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A1418 / EMC 3069 / 2017 / 3.0 GHz quad-core i5, 3.4 GHz quad-core i5 or 3.6 GHz quad-core i7 Processor. Released June 8, 2017.

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Thunderbolt 3 ports stopped working after RAM & hard drive upgrade

After doing the upgrade my thunderbolt 3 ports stopped working. All other ports are working fine. Anyone know of any solutions?

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Hi,

Did you ever get your ports working again?

I just did the ram on mine and thunderbolt no longer works for my display.

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@brannolte can you put your old RAM back to see if it’s definitely RAM issue ? If I am right you have to take out motherboard to upgrade RAM on this model, make sure that the motherboard is correctly back in place - if there will be 1-2mm gap there will be no connection for thunderbolt - USB is fine as it’s have longer connectors. If you can try connect thunderbolt when the motherboard is out, just to see if it’s really “gone” (but I am not sure what is your options).

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@roboscrap

This is my wifes iMac so I've ordered another 2 sets of adheasive for the screen and will have to wait for that to come before i tear it apart again.

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@brannolte OK just let us know :) (my advice - all time when I am ordering adhesive for iMac/iPad/iPhone I get 2-3 sets just in case if something goes wrong :) )

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It could be due to the ports not totally aligned with the aluminum case's port holes (perhaps the logic board not seated completely or the metal shields of the ports got caught with inside of the port holes) so the ports do not extend fully out. See USB-C ports are no longer working and USB-C ports stopped working after CPU+ RAM + SSD upgrade (even though both happened on the iMac 21.5" 2017)

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I recently bought an "upgraded" iMac 2017 with the exact same issue (non-working Thunderbolt ports). I disassembled the iMac and reseated the board.
While re-assembling the mainboard, I made sure to connect USB-C and USB-A cables in the rear ports to ensure the board was properly aligned with the rear case and this fixed the problem!
I noticed that the iMac mainboard has a small round alignment "button/sensor" that sticks out just below the two thunderbolt ports. The back of the iMac case has a small plastic receptacle that aligns with this button. Strangely, I can't find any mention of it anywhere in iMac re-assembly instructions but I suspect that this button/sensor might have something to do with the disabling of the ports if the mainboard isn't seated properly.
Before attempting this repair, make sure the Thunderbolt ports are recognized by the OS by checking under the "System Information" menu as this will confirm whether the TB hardware is functional but not "active" due to the misaligned mainboard.
Note that disassembling an iMac is not for the faint of heart as it requires a complete breakdown of the iMac's major components including the hard drive, power supply and mainboard - starting with cutting into the screen adhesive. Do your research before attempting!

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Thanks, JS. Here too, re-fitting the motherboard cured the problem.

I think this problem that I hear a lot about on the internet is that this sensor is misaligned.

This information is quite informative.

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The same exact thing happened to me tonight. All aspects of my 2017 21.5 iMac are working fine, but my external monitor is no longer being recognized. No one seems to have a good answer for this, but resetting SMC or NVRAM do not seem to work at all.


Guess I just have to hook up my monitor on the USB 3.0 port.

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Hi, did you ever manage to get it working?

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