Warning: Thunderbolt update crashes Macbooks, iMacs

By on June 12, 2012, 2:00 PM

In addition to a number of major product announcements, Apple also showed off its new Thunderbolt-based gigabit network and FireWire adapters Monday at the 2012 WWDC. In order to enable support for the adapters on older Macs, Apple rolled out a quick update through its automatic software updater service last night. However, a growing number of Mac users are reporting a critically serious "kernel panic" error with some Macbooks and iMacs. Kernel panics are the *nix equivalent to a Windows BSOD.

It is not yet clear why kernel panics are popping up on some systems and not others, but two things all of the reports seem to have common are a Mac equipped with a Thunderbolt port and an installation of Lion (Mac OS X 10.7). 

Although Apple hasn't officially acknowledged the issue yet, all Mac users are urged to avoid the Thunderbolt update until a fix is issued. Once a Mac is hit with the bug, it is basically rendered unbootable until the problem is fixed or Mac OS is reinstalled. For temporary access, I suspect safe boot still works though -- hold the shift key during boot.

If it's too late and you've already performed the dark ritual, there is one non-surgical solution that is both simple to do and users are verifying works: use Lion's recovery partition feature to repair Mac OS.

Users can initiate the repair process by powering up (or restarting) their Mac and hold the Command + R keys simultaneously after the boot-time "chime" sound. When prompted to do so, choose to re-install Mac OS X and log on with your Apple ID. It'll take awhile, but the reinstallation process will solve the issue.

If the word "reinstall" scares you, don't worry -- users who perform these steps won't lose their data. All of your personal files, application settings and most of your system configuration .plists should remain unscathed.

As always though, it's important to keep a current backup. If you're a Mac user, there's really no easier way to do this than using Time Machine on a secondary or external storage device.

User Comments: 13

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Guest said:

OH wow! I was gonna install that update last night but didn't feel like restarting my computer so then I decided to to it today until I read this article. Thanks!

Guest said:

Two words: Haw-Haw!

Guest said:

but Mac's never have anything wrong with them... ROTFLMAO

Scshadow said:

You're auto-updating it wrong. -Apple

BMfan BMfan said:

Why don't they just do a system restore instead of a re-install?

bexwhitt said:

I am assuming they have pulled that update as it's not on my update list now. There is an airport update though, sweet maybe my wifi will work properly again. 1.08 GB Imovie update, well bugger good job I have 60 meg dl speed

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

It just works...

Guest said:

It happened to me, fortunately I had just backed up to time machine and was able to restore from that backup. Its a real pain.

Guest said:

It does happen. Safe boot did not work for me. Had to reinstal from 10.6.7 DVD......not a good story. Now back to Lion and yes, I see the Thunderbolt update has gone from the list, although it was there at 1am UK time. A 1 yr old MacBookPro with Lion 10.7. Processor 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7

Guest said:

10.7 seems to be fully as buggy as 10.0

Apple has managed to go backwards 12 years... not even Microsoft has ever been capable of such a feat.

Guest said:

Yes it happened to me too and I for whatever reason I couldn't restore Lion as it wouldn't download all the way , just 3/4 the freeze. Booked a genius bar at my nearest store and have not long came back with my 13" MBP working correctly . They used a combined OX and software update drive so I have the latest version of Lion ( so I was told) . Up until this I have never had any issues with my MBP , it was more akin to a windows experience .

sapo joe said:

Well, then...

I'm laughing so hard here it's really difficult to type... Wait...




Funny, because my PC has not had a BSOD since windows 98!!! LOL

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