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  • ChristosAZ Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the EXACT same problem. Brand new 27" iMac with additional 27" Thunderbolt Display.


    The screen fades to black for 1 second. Random times. Sometimes when I'm working, other time when there is no keyboard or mouse activity.


    So, what I am hearing here.. is that there is no solution, no fix. The only remedy is to pack up the monitor, return to the store and talk to 19 year old kids who say "This is the first time I've heard of this...." ... and it will be up to me to argue my point. What then... I get a new monitor, that will most likely display the same issue?


    I ran my updates upon first receiving it. There are no further updates.

  • Natejj Level 1 (0 points)

    I've exchanged my display for a new one (which of course didn't fix it).  I've called back and they do acknowlege that they're aware of the problem.  They had me disable the ambient light sensor (auto dim) to see if that made a difference.  It didn't.  At this point their engineers are working on diagnosing the cause and they said they suspect there will be a future firmware or OS update to address it.  They didn't have a timeline though as they're still trying to track down the cause.

  • herbertb Level 1 (0 points)

    Exact same problem, 27'' Thunderbolt Display flickers when connected to last MBAir. Nothing helps. Very annoying.



  • ChosenOne365 Level 1 (0 points)

    I received my brand new iMac 27" (3.4GHz/8GB RAM/1TB/AMD Radeon HD6970M 2GB) and 27" Thunderbolt Display on Oct. 13, 2011. Since I first hooked my Thunderbolt Display up to my iMac, it has flickered on and off every few minutes and just recently my display started to dim in and out.


    I did not send my display back right away because I hoped that the issue would soon be resolved by an update or other solution. I have run the Thunderbolt Display update, and it did not fix the problem. This is a real inconvenience, I would not suggest buying the Thunderbolt display until this issue is resolved.


    You will love the size and look of the display, but hate the fact that you just paid $999.00 for a faulty display.






  • Lester GrimeNose Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi, I'm the original poster.


    Everything you've stated is correct. The Thunderbolt monitor is fatally flawed. If you own one, you should return it to the Apple store immediately. The problem affects all Thunderbolt monitors.


    To anyone considering calling Apple technical support on this issue, I'll save you some time. Your call will be escalated a few times until you reach a top tier engineer. Only then will you find out that while Apple is "aware of the problem," there are no immediate plans to do anything about it.


    I'm left to draw one of two conclusions:


    (1) Apple didn't bother to test this monitor prior to releasing it, or…


    (2) Apple WAS aware of the problem and just decided, "screw it, we're going to release it anyway."


    Either way, it's absolutely inexcusable and frankly, it's borderline fraudulent. I've racked my brain trying to figure out why a reputable company would allow something like this to happen. The only thing I can come up with is that they consider themselves primarily a mobile device company now, not a computer and/or peripheral shop. Perhaps the latter is just no longer a priority for them. I don't know. It's truly shocking.

  • Column Level 1 (45 points)

    It probably doesn't happen on every device.  These kinds of flaws are hard to find during testing, especially on v.1.0 of hardware.  I can tell you that my Thunderbolt display doesn't exhibit this issue when plugged into my MBP.  So maybe not all displays are effected, or maybe it's just an issue with the iMac. 

  • ChosenOne365 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am not sure if this happens with all Thunderbolt Displays, but it does happen with a good amount of them. I have read reports all over the Internet from people having these same issues. It is not something isolated to just iMac computers. I have read complaints from people using iMacs, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Air computers. The people with laptops are actually experiencing worst issues than iMac users.


    I spoke with Apple yesterday, and it looks like I am going to have to send my monitor to California for them to run some test on it to see if they can figureout why Thunderbolt Displays are having these issue. They are going to send me a new monitor, but it will only frustrate me more if I end up having the same issue. I truly believe that it is going to take them a while to get this problem solved. It is a great display, but they really need to get all of the bugs worked out.

  • Lester GrimeNose Level 1 (0 points)

    Unfortunately, you will have the same problem with the new monitor that they send you. According to the forums, it's not uncommon for consumers to return a monitor, buy a new one, experience the same problem, eventually giving up in disgust and getting their money back. I personally have tried two Thunderbolt monitors, both of which exhibit the problem.


    Definitely let me know if Apple ends up taking your malfunctioning monitor. I was in a similar situation. Apple was planning to send someone out to my office, replace the monitor, etc. We were all set up for the swap and then one of the top-level engineers aborted. The bottom line is that, after speaking to some of his superiors, he realized it would be pointless to do the swap since Apple is already aware of the problem and there's no expectation of a fix. Let me know how things turn out.

  • iCare Level 4 (1,765 points)

    Have you tried checking for software updates? I checked this morning after reading comments in another thread and found two Thunderbolt related updates for my iMac. Here are the highlights from the Apple download site.


    About Thunderbolt Software Update (OS X Lion)

    This update provides support for the Apple Thunderbolt Display and bug fixes for Thunderbolt device compatibility.

    About iMac EFI Update 1.7

    This update enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection and includes fixes that resolve issues with Apple Thunderbolt Display compatibility and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode performance on iMac (early 2011) models.

  • Natejj Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't want to jinx it but so far, it is looking like the EFI update that was released today may have taken care of the problem.  I've had it installed for more than an hour now and have had zero screen flickers.  Fingers crossed!

  • herbertb Level 1 (0 points)

    Macbook Air & Thunderbolt


    Today I have installed the EFI update (it came today) to my Macbook Air, I was happy only 5 minutes.


    The problem stil persists.


    Blackuts and flickering as usually.

  • davorin Level 1 (0 points)

    Applied the EFI update as well today...fixed the flickering with my iMac27...and the USB ports were visible just for a few minutes and then never came back!


    Thunderbolt Ethernet and FireWire are still accessible though...

  • Natejj Level 1 (0 points)

    So far it's been 2 hours or so and still no flickering on my 27" iMac.  I'm not seeing any problems with the USB ports either.  Hopefully it stays that way!

  • Lester GrimeNose Level 1 (0 points)

    Interesting. Thanks for the feedback. When you say the USB ports are no longer visible, do you mean they're not functional at all? For example, if you plug an iPhone into your iMac, iTunes doesn't see it?


    Sounds like at least some people are having luck on the flickering issue. Have you tried putting your Mac to sleep (Alt-Cmd-Eject) since installing the update and rebooting? I recall that for some users, the flickering problem only manifests itself after a sleep cycle.


    Thanks again for the updates.

  • ChosenOne365 Level 1 (0 points)

    I also ran the EFI update a few hours ago, and it seems that it may have fixed my flickering problem. I am not for sure because I have been in and out of my office, but I am very hopeful. I was not looking forward to shipping my display to California. I just noticed that there is another Thunderbolt Display update available. Hopefully all my issues will be resolved once I run these updates. Maybe customers posting their opinions about this issue actually got Apple's attention. Thanks to everyone that commented on this discussion.

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