramblinlamb)

    **** cool!! Today went perfectly well!! First day in far too many!! No black outs!! No lock ups!! Nuttin but boring normal behavior!!

     

    I am quite impressed with the depth of community support here on the Apple Forums. We the users are our best assets in sharing what works and what doesn't.

     

    Thank you everyone!!

  • ramblinlamb Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 9:18 PM (in response to ramblinlamb)

    A lot has happened since my last post. It did indeed work fine for a day. But the next day it was back to it's bad ways. I called Apple and made a Genius Bar appointment. They decided to swap out the logic board in the TBD.

     

    A few days later I picked it up, brought it home and plugged it in. After only 15 minutes it was again blanking out!

     

    Major disappointment!

     

    Today Apple made me proud!! I took my ever so cranky Thunderbolt Display in for the third time seeking resolution of the naggy screen that keeps blacking out. It was really annoying and not finding a fix that worked was even more annoying.

     

    So the fine folks at the Bellevue WA Apple Store offered up to REPLACE mine with a brand spankin new one!! All evening I've been savoring a happy Apple World in the Man Cave!!

     

    **** fine job Apple!! You just proved why I'm a proud Apple FanBoi!! Thank you!!!

     

    Of course time will be the true test but so far all is well!

  • wheetabix Calculating status...
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    Aug 9, 2012 8:28 AM (in response to xjc73)

    I'm curious, did your issue ever get resolved? I just bought a TB display and I'm having the same problem. I'm running it with a brand new Macbook Pro 2.3 (non-retina) and it's really all over the place. Sometimes it shuts off constantly (USB and FW peripherals continue to work), but sometimes (like right now) it runs without a hitch. The other day it ran literally all day without blacking out once, but at other times it's been a total disaster, blacking out after only a few minutes of use. It was so bad, I made sure to teach myself "command-F1" (toggle to mirroring)! I tried all the tricks with resets, PRAM zaps, trashing windowserver.plist, etc., but nothing is consistent.

     

    I've been considering just sending it back and getting a new one, but that doesn't seem to be a consistent "fix" at all. It seems like a lot of people get brand new ones, only to find that they're faced with the same issue. Makes it seem like a firmware/driver issue. So, I kinda decided to wait it out for a while, since I've got a year on the original warranty anyway...

     

    Any news appreciated.

  • sir_pancake Calculating status...
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    Aug 10, 2012 6:59 AM (in response to wheetabix)

    I have had my TB display for about six months now. I used to have a MBA (with Lion) and it was a nice ride for most of the time. This week I'm back in my office and have swapped the Air for a new MBP Retina (running Mountain Lion). It worked fine for first three days, but now I get black outs all the time. The computer still thinks that the display is there but nothing makes it wake up.

  • wheetabix Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2012 7:07 AM (in response to sir_pancake)

    sir_pancake,

     

    I'm just curious; do you have a 16GB memory upgrade, using 3rd party RAM, by any chance? It seems like there might be some correlation with memory, but it's hard to tell, since the problem is really hit and miss for most users.

  • sir_pancake Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 10, 2012 8:10 AM (in response to wheetabix)

    Yes, I do have a 16GB upgrade, my specs are: 2,7 GHz, 16GB RAM, 768GB Flash. But I have no 3rd party components.

  • wheetabix Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2012 8:36 AM (in response to sir_pancake)

    Right, so 16GB, but using Apple's own modules... Interesting. So perhaps it's related to 16GB upgrades, but not necessarily specific to 3rd party modules? It didn't make much sense for the specific modules to be the problem anyway, given that Apple doesn't use anything special for their factory upgrades. Also, my machine is rock solid and performing perfectly well with the upgrade. It's only the TB display that gives me problems (and devices connected through the TB display, like my FW audio interface).

     

    I'm still hoping this is a firmware/driver issue, but I'm going to keep a close watch on it for the next few weeks. The frustrating thing is that it's so variable. Yesterday, for example, I had one black-out in the morning, then worked for the rest of the day without issue... Well, that's not quite true, as I did have to hook my FW audio interface directly to my machine, to stop stuttering during playback... Which is actually kind of interesting in itself, since it suggests that even when the display is "working" (i.e., no black-outs) there are still problems (which kinda points to TB itself... perhaps it's a throughput problem exacerbated by the 16GB upgrade?)

