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27" display with 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution Thunderbolt & MagSafe cable attachments

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Thunderbolt Display Odd Behavior

Hoping iFixIt may have some answers. I have moved from iMacs to a Mac Pro, and since I wanted Thunderbolt and keeping the same image quality as the iMac, I picked up two A1407 Thunderbolt Displays. The displays function, but each have presented their own sets of problems. I’m running the latest version Mojave, with the boot rom up to date.

Display One - This is the newer of the two. It has flaky ports. When I plug a USB key in the back, it sometimes mounts. None of the ports work or they all work. I can tell if the ports are working by going into displays. If the brightness slider is there for that monitor, the ports are working, if it isn’t, no ports. My thought was the logic board? I can do without the ports on that monitor if so, but the behavior is erratic. This display old firmware and the system will not let me update it. It says the computer does not require it (tried from a MBP too)

Display Two - When I purchased this, I was told it had dirt on the screen. Fair enough, easy fix. When it arrived, a closer look determined it was not on the screen, it was in the screen. I took the TBD apart and separated the display. There was fine dust on the backlight. Cleaned and re assembled, including new tape. Started up and display was clean. Worked great for a week. I just upgraded the MacPro to a 1TB Apple SSD, so I had to disconnect all peripherals. Upon re-start, I get a fast RPM spin of the fan, then it settles to about 50% speed, and will not turn down. It is awfully loud and I’ve thought about disconnecting it. This has never occurred. I cannot hear the fan at all on Display One, even at start up. This display has the latest firmware.

I would be OK if I could get the displays fan to shut-up. The consistent colour and quality of the display is why I picked them up. Apple support says bring them in for repair, but we both know where that would go.

Any insight or assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Team!

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Solución Elegida

I suspect your Thunderbolt cable is bad on your Display #1 Its also possible your power supply is going as well so the logic board is not getting good power for the USB ports.

While I know you want two displays working here lets see if we can use parts from one to diagnose the other.

I’m going to suspect if you where to swap the displays the system which has the dirt on the backlight and has the fan running hard will become quiet with the other display (that would imply the thermal sensor has an issue or the screen is running hot).

If you were to take the TB cable from the good system #2 and put it on system #1 the brightness control should show up and stay, if not then its the power supply.

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Hmmm. The issue with the fan only occurred after the 1TB upgrade. Maybe I should put the 256 back in and see? It was fine until then. I need two displays. Maybe I should find a parts monitor....really disappointing :-(

por you mean just disconnecting display one with the bad ports?


Sounds like you have three different issues then!

I was under the understanding the fan issue was within the display not the system. Is this not correct? Altering your system wouldn't alter the displays fan.

The bad ports display likely has a bad power supply, But, I would first check the cable first.

Lets try this ... Take a Thunderbolt cable (passive) and plug it into one of the display TB ports on the display now connect the other end into your Mac Pro TB port is the display controls showing?

por the fan is from Display 2. MacPro fan is good. Display 1 is the one with the bad ports. I did try the different cable and video was fine, but ports worked for a bit, then the same issues.


If the USB ports are struggling then we need to replace the power supply in that unit.

The alteration of the Mac Pro's RAM won't impact the displays fan so thats the not issue.

Then we're back to the rebuilding of the screen messed up one of the thermal sensors as being the cause of the fan running wild.


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