[SOLVED] Daisy Chaining Apple LED Display to Apple Thunderbolt Display

January 28, 2014

W00t! Just went and invested in a thunderbolt cinema display as a second screen and ran out of space on my desk, so have built a nice little extension  on the right to house my other gadgets and its starting to look like Nasa control centre!

However, getting the displays to work was not without its issues.


The screen on the left is an Apple LED 27′ Cinema display and the one on the right is an Apple Thunderbolt 27′ Cinema display and when I went and plugged my LED screen into the TB display to extend my screen space, the TB display works fine but the LED display remains dead, nothing happens not even a flicker.

NOTE: I have a 2011 Mac Book pro which only has 1 single TB port hence my need to daisy chain the displays. Later models I believe have 2 x thunderbolt ports.

According to the apple store sales guy, it should have worked fine but it didn’t and after researching through the apple forums the conclusion was that its not possible to daisy chain an LED to Thunderbolt  (even though the LED has thunderbolt cable).

So, the solution was to “daisy chain” the LED display to the Thunderbolt display using a Thunderbolt hub in between and it worked first time right off the bat. I understand you can also use a thunderbolt external hard drive but you need to make sure it has two Thunderbolt slots.

Anyway, I bought a Thunderbolt Express Dock by Belkin off the Amazon.es site. Arrived next day so really happy…..okay, €250 lighter but happy. You should note that a Thunderbolt  dock is cheaper than a Thunderbolt Hard drive.


So in the end I have configured it like this:


If you are in the same position and are fruitlessly trying to daisy chain an LED display directly to a Thunderbolt display, then do not waste your time, just get a hub to go in the middle and it will work fine.

Don’t forget when ordering the Thunderbolt hub, you might need to order a thunderbolt cable as the hub does not come with one.

Good luck!