iMac doesn't recognize thunderbolt port

Neo_x1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2018
12
0
Australia
My 27 inch iMac late 2012 model doesn't recognize its thunderbolt ports any more after I upgraded OS X to 10.10.5, currently 10.13.6. The System report states "Thunderbolt: No hardware was found." The thunderbolt ports were last recognized by 10.10.3.

I did SMC and PRAM. Self diagnose test passed at least twice. The third time running it (at the request from Apple support) the cooling fan in iMac spinning crazy. I aborted the test. Not sure this is problem or not. Does the cooling fan spins crazy during self diagnosis? It didn't in the first two times.

There was one post at other forum talked about install Thunderbolt firmware 1.0. It was not working for me, as the OS X indicated it won't support. By the way, currently, the thunderbolt firmware 1.2 is installed, but the software update keeps sending it back to the list to be installed again. It is a never ending cycle.

How to make OS X recognize its thunderbolt ports? Many thanks
 

bbnck

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2009
567
314
I presume you took a Time Machine backup of your iMac when it was running 10.10 before you upgraded to 10.13, right? In any case, it's hard to say, but as a last resort you might need to consider erasing the hard drive and reinstalling macOS but realistically, only firmware could cause Thunderbolt ports to mysteriously fail after an upgrade if it's not hardware-related. If that's the case, don't be surprised if erasing and reinstalling macOS makes no difference and I wouldn't rule out a possible hardware problem either. Were you actively using the Thunderbolt ports before you upgraded from 10.10? In any case, make sure you first take a Time Machine backup if you decide to go down the route of erasing and reinstalling macOS.
 
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Neo_x1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2018
12
0
Australia
I presume you took a Time Machine backup of your iMac when it was running 10.10 before you upgraded to 10.13, right? In any case, it's hard to say, but as a last resort you might need to consider erasing the hard drive and reinstalling macOS but realistically, only firmware could cause Thunderbolt ports to mysteriously fail after an upgrade if it's not hardware-related. If that's the case, don't be surprised if erasing and reinstalling macOS makes no difference and I wouldn't rule out a possible hardware problem either. Were you actively using the Thunderbolt ports before you upgraded from 10.10? In any case, make sure you first take a Time Machine backup if you decide to go down the route of erasing and reinstalling macOS.
Thanks a lot. unfortunately, I don't have a time machine before upgrade. I have tried fresh installation on an additional external drive with OS X 10.9 (It took a long time). The ports are still "Thunderbolt: No hardware was found.". It seems that two possibilities: firmware issue (new software doesn't compatible with old 1st generation hardware) or hardware damage. I don't know where the firmware software was written to (for PC it has BIOS on board).

I was hoping that I could use this iMac as a decent monitor when the time came
 

Neo_x1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2018
12
0
Australia
Did you manage to get your Thunderbolt ports working again?
Truly appreciated for your asking. No. unfortunately. I recalled a year or so ago, my old relative accidentally unplugged my iMac from power while it was sleeping. Maybe, the TB ports were damaged during the power loss.
 

Neo_x1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2018
12
0
Australia
Did you manage to get your Thunderbolt ports working again?
Recently, Safari 12.0 update was installed. Thunderbolt ports are recognized. I connected one additional monitor via TB, it works. In the end, it was an OS X software conflict or incompatible with 1st generation TB hardware. Relieved to see it works again.
 
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Neo_x1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2018
12
0
Australia
The Thunderbolts are recognized again tonight. The Thunderbolt Firmware Update 1.2 disappeared. It seems not stable.
 

Neo_x1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2018
12
0
Australia
Updates: It seems that if the iMac is disconnected from power socket after shut down and left it unplugged for several days. Plug into power socket and turn on immediately, the Thunderbolts will not be recognized. This reminds me that there is a battery on motherboard of PC. If this battery is dead, so dose some basic parameters stored in CMOS will be lost. No sure where the driver or "settings" of Thunderbolt is stored on iMac.
 
