2012 MBP doesn't boot

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hoosmac, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. Hoosmac macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2018
    #1
    I have a 2012 MBP that refuses to boot;see the question mark on file symbol. It has a relatively new SSD and new HD cable. I ran disk utility and while it sees the ssd it doesn't allow me to verify permissions. Also when I attempt to reinstall OSX or do a TM restore the destination drive is never found.

    I did switch out the SSD to a brand new one and also had another new HD cable which I replaced and still the same problem. Ran hardware test and only thing it noted was an error from a non Apple battery.
    I am suspecting a SATA controller on the logic board. Does that sound plausible?If so could I remove the optical drive and relocate the SSD to that bay to continue using it?

    For what it's worth this MBP was my daughter in laws and she was going to trash it since the HD died last year. She indicated it was always quirky. I was able to improve it's performance with the SSD,extra ram and a temp app.It serves our purposes well and hate to have to replace it.
    thanks
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #2
    If you connect one of the SSDs EXTERNALLY (use a USB3 enclosure, a USB3/SATA dock, or a USB3/SATA "adapter/dongle")... can it then find the drive and boot that way?
     
  3. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #3
    For the 2012 MBP, there's one chip (pretty sure it's the HM77) that contains both SATA controllers as well as other things. If this chip fails, the computer won't work. It would be unusual for failure to be isolated to a single (or both) SATA controllers.

    If the optical drive was working before you had the problems, you can buy a bracket to put a SATA drive (HDD or SSD) in and replace the optical. If the optical wasn't working, they tend to be problematical anyway so that doesn't tell you much. If you search on Amazon or other online retailer for "macbook pro 2012 optical drive caddy", you come up with a listing. These brackets have a connector with electronics so it's more that a simple bracket. People have had problems with the electronics so if it doesn't work, it could be the bracket or the computer. (If you don't mind taking a chance and playing the return game if it doesn't work, you can go this route.) I have the OWC "Data Doubler" which costs more but it seems that the electronics are more reliable. For me, it was no more difficult to replace the optical than it was replacing the HDD. The main thing to know is that you don't have to take apart the Airport card and speaker which sits on top of the optical (this is what the iFixit guide does) - you can unscrew the Airport/speaker assembly and then remove the drive.

    As to why two SSD's + cables don't work - that's a good question. But if it's not the SSD's or cables, it doesn't matter much what the problem is - the easiest alternative (unless you want to run the computer from an external disk) is to try to replace the optical drive since it doesn't appear you need it. To replace the optical drive wouldn't cost much. In your situation, you probably don't want to spend too much for the bracket but on the other hand, it may be just a little more money to buy a bracket that has better user reviews and thus reduce your chances of getting a non-working bracket.

    If you want to test the SSD to make sure it isn't the problem, you can use an external USB3 enclosure to put the SSD in and boot from it. If you do this, you can also test the optical if you're not currently sure if it works or not. If the optical doesn't work there are additional steps you can take to make an educated guess whether it's the optical drive or not (but the computer has to be bootable) - ask if you need this information.
     
  4. Audit13 macrumors 601

    Audit13

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    #4
    Will the machine boot from an install DVD, assuming the MBP has a DVD drive. If it does, it may not be a sata controller issue.
     
  5. Hoosmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2018
    #5
    When I connect it externally and start with "option" key it takes me to internet recovery but doesn't boot
    --- Post Merged, Jan 20, 2018 ---
    Thanks for your reply.I am likewise thinking the optical drive bracket is the best option; because if that doesn't work I'm looking at buying a new MB. .Now as to the external enclosure as I mentioned to Fishrrmann the drive is found in internet recovery but it is not booting from the external drive.I've read of people booting from an external enclosure and for the life of me can't figure out why that doesn't work for me
    --- Post Merged, Jan 20, 2018 ---
    Thanks for your reply.Unfortunately I don't have a install disc. When I did the repair on this MBP I simply downloaded OSX
     
