Resolved 2016 15" rMBP, Belkin Thunderbolt Dock and Thunderbolt 3 adapter: Ethernet woes

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Janichsan, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. Janichsan macrumors 65816

    Janichsan

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #1
    I'm running into some problems with my network setup here: I have a new late 2016 15" rMBP (with Touchbar, obviously), an older Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock and a Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter (from Apple) to connect both. So far, basically everything I have connected to the dock (several USB devices and speakers, and I have also tried a FireWire drive and my TV via a Mini Display port to HDMI adapter) work fine – except my Ethernet connection.

    It definitely did (and still does) work when I hook up my old 2012 rMBP to the dock (so it's not a problem with the dock or the general network setup), and I can connect to the Ethernet network on my new rMBP with a dedicated Ethernet to TB3 adapter.

    So my assumption is that something got messed up in macOS' network settings during the transition, but I don't see an obvious solution. The Network preference pane shows me a Thunderbolt Bridge, which should be the dock, but as not connected. Selecting "Advanced" shows me (for some reason) four Ethernet interfaces labeled Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 1 (sic), Thunderbolt 13 and Thunderbolt 14 respectively, which all are inactive. (On my old rMBP, it shows me Thunderbolt 1 and 2.)

    I already tried to use the Diagnosis assistant, but without avail. Am I missing something? Does anyone have a tip for me?
     
  2. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #2
    Just a guess, but some of these docks require their own drivers, which may have loaded automatically. In this case, the driver may not be updated for the new machines. Have you checked the support resources for the dock?
     
  3. burgman macrumors 65816

    burgman

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #3
    Have you tried unplugging everything except Ethernet? Maybe the adapter can't provide enough power. I just purchased the belkin USB 3 to Ethernet adapter, that might be easiest way.
     
  4. john.simatos macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    #4
    Had the same issue with four TB2 Belkin docks which sound identical to yours. Started off with the Ethernet being okay, then we unplugged it, and it never came back. This happened on four different docks. We thought it had to do with having two Ethernet cables plugged in. Tried every possible solution to no avail.

    Eventually the other ports started to fail too so we figured it had to do with power. Ended out returning the lot.
     
  5. Janichsan thread starter macrumors 65816

    Janichsan

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #5
    There are no special drivers. The dock doesn't require any.

    The dock has its own power supply, so I don't think that's it.
     
  6. burgman macrumors 65816

    burgman

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #6
    If you are unwilling to do basic diagnostic work then good luck.
     
  7. Janichsan thread starter macrumors 65816

    Janichsan

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #7
    Maybe you should work on your basic reading comprehension, because I have already ruled out that the problem lies with the dock – through basic diagnostic work.
     
  8. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #8
    You are looking at the wrong connection because the Thunderbolt Bridge is not the dock at all. Thunderbolt Bridge is on every Mac with Thunderbolt as it is part of Thunderbolt (or the softwarematic version Apple used before it became part of the Thunderbolt spec). Basically this is the 10GbE connection you can use to connect with another Thunderbolt computer: just connect two Macs with a Thunderbolt cable, enter IP addresses on both sides for the Thunderbolt Bridge adapter and off you go.

    The network card in the dock has a different name, something like Thunderbolt Ethernet Slot 3. In your case this seems to be Thunderbolt 1 or Thunderbolt 13 or Thunderbolt 14. Make sure you set those network settings to automatic (dhcp) as this is the most failsafe. Also try to use a different network cable. If all that fails you can reset the networking in OS X by deleting the plists; if you search for that you can find which plists to delete exactly.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Janichsan thread starter macrumors 65816

    Janichsan

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #9
    ???????????

    Sorry, but just adds confusion by mixing up two completely different levels. Let me show you two screenshots:
    [​IMG]
    You can see two Thunderbolt ethernet networks here: "Thunderbolt Ethernet" is active when I use the direct the TB to Ethernet adapter (see my post above).

    "Thunderbolt Bridge" is active when I connect via the dock (at least it was (and is) on my old rMBP).

    Selecting "TB Bridge" and then clicking on "Advanced" gives me the following view with the four mentioned different interfaces:
    [​IMG]

    My settings are already set to DHCP, so that's not it.

    I already tried a different cable, to no avail. I will try to research which network related plists to delete. Might be worth a try.
     
  10. Janichsan, Mar 3, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017

    Janichsan thread starter macrumors 65816

    Janichsan

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #10
    Fixed it.

    The solution was stupidly simple.

    I just had to create a new location. After a few seconds, the dock's ethernet adapter appeared in the list and connected.

    Goddammit. Typical case of overthinking the problem…
     
  11. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #11
    That's what I'm saying: you are mixing two different things.

    Have you connected your dock to another Thunderbolt device (a Mac or something)? Because like I said, this bridge device is exactly that: it bridges Thunderbolt connections so you can have a p2p kind of network. It becomes active whenever you set the IP settings and/or when you connect two Macs with a Thunderbolt cable. Back in the day this is what you'd have with Firewire.

    If you are using an ordinary RJ-45 network cable then there is no point in looking at this bridge device because it is something completely different. What you need to look at is Thunderbolt Ethernet because that is the device where you plug that RJ-45 cable in.

    Those are the things it bridged.

    The Thunderbolt Bridge is in OS X since 10.9. Arstechnica has some more (technical) details about it in the following article: OS X 10.9 brings fast but choppy Thunderbolt networking. Mind you, when it was introduced in 10.9 this was a pure software solution, the hardware (read: Thunderbolt) didn't support it. Thunderbolt started officially supporting this on a hardware level as of version 2. If you search for it, this is exactly the information you are going to get.

    Anyway, that aside, good to know that your issue has been resolved! Btw, you probably should delete the old location so that it won't do harm in the future.
     

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