Thunderbolt Display - Not recognizing ethernet or keybord upon plugging in to MBA.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Sean Dempsey, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    For no apparant reason, when I plug my Macbook Air into my Thunderbolt display, the ethernet plugged into the display is not recognized. If I do a reboot, it comes back to normal.

    I don't recall any changes I would have made, I just started to notice that the ethernet would not be connected or available, and I would be on WiFi instead.

    At the same time, sometimes the USB keyboard is not recognized either. I will have to unplug it, and plug it back in.

    This is all fairly recent, for weeks the display worked fine with the plugging/unplugging of the Thunderbolt port. Now, every single time I have to reboot the Macbook Air to get the display to return to normal.

    Anyone seen this before? Does anyone have an answer other than resetting the smc and pram?
  2. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    I found my MBA doesn't go into clamshell mode properly against a TBD. A reboot was needed 9 out of 10 times. When I plug in my other MBA it worked flawlessly. I just format to resolve the problem.
  3. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    You reformat your drive and re-install OS X? really?
  4. Xscapes macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2011
    New York
    I got the same issue. I just came back from Apple store and they asked me to bring the Thunderbolt Display to the store so they can test it with my laptop. I think a new firmware can solve it.
  5. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    So now, I can't get the display to work any time I plug it in. It comes on, but the keyboard and ethernet won't work and I have to restart the computer. Is this a computer, or display problem?
  6. Gator Bob macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2011
    New firmware for what?
  7. bernie-uk macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2012
    I've experience the same problem. Mainly with the ethernet, but occasionally the keyboard connected to the usb gives up. Reconnecting the thunderbolt somethings fixes the usb, but the ethernet always needs a reboot.

    I've had a replacement TB Display, but the problem still occurred.
    Hopefully a firmware update will fix the issue soon.

    As well as firmware in the MBA, the Thunderbolt display has firmware, and there is electronics in the Thunderbolt cable, which has it's own firmware. The TB cable is not just a passive wire, and hence the higher price tag.

    The firmware I current have on my setup is:

    Vendor Name: Apple, Inc.
    Device Name: MacBook Air
    Firmware Version: 8.1
    Status: Connected
    Link Status: 2
    Port Micro Firmware Version: 2.1.0
    Cable Micro Firmware Version: 0.1.18

    Thunderbolt Display:

    Vendor Name: Apple, Inc.
    Device Name: Thunderbolt Display
    Vendor ID: 0x1
    Device ID: 0x8002
    Device Revision: 0x1
    Firmware Version: 22.2
    Status: Connected
    Link Status: 2
    Port Micro Firmware Version: 0.0.21
    Cable Micro Firmware Version: 0.1.18

    Wonder if the same problem occurs with the TB Display and Macbook Pros.
  8. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I have MBP and this trick worked for me:
    1. Shutdown (power down) the Mac.
    2. Disconnect the Thunderbolt Display.
    3. Power up the Mac.
    4. Wait for OS X to finish booting up and login if necessary.
    5. Connect the Thunderbolt Display.
  9. supermanfan macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2008
    This fixed it permanently?

  10. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Well, if the problem resurfaces, I just repeat the steps (or on rare occasions unplug and replug).
  11. mattashwood macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2012
    I had this problem for a while after upgrading to Lion with my MBP.

    What I did to get around it is plug in the monitor with the laptop open, let everything connect, then close the lid and put it into clamshell mode.

    Bit of a pain but it worked for me.
  12. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    This is still being a huge pain in the ass. I pretty much have to restart my computer every time I want to use the thunderbolt, since there is no way to get the keyboard to be recognized.

    Any new thoughts on this?
  13. LunarianCrystal macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2011
    I've seen so many people have problems with this Apple product that I'm now considering just getting a normal monitor for way cheaper...

    Seems like all I see are negativity about how this display device is used. Does anyone have this device working properly...? lol? I fail to understand how the USB ports are not working... I thought Apple products were are supposed to work harmoniously together yet I see, post after post, the same complaint of this device not working the way it's supposed to.
  14. ruralvoice macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2008
    I had the same problem. It turned out to be a problem in the "All-in-One" cable from the Thunderbolt Display (TD) to my computer (a problem either in the cable, connector, or display electronics leading to the All-in-One cable). I isolated the problem by unplugging the Thunderbolt portion of the All-in-One cable and then installing a regular Thunderbolt cable between a Thunderbolt port on the computer and the Thunderbolt port on the display. In this configuration all worked well (I had full control of things plugged into the display's ports and also the display's sound and camera functioned properly). Also, I could command computer sleep and re-starts from the TD, and I never had to monkey around with any cable connections, etc. Of course, I reported all this to Apple,opening a case number, and they replaced the TD under warranty.

    Perhaps this will be of assistance to you.

  15. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    You just get a Male to Male TB cable and run it from the port on the display to the laptop?
  16. SmallBizOwner macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2012
    Partial Fix

    I have the same problems with a USB keyboard. Used to work when unplugged and replugged into the TBD, but now nothing will get it to work. So, I have taken to plugging the keyboard into my MacBook. That works, but Apple should respond to this issue with a real solution on a $900 display.
  17. helveta macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2012
    Agreed. My ethernet works but I've had trouble with the usb keyboard since new. Apple needs to do a recall.
  18. webcultist macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2013
    Had a similar problem with the recognition of the usb devices when connecting the thunderbolt display. After much research and testing I found my problem - I installed logitech drivers for my wireless mouse. After uninstalling, everything worked like a charm.

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