  6. treekram, Jan 20, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018

    treekram macrumors 68000

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    #6
    If the SSD doesn't boot from the external enclosure, you either have a bad/corrupted SSD or something in the chain leading to the SSD (logic board, enclosure or SSD) is bad. You can run Disk Utility from the Internet Recovery and see if it can repair the disk. In the link below, in the first image, you'll notice Disk Utility on the menu. (Note: If you have another Mac, it'll be easier to try the Disk Repair using the other Mac.)
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314

    https://support.apple.com/guide/disk-utility/repair-a-disk-dskutl1040/mac

    In the scheme of things, the "repair" is a fairly basic one - it may fix a corrupted disk that still works properly but it really can't repair a bad disk. If the disk has gone bad and has gone into read-only mode, then the disk may appear on a menu of available disks but it's really useless except for trying to recover data and even that may not be able to be done (especially if you encrypted the disk).

    If it appears the SSD has gone bad, you may want to test the enclosure, etc. by putting in a HDD or SSD, whatever is handy, if available.
     
  7. Fishrrman, Jan 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018

    Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #7
    This may or may not be relevant to the OP's problems... but...

    ... recently the internal SSD drive on my sister's 2010 white MacBook failed.
    WHEN it failed, the computer would power up and make the startup sound, but after that it became TOTALLY UNRESPONSIVE to anything beyond that.
    NO keyboard commands could be entered (such as holding down the option key to invoke the startup manager, etc.).
    It was for all practical purposes, "locked up".

    BUT...
    ... After I -removed- the internal SSD, I was able to then boot from an external USB drive (with NO drive inside the MacBook).
    I then restored from her CarbonCopyCloner'd backup to a NEW SSD, put that it, and the MacBook was "back to normal".

    So... at least in one case... a failed INTERNAL SSD prevented the Mac from being responsive to certain "repair inputs" that would otherwise be required to proceed with diagnostics and repairs.

    Just thought I'd pass this on.
     
  8. Hoosmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2018
    #8
    I am starting to suspect it' the logic board. Disk utlity doesn't run;it detects the SSD but doesn't allow me to do anything. Now to test the external enclosure I am assuming the other SSD would need a copy of OSX on it?
    thanks
    --- Post Merged, Jan 22, 2018 ---
    That is what I attempted;pulled out the SSD and installed it in an enclosure but the MB would still not boot.
     
  9. nordique macrumors 65816

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  10. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

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    #10
    It sounds like a faulty SSD to me, as using an external drive bypasses the onboard SATA controller. Plus the thing does boot, so would be surprised if it is a logic board issue. What SSDs are you using anyway as some have issues with Macs? Even if it should work on a Mac, at work we recently had a whole batch of Samsung drives fail on us. They would work at first, then after a month or two, would stop being able to boot.
     
  11. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #11
    os-x-disk-util-main.jpg

    There's a bunch of questions here. It would be helpful even if you answer no to one of the first questions and can't proceed through the remaining questions.

    So when you run Disk Utility, does this screen appear?

    If so, does your SSD appear (is that what you mean by "it detects the SSD")? The SSD name would appear where "APPLE SSD SM01..." appears above.

    If so, does a partition appear? This is "Macintosh HD" is in the screen above.

    If so, does the name appear in black or a light gray? (You may need to move the blue highlight by clicking on the disk name to be sure.)

    Are you able to select the partition name? If so, does Disk Utility allow you to press the "Info" button? Make sure the partition name ("Macintosh HD" in the above screen) is selected when you do this.

    If you're able to press the Info button, another screen will appear with text info. About the 8th line down is one that says "Writeable" on the left - what does it say on the right?
     