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kayanwan

macrumors newbie
Mar 13, 2019
2
0
France - Lyon
Updates: It seems that if the iMac is disconnected from power socket after shut down and left it unplugged for several days. Plug into power socket and turn on immediately, the Thunderbolts will not be recognized. This reminds me that there is a battery on motherboard of PC. If this battery is dead, so dose some basic parameters stored in CMOS will be lost. No sure where the driver or "settings" of Thunderbolt is stored on iMac.
Hi,

I had the same problem suddenly some weeks ago :(
I tried everything. (PRAM, SMC, change adapteur, cable, etc, ONYX, safe mode, Apple Hardware Test, etc...)
I tried to install Mojave 10.14.4 Beta (18E215a) ==> Nothing :(

Sometimes, my iMac recognise the name of the external display in preference pane and detect the screen but not work. (No Image)
Maybe the problem occurred when i disconnected my iMac from power during a long time (Battery CMOS ?)

What can i Do ?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,645
6,843
I had an instance where my 2010 MacBook Pro stopped "recognizing" its firewire port.

I had the logic board changed under warranty, and for a while it worked ok, then once again couldn't "see" the firewire port.

Then I happened to boot from another drive with a different version of the OS on it, and ... just like that... the firewire port came alive again. And after, it was always "recognized".

So... I'm thinking that somewhere deep within the OS (a "kext" file, perhaps?) is something that (during boot) tells the Mac hardware that "the port is there" and makes it available for use.

I'm wondering if something similar might apply in the OP's case.
 
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Neo_x1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2018
12
0
Australia
Hi, all guys. My thunderbolt port disappeared again. I think there is some issue of older hardware is no longer supported by iOS. I think it is time to forget it or buy a new computer.

By the way, I found my own 2012 model iMac27 with 3.4 i7 processor 32 GB DDR3 fusion drive is running faster than the one in my office, which was bought last year, with 3.4 i5 processor 8GB DDR4, 1T SSD.

A conspiracy theory :), Apple disabled the thunderbolt ports, so you can't use it as external display. Note that recent and new iMac doesn't support that. You either buy a Apple display or a new iMac 27. Got it :) Apple is not environment friendly, if yes, they would allow you to use old iMac 27 as a decent monitor.
 
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babaloo72

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2019
1
0
Hi,

I had the same problem suddenly some weeks ago :(
I tried everything. (PRAM, SMC, change adapteur, cable, etc, ONYX, safe mode, Apple Hardware Test, etc...)
I tried to install Mojave 10.14.4 Beta (18E215a) ==> Nothing :(

Sometimes, my iMac recognise the name of the external display in preference pane and detect the screen but not work. (No Image)
Maybe the problem occurred when i disconnected my iMac from power during a long time (Battery CMOS ?)

What can i Do ?
[doublepost=1568319456][/doublepost]Guys Same Problem here ., I have tried everything also reinstalling old thunderbolt firmware update from maverick :( no luck
 

proximity

macrumors newbie
Jul 15, 2006
23
20
I have an iMac 27 5K, Late 2014 which I've been using with a Promise Pegasus and external Belkin thunderbolt dock. I updated to Catalina a couple a weeks ago. A week or so after I updated, I was about the use the machine when I noticed that the Pegasus drive had been suddenly disconnected.

Now I have the same issue. The thunderbolt ports seem completely dead. I've tried switching cables, and tried the the thunderbolt hardware on a different Mac with no problems. System Profiles looks similar to user JT2 above.

I can't really blame macOS Catalina since it worked perfectly for more than a week before suddenly dying.

I've tried PRAM, SMC, reinstall macOS, unplugged power and waited etc. Nothing has helped.
 

CrickettGrrrl

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2012
984
274
B'more or Less
Please add me to the list.

I recently bought an Apple Thunderbolt/FireWire adapter, just got around to using it with an external HDD. Same story as everyone else, my iMac does not recognize the connected drive or the thunderbolt port.

This is the first time I've ever used, rather, attempted to use, the thunderbolt port so I have no idea if it hasn't been working all along or what.
 
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khabc

macrumors newbie
Aug 3, 2020
1
0
Same problem. imac 27 inch late 2012, both thunderbolt ports stopped working. I was using one as an external monitor, while I was using it, the monitor went dark and nothing works on the ports. Have checked the monitor and cable to be in working order with another system.
 
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