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Flashing question mark folder

rambonaut

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 17, 2020
3
1
Hello everyone,

after reading through the very in depth post (thanks a lot for this by the way) on how to upgrade an older Macbook Pro I tried it myself past April. Currently I'm using a Macbook Pro Retina (Mid 2014, 13-inch, Mac OS 10.14.6), where I have exchanged the original 128GB SSD with a 1TB WD Blue SN550 NVME SSD. The adapter I chose was the ST-NGFF2013C from Sintech, as in the post above it was mentioned that 'fake' adapters might not work and the Sintech ones are usually reliable.

After several months of usage I'm pretty satisfied generally as the reading and writing speed of the drive has improved significantly, not to mention the amount of space I can use. I'm aware of the hibernation issue and have turned it off as explained in the linked post above. Everything works fine except of following issue: from time to time my Macbook shows a blinking grey folder icon with a question mark in it. It happens quite randomly as far as I can judge. Sometimes it happens when typing in my password to log in, other times when I reopen the Macbook. The only thing I can do when it happens is to hold down the power button and restart which always works.

Obviously this is some error which I'd like to take care of as I'm not sure if it's hardware issue or not. Someone else solved it by loosening the screw holding the SSD and the adapter to the motherboard so the SSD itself is not bending anymore. Anyone has some tips where to start debugging this? What does the flashing folder icon with question mark even mean? Why can I just turn it off and on, afterwards continue like nothing ever happened?

I'd be very grateful for some help and would like to thank in advance!
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,478
7,265
The flashing "?" means the computer can't find a good copy of the OS from which to boot.

I'm going to take a GUESS that when you replaced the drive, you introduced "connection issues" into the equation (referring to third paragraph of your post above).

In other words, the adapter connection to the motherboard (or to the drive itself) is a bit marginal, and has a tendency to "lose the connection", perhaps when pressure is applied to the keyboard, mousepad, etc. ??
 
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Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,800
1,500
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Try the short adapter. Your drive probably has memory chips on both sides which would cause the bending. I have always used the short adapter and never had this issue.
 
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rambonaut

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 17, 2020
3
1
The flashing "?" means the computer can't find a good copy of the OS from which to boot.

I'm going to take a GUESS that when you replaced the drive, you introduced "connection issues" into the equation (referring to third paragraph of your post above).

In other words, the adapter connection to the motherboard (or to the drive itself) is a bit marginal, and has a tendency to "lose the connection", perhaps when pressure is applied to the keyboard, mousepad, etc. ??

Ok, thanks for the explanation. Just seems odd to me, that after a restart it finds a good copy of the OS to boot from. The issue never occurred or occurs during usage, so I'd rule out the pressure theory. It happens when I either open the Macbook or have left it open after locking the screen.
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Try the short adapter. Your drive probably has memory chips on both sides which would cause the bending. I have always used the short adapter and never had this issue.

Do you mean this one?
 
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rambonaut

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 17, 2020
3
1
Yes. I have never used the long adapter because of a possible issue when using a drive with memory chips on both sides.

I've used cheap no-name adapters from eBay and they worked no differently than the more expensive Sintech.

Thanks for your help, I'll try it out.
 
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