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42 Posts

09-09-2014

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Thunderbolt 3 controller has expired

2019-04-29, 8:02 AM

Hi all,

 

  

Today I cannot connect my X1 Yoga 2nd gen (20JE) to my docking station (ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock - Type 40AC) thru Thunderbolt 3. Below is the error:

 

A Thunderbolt controller has experienced a problem and cannot connect to devices or other computers until new firmware is installed.

Other Thunderbolt ports may be functioning normally. Please contact PC manufacturer for a firmware update to restore full Thunderbolt functionality.

 

 

 

The latest available firmware is from 27 Dec 2018 (1.0.12.0-N1NTF20W).

 

Any idea how to make the docking station working as it used to work?

 

BR

a

 

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42 Posts

09-09-2014

PL

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  • Message 2 of 12

Re: Thunderbolt 3 controller has expired

2019-04-29, 8:13 AM

BTW: Just tried to reinstall the firmware and got somme issues with it:

So, the Thunderbolt 3 firmware reinstallation is not possible.

 

Ideas?

 

Thanks,

a

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5 Posts

05-03-2019

AU

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Re: Thunderbolt 3 controller has expired

2019-05-03, 8:26 AM

Hi,

 

Thunderbolt controller is in safe mode. The only functionality for it is to accept a firmware update.

 

Sometimes you need to uninstall Windows drivers and install old 16.X drivers to allow firmware updates to work properly. Try https://necacom.net/index.php/intel/thunderbolt for all versions. Run "appwiz.cpl" from run box to uninstall the old versions.

 

Otherwise, for technical users, Linux makes firmware updating way easier, with no safeguards. Hence, make sure that the bin file you have is definitely valid firmware for your exact device, otherwise you might brick the controller completely and have to solder wires to the motherboard to recover it (been there, done that). You can install Ubuntu on a USB or something and make sure the kernel version is >= 4.14 or 4.13 I believe. https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/latest/admin-guide/thunderbolt.html for instructions.

 

Please provide more information like the output of "lspci -xxxx on Linux (or using PCI Utils for Windows as Administrator) if you have issues.

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42 Posts

09-09-2014

PL

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  • Message 4 of 12

Re: Thunderbolt 3 controller has expired

2019-05-03, 9:53 AM

Hi Karatekid430,

 

Thanks but it does not work.

  1. Uninstalling of Thunderbolt Software using appwiz.cpl is not possible - after finishing removing this software is already back, so installation of older version is not possible (even tried to do this simultaneously several times trying to get into the window between uninstall/install.
  2. Also tried to install the newest version from Intel website – did not help. Still the same issue.
  3. Also tried to remove the driver with installed software (Device Manager > System devices > Thunderbolt Controller – 15D2). Then I removed the Thunderbolt software using the appwiz.cpl. Looked like finally it is gone. The Device Manager did not discover the Thunderbolt device anymore, and the software was also not installed anymore. Then installed intel_thunderbolt_16.3.71.300 and got the same issue as initially described! Installation of Intel_Thunderbolt_17.4.79.510 also did not help! ☹
  4. Now I cannot remove this device anymore since it is always installing back by the system!

Further ideas?

 

Cheers,

a

 

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5 Posts

05-03-2019

AU

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Re: Thunderbolt 3 controller has expired

2019-05-05, 3:18 AM

Although you can block automatic installation of devices in Group Policy Editor, you can just download the older version of the software and disconnect from the internet and then uninstall - it should not be able to download it again then.

Otherwise, with the internet disconnected, go into devmgmt.msc (Winkey+R) and uninstall the Thunderbolt device under system devices and check "delete driver software for this device" box.

Sometimes controllers can go to sleep - so to make it detectable, you might need to plug in a Thunderbolt device.

If nothing else works, it might be best to use Linux. If you have never used it before then find somebody who has and boot off a Linux USB drive. If you can get Linux running with a recent kernel version, it will look something like this:


Either plug in a Thunderbolt device to wake the controller up, or do command in terminal:

echo 1 | sudo tee /sys/bus/wmi/devices/86CCFD48-205E-4A77-9C48-2021CBEDE341/force_power

 

To update controller, do commands in terminal:


sudo dd if=/path/to/the/firmware/update/file.bin of=/sys/bus/thunderbolt/devices/0-0/nvm_non_active0/nvmem
echo 1 | sudo tee /sys/bus/thunderbolt/devices/0-0/nvm_authenticate


But make sure the firmware file is definitely the one for your computer or else it will probably make things worse.

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5 Posts

05-03-2019

AU

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  • Message 6 of 12

Re: Thunderbolt 3 controller has expired

2019-05-05, 3:27 AM

Ah, you can find TBT.bin firmware after running your Lenovo firmware update (n1nth08w.exe) in path C:\FW\WIN\Thunderbolt\TBT.bin - copy TBT.bin to Linux.

Another thing to try on Windows is to use the Thunderbolt firmware update tool from http://download.gigabyte.asia/FileList/Firmware/AORUS-N1070IXEB-8GD-H2D.zip for another device, but when you open the exe file, you need to select your TBT.bin from Lenovo, not the one bundled with the Gigabyte tool.

0 person found this solution to be helpful.

This helped me too

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42 Posts

09-09-2014

PL

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  • Message 7 of 12

Re: Thunderbolt 3 controller has expired

2019-05-06, 12:06 PM

Hi all,

 

It seems I solve this issue by partially doing what @Karatekid430 has proposed. I went to C:\FW\WIN\Thunderbolt\ and did run FwUpdateTool.exe The firmware was (re)updated, it took couple of minutes.

 

After restart the issue is gone for the time being.

 

Many thanks for your help,

Cheers,

a

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3 Posts

12-14-2016

KR

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  • Message 8 of 12

Re: Thunderbolt 3 controller has expired

2019-05-23, 12:32 PM

The version 1.0.12.0-N1NTF20W was not installed, and I installed it again and again. It showed success but not updated.

 

I ended up using https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/downloads/ds506115 firmware update tool.

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42 Posts

09-09-2014

PL

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  • Message 9 of 12

Re: Thunderbolt 3 controller has expired

2019-06-06, 6:16 AM

After the latest BIOS (V. 1.33) update via Vantage I again got the same problem!!!

Thanks Lenovo for your firmware update!!!

 

 

Is now Lenovo alike Microsoft? 

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42 Posts

09-09-2014

PL

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  • Message 10 of 12

Re: Thunderbolt 3 controller has expired

2019-06-06, 6:45 AM
this time I solved it by:
1. installed Intel Thunderbolt Controller Driver (https://download.lenovo.com/pccbbs/mobiles/n1nta05w.exe) with docking station disconnected.
2. Rebooted since it did not help.
3. installed Thunderbolt Firmware Update Tool (https://download.lenovo.com/pccbbs/mobiles/n1nth08w.exe) with connected docking station.

After restart problem solved!
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