Can't boot 2012 MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Beachguy, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. Beachguy macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2011
    I have a 2012 MBP which someone dropped about 4 feet late last year. I think it damaged the spinning hard disk and is causing me an issue. I am hoping to simply be able to boot up and back off the items that I have stored on it (I have a few things from today that weren't backed up.) Anyone have an idea on how I can get it to boot up again long enough to save stuff?

    MBP, mid-2012, 15" non-retina (but upgraded to the high rez screen), 8 gigs of RAM, 750GB hard drive. I was on it when it suddenly locked up and I finally gave up to have to force a power down. It was REALLY slow when it woke up and I couldn't even get signed in. I powered down again, and have tried every combination of keys I could. I've tried disk utility repairing the disk over and over (it always fails), I've tried to use internet tools and to use the installed on the emergency boot partition to no use. If I try to boot to single user it gives me an "error loading kernel cache 0x7." If I try booting, I get a gray screen alternating the "prohibited" screen (circle that is crossed out) with the black Apple.

    I know the drive at minimum needed a reformatting, but for the moment I am just hoping to get one more boot from it to dump the contents to an external drive. Ideas?
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    If it's physically broken you may have very few options. You may be able to take out the disk and use some recovery software from another computer if it will still spin if it won't spin then you are looking at professional recovery which can run into hundreds of dollars and can't guarantee anything.

    Unfortunately this is why backups are a good idea and highly recommended.

    It will give you a chance to put an SSD in though so not all bad.
  3. Beachguy thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2011
    It is indeed still spinning up. I think the drive just has some sectors damaged. I've had this happen on Windows devices before and a reformatting did the trick. I have an exterior drive box I can connect and use to copy off the drive if I have no other resources. I'm going to try to make an OS X bootable USB stick for now.
  4. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    Are you sure it's the hard drive and not the hard drive able?
  5. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    If it won't boot off the drive, there is no way to force it to boot, if it can boot it will. Running really slow probably indicates a high rate of errors on the drive, if this was the first time its been used since the drop then I'd suggest it is seriously dying. Sectors don't get damaged by a drop per se, they get damaged by the read/write head hitting it.

    You plan to bot from something else and then see what is still readable is a good one, either a USB drive made using Diskmaker or a bootable external drive (or even a Time Machine drive if you have one).

    Either way you will likely need a new drive, for the cost I wouldn't ever just reformat it and expect it to be reliable.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Open the MacBook up.
    Take the HDD -out-.
    Put the HDD into a USB3/SATA docking station or use a USB3/SATA "adapter dongle".
    Connect it to a "known, working" Mac.
    See if the drive will mount.
    If it does, get whatever you need off of it!
  7. Beachguy thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2011
    This is not the first time this machine has used the drive- it's been in use a few months, but I knew there was some damage to it. I never experienced anything to indicate the drive was dying in a way that would prevent booting, though- it always booted quickly (well, for a spinning drive.) Never popped any errors.

    I am pretty sure it is not the cable.
    My main desire is simply to get the machine up and "running" to copy the data off. I'd like to reformat just to see if it was recoverable- I had one in a laptop 6 years ago that fell from a table and seemed crapped out. I reformatted it (twice) and it lasted another 4 years until the owner was in a car accident and it ended up crunched in the trunk with a cement truck in the drive bay. I do have other Macs and an external drive enclosure that I can use to copy it if I can't get the data by booting from USB.

    Thanks to all of you for the posts helping me think this through and be sure which was to proceed!
  8. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    As someone already mentioned, you'll probably need something like this: It's designed for 2.5" drives (won't work on a 3.5"). You'll have to open up your Macbook and remove the hard drive, following these instructions:

    After that you'll have to plug it into a different Mac's USB port, or into a Windows computer which has support for OSX file system (there are third party utilities which can do this).

    If the drive is still in a working condition, then you should be able to copy the files over to another computer.

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