Well, I suppose it is a long to expect a computer to work, but my MacBook Pro 2016 is five years old and has been super reliable. However, today I plugged it into my trusty CalDigit ThunderBolt 3+ docking station and the CalDigit would not power up. Usually, when I plug it in, the blue light goes on and everything works. But today, everything was black.
Fortunately, I have two of these docking stations, so a quick swap with a working MacBook showed it was all working fine with that one. But here is what I discovered:
- It works fine on the left side, but not on the right
- Even weirder, on the right side, a regular charger with vanilla Apple 87 watt charger and a vanilla Apple cable will charge on the lower right port, but the Thunderbolt port isn't recognized there.
- And nothing works on the upper right port.
Form my last excellent adventure with crashes due to a Logitech Camera, I discovered that sometimes a simple NVRAM reset can work wonders, so off I go to remember how to do this, useful for all of you as well I think:
- First, the obvious stuff from Mac Paw is to make sure that the connectors aren't frayed and the power is on at the wall (that's why you check with a good system).
- Then run through the various resets of which there are a lot, this is a good collection of resources for this, but with this T1 Intel MacBook, the various commands are to press the power button and then hold the Option-Command and then the P and R keys simultaneously. On my Mac, you will hear it chime twice and the NVRAM/PRAM are reset. This is where the system configuration is kept.
- Then you reset the SMC which deals with low level components like battery charging, vidoe modes, sleep and wake and so forth.
- Finally, there is a cool built in test that you can run called Apple Diagnostics where you turn on your Mac and press and hold the D key and it comes up with some basic tests. On Apple silicon, you turn you Mac on and hold the power buttong and then you will get a startup options and you click on the Option and then Command-D.
In my case, non of this worked and I sure hope it isn't a motherboard replacement. I'm somewhat suspecting that since I mainly plug in on that side, I've just blown the connector. It could also be that I'm using non-Apple power supplies and something burned out. Hard to tell, but off to the Apple Store I go!