13" Macbook Woes

Zacster98

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2013
16
3
Hi there,

I am currently trying to fix a friend's 2012 13" Macbook Pro that is having several issues.

The main issue is that it simply won't launch any system applications. For example, Safari instantly says it 'closed unexpectedly' and Finder won't launch a window. Sometimes, finder won't even start upon boot. It is even as deep as system processes, as it no longer mounts any external disks or connects to WiFI.

He has reinstalled OS X Yosemite twice from recovery, which took an exceptionally long time. Although, this was done without a reformat to prevent the loss of data, since no backups can be made due to it not mounting external disks anymore.

When we booted into safe mode, it still took quite a while to boot and still wouldn't mount a disk.

Any thoughts on what could be causing it? The main priority is getting data off currently, and only want to remove the hard drive and connect it to another as a last resort.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
 

cjmillsnun

macrumors 68020
Aug 28, 2009
2,399
46
Do you have another Mac with firewire available?

You need to put this Mac in target disk mode and connect it to another Mac either by firewire or thunderbolt to get the data off.

The other thought is a faulty SATA cable. It is common on these Macs and as they are cheap to get hold of, it's worth changing it as it may fix all of the problems.
 

Zacster98

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2013
16
3
Thanks for the very fast reply!

Yes, I do have another Mac, although I would have to buy a firewire cable.

Before new cables etc. are bought, do you know if there is any other way to see if it is the SATA cable that has gone bad?
 

Xeridionix

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2015
112
1
This sounds like either a failing hard disk drive or a faulty SATA cable (although my first guess would be the former). If you are unable to boot the computer using Target Disk Mode as recommended by cjmillsnun, then you'll need to remove the hard disk from the MacBook Pro (it's not a complicated procedure by any means) and place it in an external enclosure, then connect it to another computer and try to copy your friends data off of the drive.

EDIT: Just seen your reply above. You could try removing the drive and placing it into an enclosure, connect it to the MacBook Pro and hold down Option right after you hear the boot chime. Select the drive and let it boot up, if it's a USB 3.0 enclosure it shouldn't take too long and you'll be able to see if the symptoms persist (also try this using your other computer to see if the issue follows the drive).
 

Zacster98

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2013
16
3
Hi there,

I've had my suspicions about the hard drive previously. It started doing weird stuff like locking me out of partitions and suddenly deciding that ones didn't exist etc.

Would you recommend running any software just to ensure that the hard drive is indeed failing? It's just before we order any new parts, we want to be absolutely sure that that's what the problem is.

Thanks for your very fast reply!
 

Zacster98

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2013
16
3
Hi again,

I will try that tomorrow and check back when the results are in! Thanks for your help so far
 

MarvinHC

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
762
222
Belgium
If you have an external hard drive lying around install OS there and run it via USB. While of course not terribly fast it will run the Mac and if then all works as normal you know for sure that the hard drive (or its cable) is the issue.
 
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