  12. Hoosmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2018
    #12
    Yes Destination drive can't be found and that's with 2 different SSD's. I also attempted to partition the new SSD and that doesn't work
    --- Post Merged, Jan 23, 2018 ---
    Disk utlity does show; now the screen I have differs from what you're showing but it is clearly the disk utility.It shows both the SSD and the "Mac OSX Base System". When I click on info for the base system it says no next to writeable
     
  13. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #13
    So if the "Mac OSX Base System" is the indented entry which is under whatever your SSD name is (not indented), then your SSD has gone into read-only mode. You can check with the SSD manufacturer if there is a way to revive the SSD but going into read-only mode usually means the drive can no longer be used (you may be able to retrieve data from the drive). You can also search the web for "ssd read only mode" for more information.

    It's unlikely that your enclosure is bad - usually you won't be able to get to this point if it was - my limited experience with failed enclosures is that the drive won't appear at all to the system.

    There is a possibility that a logic board fault did something along the lines of a power spike to make the SSD fail but that doesn't seem to be a common occurrence. As was mentioned in post #10, SSD's may fail early on, in which case you may want to do a warranty return/exchange.

    You mention that you had an earlier SSD. What happened to that SSD? If it failed, did it fail after a year and have you tried to do the same exercise of putting it into the enclosure and see if it's read-only?
     
  14. Hoosmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2018
    #14
    I went back and checked writeable status for the SSD and it says yes. I must have looked at the line for "ejectable" which says no. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  15. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #15
    OK - so going back to my list of questions - does your partition name ("Mac OSX Base System") appear in black (your SSD name should appear in black) or in a light-gray color?

    If you select either the SSD name or "Mac OSX Base System", can you press either the "First Aid" or the "Erase" button?
     
  16. Hoosmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
     
  17. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #17
    So I'm guessing here because your reply is a bit confusing. If you cannot erase the "Mac OSX Base System", I'm guessing it's because you booted from that SSD. So are you able to boot from the old(?) SSD? If so, where is it - in a second enclosure or in the computer?

    So you have the new SSD that had the problem in the enclosure and this can be erased or verified. If so, you should run "verify disk" (verifying disk permissions isn't necessary at this point) and see what the results are. If the results say the disk has been repaired (or that it verifies and that repair isn't necessary), try and see if you can boot from the disk in the enclosure. You can do this by shutting down the computer and restarting while holding the Option key until the chime sounds. At that point, you will be presented with a choice of boot disks - select the one in the enclosure which should be in orange.
     
  18. Hoosmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2018
    #18
    Cannot boot from original SSD;that's been the problem all along. It's in the computer.
    I can "verify disk" for the ssd in the enclosure and it indicates it is OK. When I start with the option key depressed it doesn't present me with any boot options. It starts in internet recovery.
    thanks again for your help
     
  19. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #19
    I think what's happening and why pressing the option key doesn't work when you start up and instead goes into Internet Recovery is that it can't find a viable OS on either the SSD in the computer or on the enclosure.

    At this point, if you don't have data that you need on the SSD that's in the enclosure, you should try to erase and then re-install macOS (aka OSX) on that SSD from Internet Recovery and see if it will boot from there. From what you've indicated the results were from Disk Utility, you should be able to do this.

    If you can boot from the SSD in the external enclosure you can then try putting it in the computer.
     
  20. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #20
    OP:

    Do you have a "standalone" EXTERNAL drive with a copy of the OS on it, that you can boot the MB with?

    Does it boot "right to the finder"? (NOT to any kind of recovery, but right to the finder and desktop, ready-to-use)?

    What I would do next:
    - Boot from the external drive
    - Open Disk Utility and ERASE the internal drive. NUKE IT to Mac OS extended with journaling enabled.
    - Download CarbonCopyCloner if you don't already have it:
    http://www.bombich.com/download.html
    - Open CCC and accept the defaults
    - Set your external drive as the source and the internal drive as the target
    - Clone the external drive to the internal. If there's a recovery partition, clone that too (CCC can do this)
    - When done, power down and disconnect the external
    - Now, press the power-on key and HOLD DOWN THE OPTION KEY until the startup manager appears
    - Do you see the internal drive (as bootable)?
    - If so, select it with the pointer and hit return.

