iMac doesn't recognize thunderbolt port

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Neo_x1, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. Neo_x1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    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
     
  2. bbnck, Sep 23, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018

    bbnck macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #2
    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.
     
  3. Neo_x1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    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
     
  4. bbnck macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #4
    Did you manage to get your Thunderbolt ports working again?
     
  5. Neo_x1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    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.
     
  6. Neo_x1, Oct 7, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018

    Neo_x1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    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.
     
  7. Neo_x1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    A new development today, in App Store, the Thunderbolt Firmware Update 1.2 shows up again in available updates, which I had installed many times before. The system dose NOT recognize the Thunderbolt ports again. :-(
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Neo_x1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    #8
    The Thunderbolts are recognized again tonight. The Thunderbolt Firmware Update 1.2 disappeared. It seems not stable.
     
  9. Neo_x1, Oct 20, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018

    Neo_x1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    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.
     
  10. kayanwan macrumors newbie

    kayanwan

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2019
    Location:
    France - Lyon
    #10
    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 ?
     
  11. kayanwan macrumors newbie

    kayanwan

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2019
    Location:
    France - Lyon
  12. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    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.
     
  13. Israelcurtas macrumors newbie

    Israelcurtas

    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    #13
    Hello! I have the same problem! I tried install mountain Lion to get the Apple Thunderbolt update but nothing!! Can you help me?

    Thks
     
  14. Neo_x1, May 31, 2019
    Last edited: May 31, 2019

    Neo_x1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    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.
     

Share This Page

13 September 23, 2018