2012 MacBook Pro W/ Retina **Issue**

Turbocoupe1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2019
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Hello all, I’m new here. I have my MacBook Retina I bought new in 2012. Unfortunately I have an issue with it now. Apple sees it as being a hard drive issue. The laptop will power on but shows a folder with a blinking question mark. We tried to reformat it with Apple but was unsuccessful.

My question, can I repair this on my own? I’ve built desktops so I have some experience. Does anyone know where I can get a hard drive if that is indeed the problem? Also, I will have to install a new OS on this right?

Any help is appreciated. I really want to save money on this but want my laptop back!
 
Last edited:

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
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It's pretty simple to replace the SSD storage.
Just remove the bottom cover, then disconnect the battery (for safety), and remove one screw that holds the flash storage drive in place.
iFixit has a repair page showing exactly how to do that - https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Retina+Display+Mid+2012+SSD+Replacement/9706
There's also a link to a page where you could purchase a replacement drive (an OWC-brand -- works good!)
You CAN go cheaper, replacing the original storage with an m2 SSD card, using an adapter card (Apple uses a non-standard connector configuration, so you need to do your homework on this!)
Here's an example of that - https://www.amazon.com/QNINE-Adapter-MacBook-Replacement-Converter/dp/B01LXLU3A9
just add a storage card of your choice, such as: https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-860-mSATA-Internal-MZ-M6E1T0BW/dp/B07822P8JY
 

Turbocoupe1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2019
8
1
Thank you for the fast reply. I’m looking for something quick and painless. If that is good I’ll just go with that and swap it out!
 

Turbocoupe1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2019
8
1
Also. Would you still have to disconnect the battery if it’s been dead for months?

And i will also have to format a new operating system. I don’t have anyway to install it from my MacBook. Will I have to purchase it from Apple?
 
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crawfish963

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2010
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Texas
Also. Would you still have to disconnect the battery if it’s been dead for months?

And i will also have to format a new operating system. I don’t have anyway to install it from my MacBook. Will I have to purchase it from Apple?
You should never let a LiIon battery go dead for months as it's very detrimental to the battery's life. To answer your questions, always unplug the battery, even if you think it's completely dead. You can create a boot disk on a flash drive if you want. Format the drive for OSX Extended and download your preferred OSX version onto the drive. Hold down the option key upon startup and select the flash drive to boot from that drive. Good luck.
 

DeltaMac

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Jul 30, 2003
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Which OS X system version do you want to use?
Which MacBook do you have? If it supports the version that you want to use, and you have upgraded to that system on your MacBook, you might download it to that MacBook through the App Store, then make a bootable installer from that download. A USB flash drive, 8GB or larger, would work fine for that.
 
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Turbocoupe1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2019
8
1
I don’t remember the OS. Whatever came from factory. It’s a 2012 MacBook Pro with retina. I think 13”.

I will have to download the OS on another pc and boot from thumb drive.
 

DeltaMac

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Jul 30, 2003
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That will work, but there is a much simpler way to go back to original system.
Boot to internet recovery: Reboot, holding Option-Command-R
You will see a spinning globe, and NOT the usual Apple icon.
This boots your MBPro to Apple's server. You will boot to a menu screen, very much like booting to the recovery system. Use Disk Utility to erase your new drive to make sure it is formatted to OS X Extended (journaled), then choose "Reinstall OS X". That will load the OS X installer, which for your 2012, SHOULD show that you are installing the original, OS X 10.8.5 version. This can take some time, as it downloads all the system files, then installs those files.
And, you will end up with that older system, and you can go from there to install whatever newer system you want to upgrade to....

(later edit) If you have upgraded to Mojave (or think you might have), then don't expect the internet recovery to work the same. I just tried that on my 2012, and booting to Option-Command-R gets you an installer that WILL install Mojave, as a direct download from Apple's server. On my 2012, I then tried booting with Shift-Option-Command-R, and internet recovery THEN provided Mavericks (OS X 10.9.5), where a couple of macOS versions past, internet recovery would still provide 10.8.5 (mountain Lion). Apparently, Apple doesn't do Mountain Lion now. That may or may not be a big deal (unless you are wanting the original, with a need to have that original Mountain Lion installed for attention to detail for a collection.
Anyway, Option-Command-R --- or, Shift-Option-Command-R, will each give you a different system version, without needing to create a bootable installer, and that might meet your needs....
 
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Turbocoupe1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2019
8
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That sounds like the way I will go. So just to clarify, I can boot it to Internet recovery which will install the OS the system came with?

I did not upgrade the OS at anytime prior. I just want to get it back to factory and working again.
 

DeltaMac

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Jul 30, 2003
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That sounds like the way I will go. So just to clarify, I can boot it to Internet recovery which will install the OS the system came with?

I did not upgrade the OS at anytime prior. I just want to get it back to factory and working again.
You would have to try that out...
Restart, with Option-Command-R, and go to "Reinstall OS X". In a few seconds, you should see which OS X version will download - and you can choose to cancel at that time, if you prefer. I would expect you will see either Mountain Lion, or (maybe) Mavericks. If you see something different, restart again, holding Shift-Option-Command-R. One (maybe both) will give you the oldest currently available for your MBPro.
 

Turbocoupe1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2019
8
1
Got it up and running on mountain lion. The recovery worked great. Leaning toward updating to Mojave.

Thanks for the help.
 
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