    Does this work?

    If you DO NOT HAVE an external drive that is bootable to the finder, I suggest you create one.
    I -think- you can coax internet recovery into installing onto an external drive (instead of the internal one). Never tried it myself, but it might work.
     
  21. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #21
    I had the chance to do some testing.

    It's pretty clear that the older version of Disk Utility was the one being used here but I wasn't sure if that is the default for 2012 non-Retina MBP when using Internet Recovery. I tried Internet Recovery on my 2012 MBP using Option-Command-R at startup and I get the new Disk Utility.

    For what you're trying to do, either the old or new version of Disk Utility is fine. But this leads to an important question - what key combination are you pressing at startup?
    - Command-R
    - Option-Command-R
    - Shift-Option-Command-R
    - nothing (starts at Recovery)

    If you're pressing Command-R or you're not pressing anything and it starts with the Apple logo with the progress bar below it instead of the twirling globe, then you're using the Recovery partition on some disk in the system. That would be important to know.

    Recovery will install different versions of the OS depending on various factors. So depending on what type Recovery you went into (Internet vs. "regular" Recovery), what OS you had previously and the OS you want, there are different actions to take. Also, if you have a good Time Machine Backup, you can restore from that. If you went ahead and installed the OS and ended up with a newer version that you wanted, you can probably re-install an older version.

    Oh, and yes, you should be able to install the OS to an external disk (at least using Internet Recovery, I'm pretty sure it would apply to "regular" Recovery as well).
     
  22. Hoosmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2018
    #22
    OK Did the above and maybe this mac has life left. Reinstalled OSX on the external drive and it worked. I do get a message"the disk you inserted not readable by this computer" and if I click on initialize it takes me to disk utility. What do you advise next?
    thanks
     
  23. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #23
    When you say "Reinstalled OSX on the external drive and it worked" - does this mean it went through the OS setup (time zone, etc.) and you were able to boot into a working copy of macOS (OSX)? I presume that's what you mean.

    If so, then the disk-not-readable would apply to the internal disk. If you were able to successfully install and boot from the OS, then Disk Utility will not erase that disk so it would apply to your internal disk. Unless there is something you want from this disk, you can try to erase it. If the SSD went bad, then it won't be able to erase the disk and format it for "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" which is the format you should use.

    But, before you go any further, does the MBP now have a version of the OS that you want? It either would have installed High Sierra or something earlier than El Capitan based on how you described the Disk Utility app. If not, let us know and we can take steps to get the right OS on there.

    Let us know if you can erase the disk or not as that will give an indication of what has failed.
     
  24. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #24
    OP:

    You said you installed the OS onto an EXTERNAL drive.
    Does the MB now "boot to the finder"?

    If it does, and runs ok afterwards (even if you get "the unreadable disk" alert, which probably refers to the INTERNAL drive), then you know the MB hardware is good (OTHER THAN the internal drive or ribbon cable, of course).

    At this point -- since the MB can't read the internal drive -- I would do this:
    (Do this ONLY if you don't care about the data on the internal drive)
    - open disk utility
    - does du "see" the presence of the internal drive?
    - if it does, try the ERASE button
    - what happens next?
    Either du will do an erase, after which the drive will "mount up", OR, it will try to erase, and fail.
    Which of the above happens?

    Be aware that the internal drive COULD STILL BE GOOD, and the cable (even though replaced once already) could be "the culprit".
    The only way to know is to take the drive OUT OF the MB, try it using some kind of external connection, and see what happens then.
     
  25. Hoosmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2018
    #25
    Yes It went through the OS setup. I erased the internal drive and formatted it for "mac osx extended". Installed mountain lion on external and then upgraded to high sierra.It seems to be working fine. Will see what happens now with installing on internal drive
    thanks
     

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34 January 19, 2018