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Repair guides and disassembly information for the MacBook Pro 16'' released in November of 2019. Model A2141, EMC 3347.

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USB Ports on Right Side Don't Recognize Storage or Network Adapter

Hi, I recently got a new MacBook Pro 16” and ended up returning it due to a problem with the USB ports on the right side of the machine (the ones nearest the touch id/power button).

The ports on the right side can be used to charge the laptop and will provide power out to charge an iPhone.

The ports on the right side also output video to my monitor.

However, when I connect an external USB drive to the ports on the right side, nothing happens. Opening up System Report shows that the drive is connected but it isn’t recognized as storage.

Also, when I connect a Belkin gigabit ethernet adapter to the right side ports it nothing happens for a while but after a couple of minutes it says that the machine has a self assigned ip address and cannot connect to the internet.

The usb ports on the left side can do everything that the ones on the right side can do plus when I plug in an external USB drive it is instantly recognized, and same for the USB ethernet adapter.

In the process of troubleshooting I reset the NVRAM, PRAM and SMC but none of those fixed the issue. I also reproduced the issue in Safe Mode.

Just curious if anyone else has experienced this issue.

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Are you using the supplied charger and its USB-C cable?

Some third party chargers have been killing the port logic.

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Hi Dan, I used the charger and USB-C cable that came with the machine.

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At this point if you still have the system you’ll need to get it fixed under warranty. I would strongly recommend you signup for AppleCare+ as fixing the logic board is quite expensive.

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Thanks for the advice Dan, I purchased AppleCare+ when I purchased the machine. They returned it when I brought it in to get it checked out.

I made this post to document this issue and to see if anyone else has experienced this issue.

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The left and right TB ports are setup exactly in the same way. Each pair of ports uses a common TB controller.

What likely happened is you zapped the port with a bad device. As an example, you have a USB2/3 printer which is connected to your TB hub which when you plugged it into your system zapped your TB port. The printer power some how leaked into the USB connection (bad ground). Or, power surge or lightning hit found its way in.

Invest in a good UPS and use its AC connections for all of the peripheral devices and your system.

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Thanks again for those tips. I don't have a UPS but I do connect through a surge protector. Not sure if that is what happened since my USB drive was the first thing to go into those ports on the right side and it never connected.

I also use some Apple USB-C -> USB-C, HDMI, USB-A dongles but they work fine in a different MacBook.

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