Cannot detect internal storage

CleanCoder

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2019
12
1
Guys, I get random crashes and hang-ups after 2-3 hours of use, and then after I restart my laptop, I get this flashing folder with question mark inside.

I tried PRAM/NVRAM and SMC reset but nothing works. It's kinda hard to replicate the problem because it happens randomly. Right now it's working fine and I'm able to post this question on my macbook. I even tried first aid on disk utility and It found no problem.


Although it only happened 2 times while I'm doing programming in Visual studio Code(I don't know if it's related). I'm worrying if this is a hardware or software problem, it could be an installation issue or sign of a failing SSD.


I tried diagnostic and it sees no problem. I also tried Internet Recovery(alt+command+r+p) but my internet was so slow I always get error "2106f".


Right now it's working fine so if I hold "option" key during startup, I can see and select my "Mackintosh HD". But when it crashes and I get the "folder with question mark" I don't see my "Mackintosh HD".

I wasn't sure guys if this is a hardware or software problem.

And one thing. Whenever I get this "folder with ?", there is a high pitch sound coming from the right side of my laptop, I wasn't sure if it's coming on right speaker or right fan. The sound is high pitch, and whenever I heard that sound I knew that my computer hang-up and I will get this "folder with ?".

Update:
I suspect that maybe this is related to CPU/GPU or temperature problem, I don't know. So I went to website http://www.fishgl.com/ to test the GPU. I opened Chrome and visited the website and It causes my macbook to heat up and suddenly it freezes. So I shutdown my mac and the "folder with question mark" appears again.

Specs:

Mid 2015 15' with radeon graphics.

16GB ram

512GB SSD

OS : Mojave 10.14
 

CleanCoder

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2019
12
1
Since I cannot edit my original post, here is the photo I took after it freezes. And after this it went to blinking "folder with question mark".

 

Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
4,408
1,111
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
If possible, take it to the nearest Apple store and let them run their diagnostics on the unit. Hopefully, it is just a failing SSD which would be cheaper to replace than the main logic board.
 

CleanCoder

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2019
12
1
@Audit13 Yes, I will take it next week, I still have my apple care till August 29, but it will probably take me 4 hours of commute to reach the nearest apple store.

I cannot replicate the problem since the issue is intermittent/randomly, sometimes it will work sometimes it's not. I'm pretty much sure this is not an OS installation issue because whenever I got the "blinking folder with ?", my laptop cannot find the "Mackintosh HD", when I press "option" while on boot, it cannot find any storage.
 

Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
4,408
1,111
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hopefully, it is a defective SSD and Apple will replace it free of charge.

I highly recommend backing up your data, wiping the drive, and loading the latest macOS onto the drive without encryption before letting the Apple tech look at the MacBook.
 

CleanCoder

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2019
12
1
@Audit13 I have a very slow internet connection, and reinstalling macos will probably take more than 12 hours. Can I just delete most of my files and pretend that I've already wiped my drive and install the latest macOs? So basically I'm going to tell Apple tech that it's a fresh OS
 

Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
4,408
1,111
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
You can tell the tech that it is a fresh install but, if their diagnostics indicate otherwise, they may want to keep it to re-install the OS.

It may be best to leave it if it takes so long to re-install.
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,955
2,460
SF Bay Area
The indication is the system cannot find the boot drive. This is likely not going to get better and will get worse. I would do a backup and contact Apple. 4 hours is a big trip so you might want to contact them by phone first, let them run diagnostics remotely, and if required, make arrangements for them handle the shipping both ways.
 

CleanCoder

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2019
12
1
@Audit13

I have a few questions

1. Why do I need to wipe and reinstall MacOS before going to apple service center?
2. Since my issue is intermittent/randomly and cannot be replicated, how can they tell if it's hardware or software issue? Will they only rely on my story?
3. Since I still have my apple care, I really wanted my SSD and logic board to be replaced, because when you to think about it, half of your machine will be shiny new again. Now, how can I convince them? Can I just talk to them and say "You know I have problem with my SSD and graphics card, I want this to be replace, I'll go back next week."?

Sorry for my English guys.
 

PROFESS0R

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2017
236
205
TaLe a picture of the screen next time it happens.... as many pictures of the various aspects of this failure as you can. Then show the Apple technician the images when you get to the store.

Joe
 
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jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,955
2,460
SF Bay Area
TaLe a picture of the screen next time it happens.... as many pictures of the various aspects of this failure as you can. Then show the Apple technician the images when you get to the store.

Joe
This is good advice. And also since you have not reinstalled see if you can find any crash logs.
 

CleanCoder

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2019
12
1
@professor
@jerryk

Yes, I already have one pictures of the crash, but it's more related to GPU issue. Right now I'm using my laptop extensively so I can capture and take a picture of SSD issue.

@smbu2000
Yes, I already took the basic apple hardware test and it found nothing. But when my computer freezes and the "the blinking folder with ?" appeared, I can't run the diagnostic because when I press "D" + power I think the "Internet Recovery" showed up.

Also, when I tried "option" + power, I cannot see the "Mackintosh HD" on the selection when this "blinking folder" appeared.

Right now my computer is working fine, and I'm waiting for it to fail again so I can take a picture. I still have 5 months of applecare

Update:
I managed to film it and upload it to youtube. I also run diagnostic and I got an VHD002 "there may be an issue with a storage device".

youtube.com/watch?v=aH0_FMK1CWo
 
Last edited:

CleanCoder

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2019
12
1
@professor
Yes, I will keep you updated after I visit an actual Apple store. Actually a while ago I contacted Apple support and talked to them via chat. She always keep telling me that this is a software issue and can be resolve by "first aid" in disk utilities. I told her that after I got the blinking "folder with ?" I run diagnostic and I got VDH002 " There may be an issue with a storage device. Contact Apple or take your computer to an Apple Authorized Service Provider". And she still implying that my random freezing and VDH002 is a software problem. I think they're trying their best to avoid fixing it for free since I'm still under apple warranty. I don't know.

Anyway guys, I will keep you updated after I go to an actual apple center.
 

CleanCoder

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2019
12
1
I went to authorised apple retailer here in my country. I told them about my issue and they said that they will diagnose and replicate the problem before they replace any parts of my computer.


Since my problem is intermittent and randomly, I think they’re not gonna find anything. I showed them the video and pictures of random ssd problem. They told me that they’re going to forward the video to the repair man. But anyway, I felt that this will not lead to any replacement, because they need to replicate the problem in order for them to replace the parts. That what they told me.