2011 MacBook Pro Hard Drive Replacement Issues

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Matthew567, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. Matthew567 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
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    Australia
    #1
    I am attempting to swap the factory 500GB 5400rpm drive in an early 2011 15" MacBook Pro to a 1TB 7200rpm for a relative. The Pro doesn't seem to like the it however, even though it works perfectly fine in another MacBook (late 2009) and over Target Disk Mode. Here's what I've tried so far:
    1. Restoring the Time Machine backup directly to the drive. "Could not create recovery disk"
    2. Installing a clean copy of Mavericks (and later Yosemite) to the drive from a bootable USB. Failed.
    3. Installing Lion from a late 2006 iMac to the drive over Target Disk Mode. The install was successful, however the Pro didn't boot...it only Kernel Panicked. The iMac was able to boot successfully however.
    4. Installing Yosemite on the new drive in the MacBook (which completed perfectly), and then swapping the drive to the Pro. Hangs on boot with the progress indicator approximately one third complete. Verbose mode states that there is an "I/O error".
    5. Resetting NVRAM. No change
    6. Installing Snow Leopard from the restore DVD. Failed

    I do not currently have a Firewire 800 to 800 cable, (only an 800 to 400) but if it is likely that an install of Yosemite (or direct Time Machine restore) from my 2011 iMac will work, then I would be happy to purchase one.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #2
    Well, it sounds like the SATA cable has failed on the 2011 MBP.

    You're going to need to buy a new SATA3 cable and replace it.
     
  3. Matthew567 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    I've just installed a different drive (from the 09 MacBook) and it has booted and seems to work fine. I don't want to spend the $40/50 on a new cable if I'm not 100% certain that that is the issue. Anything else it could be?
     
  4. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #4
    I suspect your old drive is negotiating SATA2 link speed whereas the newer drive is negotiating SATA3 link speed and the cable is failing at that speed. The drive is going to read-only in response to the errors.

    New cable needed, had it on mine a few weeks ago...
     
  5. Matthew567 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I see. Thank you. And TDM would still work fine if this were the case?
    If so, I guess I haven't got much choice than to buy it. How can I make sure that a new cable will not have this same issue?
     
  6. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #6
    TDM?

    Why would a new cable be failing? Easiest way to "make sure" is to...put it into your machine unless you have a SATA3 test rig???

    The cable takes 10mins to change...not a big complex job.
     
  7. Matthew567 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    TDM - Target Disk Mode. The disk seems to function fine this way, and Disk Utility reports no issues.

    Sorry, I misunderstood. I'll have to get the cable then.
     
  8. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #8
    Could be coincidence, depends if you were reading or writing normally, if a read, the requesting cpu just retries, if a write, the drive goes to read-only to prevent data corruption on the disk.
     
  9. Matthew567 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Well the new cable has arrived but it still isn't working with the same errors as before. Any suggestions?
     
  10. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #10
    Odd. Is it the same whether on AC or Battery?

    When you say the same errors, you mean it still doesn't work? For example my DriveDX showed the same i/o error count before and after the repair, it didn't reset the error count, as it was no longer increasing that shows it was fixed.

    Was the cable definitely brand new? Not some dubious eBay supplier who is sending you a cable that has already been removed for this error...
     
  11. Matthew567 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Yes, I've tried on both Battery and a 65W adapter (I don't have the 85 with me).

    I wasn't able to boot from the drive (that already had OS X installed from the other MacBook), or install a new copy (from the Pro). Disk Utility still has a lot of trouble with the drive.

    As far as I can tell it is new. It came in a sealed plastic bag and had new 3M adhesive on it. Not that it matters, but the old cable was branded Foxconn, whereas this one is Apple.
     
  12. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #12
    Bugger, well if the drive is OK (works elsewhere), and the cable is ruled out by replacing...then there is only the controller on the logic board ($$$), which is integral with the whole logic board.

    I asked about the power just in case something on the AC side was causing interference...

    If you want to keep the machine then probably more cost effective to fit a caddy in the place of the optical and use that interface (at the cost of no optical).

    If you fit your 500GB in the normal HDD bay does that still work? If so you can:

    Refit and sell as is, fully working.
    Fit both drives and use as a dual-drive
     
  13. Matthew567 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Damn.

    I'm fairly sure the original drive will work with this cable, as it did with the last.

    Anyway, thanks for your help.
     

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