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I have a Macbook Pro (Retina, 13", Late 2013) running Lion 10.9.4, that I use with an external thunderbolt display, a bluetooth trackpad, and a USB keyboard -- both of which are connected through the thunderbolt display.

Often (but not every time), when I disconnect from the thunderbolt and go elsewhere, I find that the physical keyboard & trackpad on the MBP become totally unresponsive. I have only found two fixes for this, so far:

  1. Repeatedly reconnect/disconnect the thunderbolt display & retry the physical keyboard & trackpad until they work again -- sometimes this happens on the first try, other times it takes 10, 20, even 30 or more attempts.
  2. Hard reboot via the power button -- which is ironically the only key on the physical keyboard that does anything at all.

I found mention of a similar problem (without a thunderbolt display involved) that suggested closing the macbook for 30+ seconds, but this does not fix my issue.

Update:

This appears to be a general USB issue, as I've now noticed the same thing occasionally happening when I connect my phone or other devices via USB. Still no clue as to the cause or how to fix it.

  • This happens to me a lot with an Elgato Thunderbolt 2 dock. Everytime I unplug my MacBookPro12,1 from the dock, the laptop wakes up with bluetooth being unavailable. Sometimes, bluetooth shows it's working but it is not. It always come back to life after a full reboot. I just tried plugging my phone in USB and it doesn't work too, so like you said, it's a USB thing. I can confirm it did the same thing with my 2012 MacBookAir and I can recall USB issues with my old, white macbook from 2007(?). – Sylvain Oct 13 '15 at 14:20

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