macOS 10.13.5+ Kernel Panic at Random with Audio Interface Connected to Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Number:rdar://42528077 Date Originated:23-Jul-2018 09:23 PM
Status:Open Resolved:
Product:macOS + SDK Product Version:10.13.6
Classification:Crash/Hang/Data Loss Reproducible:Sometimes
After extensive trial and error I've determined that macOS 10.13.5 and 10.13.6 randomly kernel panic when a USB audio interface is connected to the Mac via a Thunderbolt 3 dock.  The kernel panics usually occur within 24 hours of the Mac being connected to the dock when the audio interface is plugged in.  Exact times can be found in the attached kernel panic logs.

The dock in question is the Plugable TBT3-UDV (I've reproduced this issue on two different ones; I thought the dock was defective, so they sent me a new one).  The Macs I've reproduced this on are MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports) and MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports).  The audio interfaces I've reproduced this with are the Scarlett 2i2 (1st ten) and the Audient iD4.

Connecting the same audio interfaces directly to the Mac's USB port and the dock to the other port prevents the kernel panic from occurring.

I've tried reinstalling macOS, using different USB ports, using different docks, using different USB cables, using different power supplies for all devices involved, and so on.  It took me weeks to narrow this down to this specific cause.  I am unable to determine a specific trigger for these kernel panics.

15 kernel panics are attached, 14 from one Mac (mine) and 1 from another (my wife's).

To my knowledge these kernel panics did not occur in macOS 10.13.4 and earlier (I purchased and have been using the TBT3-UDV in November of 2017 and had used it without issue for a while with the Scarlett 2i2 attached).

One thing to note: When these kernel panics occur Bluetooth does not function at the login screen after the restart, but does start working after logging in.

One other thing to note: I have a Magic Trackpad 2, and when the trackpad is connected to the Mac via Bluetooth and one of these kernel panics occurs the Trackpad stops working all together, not even providing haptic feedback.  I need to flip its switch off and on again to get it to function again.

Steps to Reproduce:
Connect a USB audio interface, like the ones mentioned above, to a Thunderbolt 3 dock's USB ports, like the TBT3-UDV mentioned above, and then use the Mac normally.  Random kernel panics will then occur, sometimes in minutes, sometimes in hours, but almost always within 24 hours.

Expected Results:
No kernel panics should occur.

Actual Results:
Kernel panics!


The only viable workaround I've found so far is to connect the audio interface to the Mac directly instead of using the USB ports on the Thunderbolt 3 dock.


Experiencing the same issues

Hi have you been able to fix your problem without the work around? I have a late 2015 iMac 27in with Catalina. I attached a docking station to it using an adapter. I'm having kernel panic crashes while using webcam software such as ManyCam and Reincubate Camo with Zoom. I'm also experiencing the trackpad bluetooth issue you described. I do have my logitech c920 and microphone attached to the docking station too. I've reinstalled Catalina and I still got the crashes. Like you said, it's not showing up in the reports all of the time. I also got WindowServer issue that caused a crash. Thanks.

By cynthiaehardy at Nov. 8, 2020, 3:15 a.m. (reply...)

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