Drive going dead on me


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
This is related to

I have an old 2012 MBP and have been running off an external HDD since last summer when the cable on my internal HDD melted in the hot Texas sun!

Over the last several months, at random times I will be working on my computer and applications will start giving me the "Rainbow wheel of death".

When I look at the light on my external encolusre, it is always solid green, meaning that nothing is being sent/received from my computer.

I have to do a hard shutdown, and then things seem to be okay.

In the past I just assumed that I bumped the USB cable enough to cause a hiccup in the data flow, and that somehow made OSX die on me.

(I have never liked how USB ports were designed because they ALWAYS feel sloppy to me.)

So this weekend I formatted and cloned my first ever EVO850 1TB SSD and go that working.

Well, last night I was working on my laptop after work, and everythingw as okay, and right as I was finishing up some work before bed, I noticed I couldn't save anything. The green light on my external enclosure with SSD now in it was solid green, and yep, my old MBP was frozen again.


Clearly this can't be a bad HDD and SSD based on what I'm seeing.

Do I have a bad external enclosure?

Do I have a bad USB cable?

Do I have a bad USB port in my aging MBP?

Is there something wrong with the internals of my MBP? (I believe I literally melted my HDD cable this summer when I was running my laptop in 120 degree weather outside at the park...)

Any ideas what is going on?


macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
"Any ideas what is going on?"

You mentioned this thread:

And I replied with ideas in THIS post in that same thread:

And you ignored it -- never replied to it.

I suggest that you go back and reread it, and perhaps take the advice, to wit:
1. Take the MacBook to an Apple Store and see if they'll replace the ribbon cable (they have a free replacement program due to the fact these are defective
2. Ask them to install the SSD when they re-assemble the MacBook. If they're willing to do that, you might ask for an OS install as well (not sure if they'll do this).
3. If they WON'T put the SSD in, PUT IT IN YOURSELF. It's easy.

I predict that once you do this YOUR PROBLEMS WILL BE SOLVED.
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macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
Yep, Fisherman codn't be more right -- albeit a little blunt. It's certainly the HDD cable, the failure rate is very high on them and Apple have a free silent repair program for it.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
Sorry to hear about your dad.
Thank you.

But.. your "computer world" is -a mess-, which has been easy to detect from your postings here in recent months.
Not by choice.

Here's what I'd do:

Put the SSD into the MacBook Pro, along with a new SATA ribbon cable.
I apologize for not responding, but I got distracted with what I thought was a solution and forgot to respond.

Do you have a brick-n-mortar Apple store anywhere close?

The SATA cable is a known defect and there is a good chance they will replace it FREE OF CHARGE. So GO GET IT DONE.
On a 5 year old MBP??

Bring your Samsung SSD along. They might also be persuaded to put the SSD inside, but that's not "a given". DO ask about this.
I bought an internal cable, but I bought it for my HDD, and assumed this weekend it wouldn't work on my new SSD.

While you're there, you might also ask if they'd install a good copy of the OS onto the drive. Not sure if they'll do that.
I am just trying to get this laptop to last me until I can switch to my new Retina MBP.

I do not want to change the OS on this old MBP.


Get a working copy of the OS onto the SSD.
IF you can't get the OS installed at the Apple store, try "internet recovery".
Power the computer down, all the way off.
Boot up and IMMEDIATELY hold down the Command+Option+R keys together.
It's probably going to ask for the password to get onto your wireless network, be ready for that.

If you get to the OS utilities, it's successfully booted.
Next, choose to install whatever OS it gives you the option of installing.

When that's done, can you get booted and get to the finder?

These are "the first steps" to getting the MacBook healthy again.
To me, it sure seems like a hardware issue with my a.) External Enclosure, b.) USB cable, or c.) USB port.

One other tip:
In Texas, never NEVER NEVER leave the laptop in a parked car for very long!
I was using my laptop at the park this Summer and it was at least 110 F outside.

I also don't have a/c in my car.

I do not leave my laptop sitting in my parked car, but in Txas heat, your computer runs hot even if you are in the shade or inside.

Another "it was what it was" situation in my life, juts like my dad's situation... *sigh*
Yep, Fisherman codn't be more right -- albeit a little blunt. It's certainly the HDD cable, the failure rate is very high on them and Apple have a free silent repair program for it.
I don't think I was clear in my other thread or this thread...

- My internal HDD cable died this summer.
- I removed my internal HDD
- I dicked with my data for 10 days and got things recovered (mostly)
- Since then I have been running an old clone HDD in an external USB HDD enclosure
- There is no internal HDD in my MBP - it is an empty shell!!
- I thought the new cable I bought would only work on a HDD
- If so, then that won't help, because my HDD is clicking
- If the cable would work on my new SSD as well, then I can try installing both myself. (I am not afraid of taking my MBP apart)
- As far as my current issue, I say it is either the circuit board on the external enclosure is failing - maybe also from last summer's Texas heat, or the USB cable is faulty, or the USB ports on my old MBP are flacky.