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Thunderbolt Cable Easily Disconnecting on Regular Basis?

1556 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Apr 12, 2014 7:35 AM by generalstudies™ RSS
Jim Bridger Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 20, 2013 2:35 AM

Is anyone else having the issue of their portable Seagate Thunderbolt drives disconnecting from Macbook Pro laptops with minor movement of either laptop or drive? I'm using the Apple manufactured Thunderbolt cables and even slight movement of my Macbook Pro disconnects the the drives from my computer. The Thunderbolt cables are nowhere near as tight as a USB connection. Though I love Thunderbolt speed I'm seriously dissapointed with the system due to this issue. Below is additonal info I sent to Apple via Feedback form.


I recently added two Seagate Thunderbolt portable drives to my workflow. Using the new system now for 6 months I have to say I'm very disappointed in how loose the Thunderbolt connection is when connected to my Macbook Pro Retina. I'm using Apple made Thunderbolt cables. Very little movement of the laptop regularly disconnects the cables enough to eject the drive.  This is not only dangerous to my drives but also annoying since often the ejection damages my Aperture Library and upon reopening of the said library it has to go through a lengthy process of repairing itself. Please make the Thunderbolt ports tighter so slight movement does not create this problem. Thank you.


Daniel J. Cox

Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)

    How true!

    Laptops and external devices never go together well, when the laptop can move freely. The plugs disconnect at the least provocation.

    I found the only help is to have very long cables, to lessen the tension of the cable. The cables that come with the drives usually are way too short and every movement will pull them from the socket. The cables need to be long enough to ly flat, curled up on the table, so that the table carries their weight and the bights in the cable provide strain relief. With long cables it is even possible to work with the MPB balanced on the knees, without the drive continously dismounting (at least for firewire drives - I did not try that with a thunderbolt drive yet). But better don't try that when working on library files!


    And an anti-slip mat below the MBP will prevent it from moving.  



  • loephatt Calculating status...

    Thank you for posting this.


    It reminds me of the inherently poor design of the old Ethernet AUI cables.


    Gravity is not being kind to Thunderbolt connections. They are insidious and do not appear to be less than perfectly seated, when they may be.


    I use a MBP (sorry to say pre-Retina!)  with a pair of external LaCie RAID enclosures via Thunderbolt. I have experienced issues with programs (Final Cut Pro X for video and Capture One for photography) while accessing these drives. The issues have been Thunderbolt connectivity.Crashing, inability to read OR write, abrupt changes in state, etc. Reseating the cable(s) and then having to treat the interface like cob webs - total BS.


    Some manner of strain relief is required, and it should be very easy to design this into the cable and/or interface.


    I am fearful, however, as we are potentially breaching the fuzzy area which devices Real World Use and Design.


    I am guessing it will be up to the clever third parties of the world to engineer a solution.



  • youcrazyboy Calculating status...

    I agree Jim, did you get any response? This coupled with Magsafe2 falling out every 5 mins makes me $2000 MBP Retina hard to enjoy at times....

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)

    Good.  My T'bolt ports hold fine.  I work in two locations and plug in and remove at least two T'bolt cables twice a day every day.  These hang off the edge of the desk.  None has ever come loose.


    Likewise -- @youcrazyboy! -- my MagSafe.  I use two different power bricks, each with its own cord, and have _never_ had one fall out.  Take it to Apple and have them fix it.

  • generalstudies™ Calculating status...

    Hi Jim,


    I had the same issue and thought it was the cable or the thunderbolt general design flaw. In a way, thunderbolt is a very bad design plastic casing which holds the head is way too long and easily gets hit or imbalance from the weight. Also the head is always very loose.


    I went to the Apple store and asked the Genius guy. He said it is a design flaw as he also have 2 macbook pro retinas with this issue. We then went to test the macbook pros in the store and are all loose but one thing is that do not disconnect as easily.


    I had my macbook pro for service a and changed the motherboard. It seems the old motherboard seems to not fit well with the unibody casing.


    After they made the change, it now doesn't disconnect when I move the laptop. I hope this helps you and you can get your machine looked at. At least my thunderbolt external drives don't disconnect when I move the laptop.


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