Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 4, 2011
Hi all,

Hope everyone is well and good.

I've got a 27", late 2012 iMac.

This happened quite a while back, but my Thunderbolt port stopped working, and it shows up as "no hardware found" on the System Report.

I've searched online, but can't seem to find any parts or spares which I can replace my port with.

Unfortunately, I do not have a reseller / dealer in my town, so that's out the window.

Any comments and suggestions would be much appreciated.



Moderator emeritus
May 3, 2009
The only way AFAIK, to fix this, is to replace the logic board. Like the other components (usb, sd slot) the circuitry is integrated into the logic board so replacing it, is the only feasible solution


macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
I'd suggest you try a clean install of the OS.
Here's why.

I had a similar problem with a MacBook Pro one time.

The firewire port stopped working. If I opened the System Profiler, it said "no firewire ports found".

I took it to an Apple Store and they replaced the motherboard under warranty.
I remember a conversation with the Apple tech guy, and he said there might be software involved, as well as hardware (read on).

Then, several months later (now out of warranty), same problem -- fw port inactive, and "no firewire ports found".

Since it was no longer in warranty, I decided to just use the USB ports instead.

I had always kept the hard drive partitioned, with a small partition with a second copy of OS 10.6.8 on it.
One day, I decided to do a clean install of 10.7 onto the "second partition".

When the installation was done, I rebooted and started checking around.
To my surprise, the firewire port was now working again!

When I rebooted to my "main" partition, the firewire port was working again there, as well!
And they're still working to this day.

I'm going to take a -guess- that there's "software involved", probably a kext file which serves as the driver for the thunderbolt port, in combination with other software. At boot time, before the boot process goes very far, the "rising OS" examines the environment in which it's going to boot, loading what software is needed to run the various ports found.

If something isn't right about the software needed to run a port (such as the thunderbolt port), the booting OS may "pass it by" and finish the boot "without it".

Thus, when you get to the finder, the thunderbolt port isn't "live", and System Information may report that it's "not there" ("no port found").

I'm going to -guess- that in my case with the firewire port, the software reinstallation I did may have revived the non-recognized port. No hardware was changed, and I don't remember any "blows" to the computer that may have "shaken things up" inside.

I'm wondering if something similar has happened to the OP's thunderbolt port.

Again, above is speculation on my part -- I could be completely wrong in my observations...

Do you have an EXTERNAL drive which you could erase, and then do a clean installation onto?
Try that. Then boot from the external. Is the thunderbolt port still "not seen"....?
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.