Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Systems and Services > Mac Basics and Help

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Oct 29, 2012, 09:23 AM   #1
skypilot09
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Mac Hard Drive Issues

Hi all,

I'm hoping you all can help me out with an issue I'm having with my girlfriend's mid 2009 13" Macbook Pro. Last night she tried to start the computer and was greeted with the grey folder with the flashing question mark icon. She (of course) did not have a back up, so I swapped out the HDD with my MBP and it did boot. I backed everything up with the intention of doing a clean install of 10.8 and then restoring from that back up. This morning I put her HDD back in her computer and tried to do a clean install. However, the installer cannot find the HDD at all.

Now I'm stumped. If the drive was the issue, wouldn't the same problems be present on both computers with the bad drive in them? Currently I'm using the "bad" drive in my own MBP repairing the disk permissions. Does anyone have any suggestions? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
__________________
15.4" Unibody Macbook Pro, 2.8 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB HD; 64 GB 3G iPad
skypilot09 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 09:57 AM   #2
Weaselboy
macrumors G4
 
Weaselboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
If the drive works fine in your machine and not hers, but you cannot see the drive at all on her machine, it could be that the drive connection to the logic board is bad. Try running the Apple Hardware Test on her machine from the DVD that came with it. I believe the AHT is on the second DVD for that machine.
Weaselboy is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 10:18 AM   #3
skypilot09
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
@weaselboy I just ran the AHT and it said no trouble was found. I own Drive Genius 3. Might the drive benefit from a repair run through with the DG3?
__________________
15.4" Unibody Macbook Pro, 2.8 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB HD; 64 GB 3G iPad
skypilot09 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 10:44 AM   #4
AppleNewton
macrumors 65816
 
AppleNewton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 1 Finite Place
back-up all the data on that drive. try putting the drive back into her MacBook (her original drive) and perform an SMC Reset and PRAM reset
Outlined here:
SMC http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964
PRAM http://support.apple.com/kb/PH11243


to see if the drive comes back online. sometimes software, firmware or changes on the system may cause the drive to appear offline for that machine.
__________________
MacMini Home Theater 2012 | 2TB | 8GB
MacBookPro Retina 2013 | 500GB | 8GB
iMac 27" 2012 | 768GB | 32GB
iPhone | iPad | AppleTV | OS X Server
AppleNewton is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 11:04 AM   #5
Weaselboy
macrumors G4
 
Weaselboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by skypilot09 View Post
@weaselboy I just ran the AHT and it said no trouble was found. I own Drive Genius 3. Might the drive benefit from a repair run through with the DG3?
You can certainly try, but often the ? mark means the machine cannot see the drive at all... and if that is the case DG3 may not work. Sure worth a try though.
Weaselboy is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 11:12 AM   #6
skypilot09
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
@AppleNewton I cleared the PRAM last night thinking that might help, but unfortunately, no change. I haven't done an SMC reset, however, so I'll swap the drives when I get home and do both again and report back. Thanks for the suggestions.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weaselboy View Post
You can certainly try, but often the ? mark means the machine cannot see the drive at all... and if that is the case DG3 may not work. Sure worth a try though.
Yeah that's kind of what I figured. I was thinking that since the drive works in my MBP I could put the bad drive in mine, boot hers from the DG3 cd and boot mine (with the bad drive) into target disk mode and maybe I could repair it connected via firewire.
__________________
15.4" Unibody Macbook Pro, 2.8 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB HD; 64 GB 3G iPad
skypilot09 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 03:41 PM   #7
AppleNewton
macrumors 65816
 
AppleNewton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 1 Finite Place
If you have access to disk warrior, use that especially if you can see it on another machine.
__________________
MacMini Home Theater 2012 | 2TB | 8GB
MacBookPro Retina 2013 | 500GB | 8GB
iMac 27" 2012 | 768GB | 32GB
iPhone | iPad | AppleTV | OS X Server
AppleNewton is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 04:49 PM   #8
skypilot09
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleNewton View Post
If you have access to disk warrior, use that especially if you can see it on another machine.
Okay, I've tried a few different things without success.

First, I tried booting her computer (with my hard drive) and it will not boot with my hard drive either. Which makes me think there is a much larger issue than her hard drive.

Secondly I put her hard drive back in her computer and I cleared the PRAM and reset the SMC, but the issue still persists.

I do have Disk Warrior, but it is installed on my machine, not hers. Short of taking this to the Apple Store are there any other solutions I can try?
__________________
15.4" Unibody Macbook Pro, 2.8 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB HD; 64 GB 3G iPad
skypilot09 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 05:00 PM   #9
AppleNewton
macrumors 65816
 
AppleNewton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 1 Finite Place
Quote:
Originally Posted by skypilot09 View Post
Okay, I've tried a few different things without success.

First, I tried booting her computer (with my hard drive) and it will not boot with my hard drive either. Which makes me think there is a much larger issue than her hard drive.

Secondly I put her hard drive back in her computer and I cleared the PRAM and reset the SMC, but the issue still persists.

