Following Apple’s announcement of new Thunderbolt adapters yesterday, and a new Thunderbolt software update to support them, many users are now reporting that the update is causing kernel panics and boot failures on their devices.
Adam C. Engst of TidBITS reports:
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.
It’s an interesting situation. As Engst points out, the issue only affects certain users – a number of people have also been able to apply the update without any problems. My early 2011 MacBook Pro falls in that category. It’s unclear if there’s a common link between machines having the issue, or what that link might be.
Engst states that the most effective way to fix the issue is to completely reinstall Lion. Fortunately, as Cnet points out, reinstalling the OS X 10.7.4 combo update also appears to fix the problem – however, that requires you to be able to boot your Mac into safe mode, or using another Mac to apply the update through Target Disk Mode.
If you haven’t applied the update yet, we’d encourage you not to. It’s only required for the Thunderbolt Ethernet Adapter, and isn’t worth potentially having to reinstall OS X.
Have any of you experienced this problem? Sound off in the comments!