Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2 Causing Boot Failures for Some Users


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Among the many software updates Apple has been pushing out associated with yesterday's keynote announcements, Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2 is a relatively minor 537 KB download offered to provide support for the company's new Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter. The adapter is intended for use with Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Air models and the new Retina MacBook Pro, which do not come with an Ethernet port built in due to their thin designs.

But as noted by TidBITS, the update seems to be causing major problems for a number of users, with some users' machines being rendered unable to boot.
Although it's unclear if all Thunderbolt-equipped Macs are affected, a number of people have reported that installing the update causes a variety of strange boot-related problems (kernel panics, getting stuck at the gray boot screen, "Unexpected error" messages, and more). Regardless of the details, in each case, it seems that the Mac is rendered unusable, even thunderstruck. I've now heard from some people for whom the update did not cause any problems, but it's still unclear what the difference may be between those who are and are not suffering boot failures.
The report notes that the issues can be fixed by reinstalling OS X Lion, although that is certainly not a desirable step for most users to have to take. Consequently, it seems advisable for users to avoid installing this update until the cause of the issues can be identified and Apple can introduce a revised version of the software.

Article Link: Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2 Causing Boot Failures for Some Users


macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2009
Late 2011 MBP is OK. I had already downloaded it when I saw this article and I was praying on the reboot lol.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2011
Thank You!

Thank You for this timely warning.
It's good to know you are watching out for us.

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
Washington DC
Given the sporadic reports I suspect we'll find it's a conflict with some other software that only some people have. I remember there was some bug a few years back that erased external hard drives, but it only happened with people who had a specific Logitech mouse driver on their Mac.

Makes it really hard to nail down the problem.


macrumors member
Apr 11, 2006
Hit me...

I'm one of the unlucky ones I suppose. I've posted this in a few other places, but yeah, yesterday afternoon shortly after it was released, it popped up as an available update. I was going to be away from my computer (MacBookPro8,2, 2.2GHz quad core 8GB), so I figured I'd run the two updates (this one and iPhoto) while I was gone.

I came back to a single dialog box that said that the update couldn't be applied. I rebooted the machine (hitting OK simply removed the dialog box but didn't reboot on its own for at least 5 minutes) and got the "driver not found" kernel panic on the next (and 3 other) attempt to boot.

The only thing I found that worked was re-installing Lion (hold the option key on boot to select the recovery drive.)

For the record, I had an external monitor hooked up to the Thunderbolt port while running the update - if that's applicable.


macrumors newbie
Jun 12, 2012
Re-Install Lion

I downloaded this update last night. My 2011 MacBook Pro 17" running Lion would not reboot and would not install update. Had to shut down and re-install LION. All is fine now. But I won't be trying to download this Thunderbolt up-date again.
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macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2010
Happened to me last night. Macs don't crash though, its a feature. j/k :p

But yeah I will avoid this update for awhile, I forget to wait sometimes and just update anyway. I lost my kernel panic virginity YAY!

Early 2011 MBP here.
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