  • ramblinlamb Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2012 8:54 AM (in response to wheetabix)

    Getting the TBD replaced has worked well so far. This is day 3 so of course time is the true measure.

     

    My MBP was a BTO (Build To Order) with 8GB of RAM. I don't think the root cause is in my MBP. I'm pretty convinced the root cause is in the TBD.

  • wheetabix Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2012 9:01 AM (in response to ramblinlamb)

    ramblinlamb, I guess you'd probably do this anyway, but would you mind posting if you start having flickering again?

    I have to admit that my first impulse, when it started, was to just send it back right away. The problem is that I've read numerous threads where replacing the display didn't solve the problem, and I really can't stomach random testing of displays (presumably this should be Apple's job!) - running back and forth with these beasts (which are pretty heavy, in the box) is not my idea of fun...

  • ramblinlamb Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2012 9:33 AM (in response to wheetabix)

    @wheetabix - I know your pain! I made the journey to the local Apple Store 4 times.

     

    This last time they were leaning towards my MBP as the source of the root cause. I convinced them that replacing the TBD would be the easiest way to prove that. As opposed to digging into the HW/video card on the MBP or flattening and rebuilding OSX - which with the MBP being maybe 45 days old was NOT a pleasant option.

     

    With no flickering so far on the new TBD I'm of a mind that the TBD was the source of the root cause. But, more time is needed to really prove that this TBD is free of the issue.

     

    Should it start to flicker trust me I'll post such bad news here.

     

    Since Apple already replaced the logic board on the TBD and that fixed nothing replacing the LCD panel in the TBD was the next step. I'm sure 90% or more of the cost of a TBD is in the LCD panel.

     

    Giving me a new TBD for Apple was a bit of a wash and helped to repair my relationship with Apple. I'm a long time Apple customer. We have a ton of their equipment in our business. This last time when I visited the Apple store I was both polite and emphatic that this issue needs to resolved. I was calm, I was polite but I was also very firm that I was unhappy.

     

    The staff did a great job of listening, empathizing and ultimately replacing my TBD.

     

    You want to know why this was so frustrating? Because typically Apple's products for me have been rock solid. Over the years we've had a few hard drives go away. But that happens across all platforms. Other than that it's the solid reliability of Apple that keeps me coming back to them.

     

    So when this happened it really cranked up my frustration level!

     

    I'm happy today. And hopeful that I'm on the backside of this experience. And I'm still a dedicated Apple FanBoi!

  • srstrong Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 13, 2012 7:25 AM (in response to ramblinlamb)

    My TBD is also having the same symptoms, plugged into a retina MBP.  It'll work just fine (sometimes for several days) then randomly go black.  Unplugging the TB cable fixes it, but it's deeply annoying.  Has anyone had any success with settings-based fixes, or is a replacement looking like the only way forward?

  • Dan Gabrielson Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 13, 2012 2:36 PM (in response to gadget_aussie_man)

    I just bought a TBD at my local Apple store and after hooking it to my retina MBP it has this same issue it appears. Cant find a pattern it just freaks out and goes black. pulling cords and replugging works only sporatically. I unplug monitor and restart the comp and the display nothing. soo far its happened 3 times and the last time I have not been able to get the monitor to come back.

  • melastudio Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 14, 2012 7:46 AM (in response to gadget_aussie_man)

    My 2 cents...

     

    I've the most common combination of this thread. Mac mini 2011 server with 16 gb of ram and the TBD.

    My issue is a little bit different. In 1 year it happened to me only two times a freeze. The first completely black screen but USB working. The second the screen worked but USB was dead (with ARD and a MacBook air I moved the mouse in the mini/TBD). In both case the solution was to unplug and plug again the cable...

     

    But I ha ve another issue (I read only the first three pages of this long thread....) and it happens to me few times in a day.

     

    My screen cames black for less than a second while I'm working... It flashes... It's annoying but it let's me work.

     

    I was in doubt between a problem with the TBD or the video card of the mini. But this thread give the most probable answer...

     

    It happens randomly but with more frequency when I made a lot of use of graphic performance... Especially with action with photoshop, but also when I work manually.... Sometimes in the finder, rarely with FileMaker, sometimes with VLC...

     

    I've never called Apple but I have Applea Care so, soon or later, I'll do.

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