Buy a MacBook Pro retina 15 early 2013 with a faulty ssd?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gdourado, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. gdourado macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2010
    Hello, how are you?
    I am thinking about purchasing an early 2013 retina 15 inch MacBook pro.
    The seller claims the MacBook is in perfect working order for except for the ssd.
    He claims the machine just needs a replacement ssd to work fully.
    The computer turns on but then it stays stuck on a black screen with a white prohibited sign on the center.

    I know replacing the ssd is pretty straightforward, just requires a 5 point screw driver.

    But how can I be sure before pulling the trigger that it just needs a new ssd?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    I'd personally avoid it as the Early 2013 15" also have documented issues with the graphics failing.
  3. gdourado thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2010
    Thank you for your reply.
    Can you please elaborate on said issues?
    If the computer turns on and displays the prohibited sign, is it safe to assume the graphics cards are fine?

  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    See repair program:

    Never safe to assume because the EFI isn't graphics intensive enough to reveal any problems that may be there. Furthermore the repair program would indicate that if there isn't a failure now, there might be one later.

    Honestly the whole story about the SSD failing, whilst not implausible or uncommon by any means, does seem a little unorthodox. We wouldn't know if there's any liquid damage in the past that caused the problem, or possibly even a Logic Board failure.

    Although the description of the problem would simply indicate a faulty SSD, personally I wouldn't go for the machine; but then I'm normally hesitant on spending a lot of money on a used computer without AppleCare, so a second opinion might be best. :)
  5. gdourado thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2010
    Thanks for your insight.
    Let's wait for a second opinion. :)
    The asking price is 400 euros. (I am in Portugal).
    I'm thinking about it.

  6. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    You can get a $10 adapter and use an mSATA SSD in the early 2013, even cheaper than a factory SSD
  7. gdourado thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2010
    That's interesting.
    What I need to know is if the macbook with a blank screen with the prohibited sign is because the SSD is faulty.
    Or if it can indicate something else.
    Is there a way to know?
    If I take an OSX install USB, can I boot to it and run some sort of diagnostic?
    This is a picture the seller sent me:

  8. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    An Apple Tech told me that the graphics problems with the 2013's were much less frequent than with the 2011s, and I trust what he said. But if that is the issue the system you are looking at has, how common it is won't matter.

    Do you have the option of taking the computer to an Apple Store or Certified repair center BEFORE buying? If so, you could request that they run the VST and MRI, which will confirm that the problem is solely the SSD, or if it is something else (it also tests specifically for the GPU failure.)

    You could run the Apple Hardware Test/Apple Diagnostics on your own, but this would not give you the full picture on the computer's health.

    Another option is attempting to boot the computer from a version of OS X that is installed on a flash drive, or a version of an OS X Recovery HD installed on a bootable flash drive.
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Unless you want lots of trouble in your life, I'd avoid the bad MacBook and look for a good, working one...
  10. chipchen macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2002
    Sounds like a red flag... I'd totally avoid it. It's entirely possible that the logic board is bad and causing the SSD to fail. Subsequent new SSD may also fail because of it. If the seller is so certain, they should just replace the SSD themselves and have a working computer or be able to sell it for more.

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9 February 9, 2017