I do have Disk Warrior, but it is installed on my machine, not hers. Short of taking this to the Apple Store are there any other solutions I can try?
if the drive mounts on your computer, try an external enclosure, and run disk utility on that.

more than likely it appears to be a shorted/bad data cable (aka SATA Cable), probably a cheap fix if not under warranty.
__________________
MacMini Home Theater 2012 | 2TB | 8GB
MacBookPro Retina 2013 | 500GB | 8GB
iMac 27" 2012 | 768GB | 32GB
iPhone | iPad | AppleTV | OS X Server
AppleNewton is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 05:08 PM   #10
skypilot09
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleNewton View Post
if the drive mounts on your computer, try an external enclosure, and run disk utility on that.

more than likely it appears to be a shorted/bad data cable (aka SATA Cable), probably a cheap fix if not under warranty.
Just a quick google of "Macbook Pro SATA" all but confirms your theory. Others have described almost identical issues with a bad cable, it seems. I'll order one from iFixit and let you know if that fixes it. Thanks to both of you for all the help!
__________________
15.4" Unibody Macbook Pro, 2.8 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB HD; 64 GB 3G iPad
skypilot09 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29, 2012, 05:16 PM   #11
AppleNewton
macrumors 65816
 
AppleNewton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 1 Finite Place
Quote:
Originally Posted by skypilot09 View Post
Just a quick google of "Macbook Pro SATA" all but confirms your theory. Others have described almost identical issues with a bad cable, it seems. I'll order one from iFixit and let you know if that fixes it. Thanks to both of you for all the help!
goodluck, post back with details.

its funny ive worked with techs that say cables never fail, a huge fraction of the time spent on these devices resulted in swapping the cable vs the HDD. not always but alot more than expected.
__________________
MacMini Home Theater 2012 | 2TB | 8GB
MacBookPro Retina 2013 | 500GB | 8GB
iMac 27" 2012 | 768GB | 32GB
iPhone | iPad | AppleTV | OS X Server
AppleNewton is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 30, 2012, 10:06 AM   #12
Fishrrman
macrumors 68040
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
I suggest you spend about $25 and get one of these devices:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...a+dock&x=0&y=0
(many items shown, they all work the same, just pick one you like that's cheap)

Having a USB/SATA dock at hand will make your diagnostic and repair efforts go much more easily.

Once you have it, put YOUR drive back into YOUR Mac.

Then, put your GF's bad drive into the dock, hook it to your Mac, and turn it on.

You may find that even though the drive is not "bootable", it's still "mountable", and shows up on the desktop.

At this point you can decide what to do next -- use Drive Genius to repair it, copy her personal files to some other drive, perhaps even re-initialize and restore the old drive (and you can "test-boot" from the dock if necessary).

Perhaps her system has gone bad or gotten corrupted, but her personal data is still intact and unharmed (the latter is what really counts). You may be able to re-initialize the drive, put a clean system onto it, and then restore her personal data.

And if you get this done, buy her a USB/SATA dock of her own, a "bare" drive, and get ahold of CarbonCopyCloner and show her how to use it!
Fishrrman is online now   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 30, 2012, 03:05 PM   #13
skypilot09
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleNewton View Post
goodluck, post back with details.

its funny ive worked with techs that say cables never fail, a huge fraction of the time spent on these devices resulted in swapping the cable vs the HDD. not always but alot more than expected.
That's great to know considering replacing the cable is much cheaper than the drive itself. I've got the part ordered and will post back Friday when it comes in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
I suggest you spend about $25 and get one of these devices:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...a+dock&x=0&y=0
(many items shown, they all work the same, just pick one you like that's cheap)

Having a USB/SATA dock at hand will make your diagnostic and repair efforts go much more easily.

Once you have it, put YOUR drive back into YOUR Mac.

Then, put your GF's bad drive into the dock, hook it to your Mac, and turn it on.

You may find that even though the drive is not "bootable", it's still "mountable", and shows up on the desktop.

At this point you can decide what to do next -- use Drive Genius to repair it, copy her personal files to some other drive, perhaps even re-initialize and restore the old drive (and you can "test-boot" from the dock if necessary).

Perhaps her system has gone bad or gotten corrupted, but her personal data is still intact and unharmed (the latter is what really counts). You may be able to re-initialize the drive, put a clean system onto it, and then restore her personal data.

And if you get this done, buy her a USB/SATA dock of her own, a "bare" drive, and get ahold of CarbonCopyCloner and show her how to use it!
You have no idea how much I was wishing for a hard drive enclosure during this ordeal haha. After swapping the drive for what seemed like the 10+ time I was ready to pay any price (target disk mode did not prove very helpful). I've been meaning to pick one up for more than a year, but it's one of those items that your forget about until you need it. I'll definitely be picking one of these up now.

I've stressed the importance of backing up and the usefulness of these programs (Drive Genius, Disk Warrior, CarbonCopyCloner, etc.), but in her world everything just works. There are no problems. Maybe I can use this as a segue into getting her to use applications other than Safari and Twitter. Here's to hoping. Thanks for the help!
__________________
15.4" Unibody Macbook Pro, 2.8 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB HD; 64 GB 3G iPad
skypilot09 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 4, 2012, 03:46 PM   #14
skypilot09
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleNewton View Post
goodluck, post back with details.

its funny ive worked with techs that say cables never fail, a huge fraction of the time spent on these devices resulted in swapping the cable vs the HDD. not always but alot more than expected.
Just following up real quick to let you all know that the new SATA cable fixed the issue! Received the part Friday afternoon and within about 5 minutes her computer was up and running. Thanks again for all of your help and suggestions!
__________________
15.4" Unibody Macbook Pro, 2.8 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB HD; 64 GB 3G iPad
skypilot09 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 4, 2012, 05:01 PM   #15
AppleNewton
macrumors 65816
 
AppleNewton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 1 Finite Place
Quote:
Originally Posted by skypilot09 View Post
Just following up real quick to let you all know that the new SATA cable fixed the issue! Received the part Friday afternoon and within about 5 minutes her computer was up and running. Thanks again for all of your help and suggestions!
Excellent, great to hear.
__________________
MacMini Home Theater 2012 | 2TB | 8GB
MacBookPro Retina 2013 | 500GB | 8GB
iMac 27" 2012 | 768GB | 32GB
iPhone | iPad | AppleTV | OS X Server
AppleNewton is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Systems and Services > Mac Basics and Help

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:53 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC