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At work I have a MacBook Pro connected to a 27" Thunderbolt display. I take the MacBook home with me in the evenings.

I come into work, plug in the power and Thunderbolt cable, open up the MacBook, and hit the power button. I then close the MacBook and put it in its vertical stand. The 27" display doesnt always turn on (or maybe its just slow).

Should I be turning on the MacBook and waiting for it to boot, or for the built in display to work, before plugging in the the external display?

What is the best/proper order?

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The best guide to reference here is : http://manuals.info.apple.com/MANUALS/1000/MA1594/en_US/thunderbolt_display_getting_started.pdf

To use your Apple Thunderbolt Display with your MacBook Pro lid closed:

  1. Connect an external USB keyboard and mouse to a USB port on your display, or use the Bluetooth® Setup Assistant to set up a wireless keyboard and mouse.
  2. Make sure your MacBook Pro is turned on.
  3. Close the lid on your MacBook Pro to put it to sleep.
  4. Wait a few seconds, and then press any key on your external keyboard or click the mouse to wake up your MacBook Pro

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