Thunderbolt Ports damaged?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by arthertbc0702, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. arthertbc0702 macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Hi all,

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

    Just around a week ago, I noticed that my external HDD which I hook up to my iMac using Thunderbolt just suddenly unmounted by itself. Initially, I thought it was my external HDD that was fried, but I decided to connect it using USB and it works fine.

    So, thinking that maybe it was a damaged Thunderbolt cable, I bought one and swapped it over to no avail as well. Perhaps it's the Thunderbolt ports then.

    I've tried just about everything from resetting the PRAM and NVRAM to even a fresh installation of the entire OS. On the System Information, on the Thunderbolt tab, it says "no hardware found".

    Is it really a hardware issue? Because where I live, there is no Apple Store, heck there isn't even one in the whole country. The next best reseller is 2 hours away by flight, and I can't possibly carry a 27" iMac on board. :(

    Any help would be much, much appreciated.

    Thanks all!
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I think it's more like the Thunderbolt port on the drive itself has failed than the other way around. I have a few cheap and older enclosures with this issue.
  3. arthertbc0702 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2011
    I'm using a Lacie drive. Wouldn't call it cheap? And i've tried the drive on my macbook air with a thunderbolt, and it works.
  4. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    Might try swapping for a different Thunderbolt cable. There are active-termination electronics in the cable plugs which can fail, or get hot and malfunction, especially with cheap cables often supplied with external drives.
  5. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    I have, like most PC manufacturers, Given up on thunderbolt.

    Having now had two cable, both expensive ones from apples, MELT at the iMac end, and having checked with the couple of other people using thunderbolt devices i know, those cables get HOT under use.. dangerously so.

    Switched to USB3, no noticeable performance drop for me, and got a PC for Multi-Monitor duty using DVI/HDMI, iMac now resigned to running my iTunes library and occasionally Office (Because office for PC has been crap since they introduced "the ribbon")

    Since 2012 apple has done nothing but drive me away from their products, the Mac Pro , horrible, un-upgradable garbage can, the sealed shut, un-serviceable DISPOSABLE nature of the modern iMac and Macbooks.

    This company should have its Green credentials taken away because nothing they make is user serviceability, they now actively encourage binning your device and buying a new one every 2-3 years which CANNOT be environmentally sound.
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Mac Pro unupgradeable? *throws back head and laughs loudly*

    The RAM is upgradeable, it's standard 1866MHz ECC RAM that you can get anywhere on the market.

    The SSD is based off a Samsung XP941 and third party upgrades are available soon, since it's not soldered.

    The processor is also fully upgradeable and is not soldered.
  7. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012

    My apologies, I misread your post.
  8. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    One note on that SSD - it's one thing for a vendor to announce intent to develop this proprietary SSD, it's another to develop, ship, and warrant a product that Apple won't be too helpful with disclosing the spec.

    The Mac Pro chose a proprietary connector that is similar to the M.2/NGFF PCIe variation of the XP941, but we don't know the secret sauce; ie how Apple implemented it. The attempts at previous SSD upgrades that attempt to mimic Apple's other proprietary connections (ie Macbook Air and Pro) sometimes yield unusual results. Even bricked SSDs at times.

    There have been other threads that discuss changing the processor, so I won't go down that route. And yes, the RAM is upgradeable; at least Apple followed standards, there.

    I believe Apple went proprietary on the SSD connection becuase they had to go forward before the M.2 standard was made firm.

    I have to agree, the Mac Pro isn't really that upgradeable when compared to more traditional PCs with standard slots and interfaces. However, a lot can be done external to the Mac Pro if one can live with 4-lane PCIe functionality.


    May want to try another Thunderbolt device to isolate the issue. That would help a lot.

    One other thing to try that worked for FireWire a while back...shut down, and disconnect power from device and iMac. Disconnect cables, too.

    Let stand unpowered for a few minutes, then reconnect only iMac and reboot. Then reconnect the Thunderbolt device. Make sure there is no play in the Thunderbolt connector as I have sometimes seen a loose one like on one of my MBPr laptops.

    Of course, also make sure you have the latest updates to your iMac as there have been a few Thunderbolt firmware updates on the Apple side.
  9. arthertbc0702 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Thanks for all your input.

    I have tried using new cables - I bought the Apple ones.

    I've tried using the external HDD on a different computer with Thunderbolt and it works perfectly.

    The main issue is that the Thunderbolt is coming up as "no hardware found". So I am guessing it probably is a hardware issue. *grief*

    Now i need to carry my iMac on the plane. Looked at the iLugger and its $199. Best part is shipping of the iLugger costs more at $250. Haha.
  10. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    right, and the one thing i want to be able to do in a pro machine, is upgrade the GPUs with off the shelf parts, as its those, not the ram or cpu, that do the heavy lifting now, i currently run 4 Nvida cards for CUDA, something i cant do at all with the mac pro, losing the option to put in nvida, and upgrade easily with off the shelf parts, killed the pro for me, the old pro had many an upgrade and "modified" gpu bios upgrades over its life with me, but of course that meant apple couldnt sell me a new model ever 3 years, i just upgraded the GPU incremntally... unlike now.

    A ram upgrade and CPU upgrade are next to worthless when the GPUs are the parts doing the heavy lifting, its like selling a car where you can swap out everything except the tires
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    You can always add in eGPUs, with a Sonnet IIID and GTX 780 Ti connected via Thunderbolt 2.

    The Mac Pro has 6 TB2 ports, of which two is connected to each controller. You can do a 3-card SLI setup for CUDA tasks.

    Per port, the performance is almost native (between 85-95%).

    And it's all plug and play.
  12. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    I will stick with a single box solution, rather than a rats nest + need to carry rows of multiport power strips with me for all the external items. Sure my workhorse PC is a Cooler master case thats pretty much two foot square cube and weights 4 tons, but the only external devices are the monitors, keyboard and mouse, everything else is in that one pick up and go box.

    Apples solution if Form over function...

    Usuability and motility are priceless

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