cMBP 13'' E/2011: SSD partitioning fails internally, external OK

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by senthor, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. senthor, Jun 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015

    senthor macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    I bought a Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB for my MacBook Pro 13'' Early 2011, but am unable to install OS X to it. (Yosemite 10.10.3)

    When installing the SSD internally, OS X doesn't find the drive, and diskutil reports the following (tested with Internet Recovery, old install on external drive and own thumb drive installer):

       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:     FDisk_partition_scheme                        *250.1 GB   disk0
       1:                       0xEE                         250.1 GB   disk0s1
    However, when attaching the SSD via USB (externally) the following is reported by diskutil on the same machine:

       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *250.1 GB   disk0
       1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
       2:                  Apple_HFS SSD                     249.7 GB   disk0s2
    Partitioning didn't work, hangs on "Waiting for volumes to reappear…". After installing OS X on the SSD while attached via USB and reinstalling internally, drive is not found again. The old HDD works fine internally, but is very slow (constant beach balls, more that when used externally) and has a negotiated link speed of SATA 1.5 Gbps.

    Any ideas? SATA cable broken? Chipset broken?

    Thank you for your help!
  2. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    It could easily be your ribbon cable. I've had a number of them go bad in 2012 models in particular. Same can apply here. I installed a 500GB SSD in a 2012 13" MBP for a friend and it was fine for months, then one day it was crashing, not booting, and super super slow. Enough that it corrupted the whole SSD. I checked the SMART stats on it and it had a ton of UDMA CRC counts telling me something wasn't right with the connection. I grabbed a cable off an identical MBP with a dead logic board and all was fine right after I installed it. Speed was back where it should be and hasn't crashed since. This was around 8 months ago.

    You might also try reseating it on the logic board. I've seen them come a little loose or get bent too. Even had a Mac Mini not booting because the cable popped up a little off the board and bent a pin. Not sure how that happened on a desktop but it does get moved around on stage so it might have been dropped or hit with some equipment haha.

    If it's not the cable it could be the drive. But with SSDs it's pretty rare and if your original drive has issues internally but not externally that narrows it down greatly.
  3. PowerBook-G5 macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2013
    The United States of America
    I had exactly the same issue with my mid-2012 MacBook Pro (13"). I took it to the Apple Store and they replaced the ribbon cable. $57 repair (Here in 'Murica).
  4. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Sounds SATA cable to me, mine went into read-only as a drive defence against the errors, wouldn't partition or let me create/write. DriveDX showed i/f errors incrementing which stopped when I replaced the SATA cable. Drive then went back to normal without further intervention.
  5. senthor thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    DriveDX does indeed show a huge UDMA CRC Error Count (about 16.000). And I today tested both the SSD and the HDD in another MacBook Pro (cMBP 13'', M/2012) with complete success.

    I'll then order this cable and report back once it's tested. Thanks for your help, everyone!

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