Hard drive won't boot from primary slot but boots fine from external

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MacVibe, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. MacVibe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    Yesterday evening I awoke my computer (2011 13 in MBP) and the only thing on the screen was a folder flashing with a question mark. I searched and tried: restart a couple of times, reset PRAM, and holding option down when starting.

    Holding option down when restarting showed the only option as network recovery. So, I downloaded that and in disk utilities, the hard drive didn't show up.

    I replaced the hard drive and held option down when starting and again the network was the only option. I went through the network recovery download and again disk utilities did not show any hard drive.

    Then, I put the original hard drive (that worked fine yesterday morning) in an external enclosure, held down the option key during startup, and it found the startup disk just fine. I have restarted several times and am using the computer right now using the external boot method.

    So, my questions to the experts:
    1) is there anything cheap and easy (settings or startup options) I should try and get the internal hard drive slot working?
    2) the sata ribbon cable and connector visually look fine as does the connector on the motherboard. Is replacing the cable likely to help?
    3) if the motherboard sata connector, or something else, is faulty, is there a diagnostic to check that?
    4) if I just can't get it working, would the least expensive option be to just remove the optical drive and stick the hard drive in there?

    Thanks for reading/helping!
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Sounds like a bad cable. Seems to be pretty common problem.

    It could be a bad logic board also, but those failures are pretty rare.

    Your idea of using the optical connection would work, but for the cost of an optibay caddie you could replace the cable.
     
  3. Rafaeldm macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    #3
    that happened to me sunday on my 2010 13", exatcly the same thing, it's on a apple premium retailer to get a budget to fix it.
     
  4. MacVibe thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    #4
    Okay, thanks Weaselboy, it looks like Amazon has the cable for $28 which isn't too bad of an investment. Also, I have an appointment at the genius bar later this afternoon and if they can fix it on the spot I might do that (depending on the cost).
     
  5. MacVibe thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    #5
    Resolution

    My reservation at the genius bar solved the problem Weaselboy stated. The genius (Hannah at the Albuquerque Apple store) appreciated the diagnostic work I had done (or at least she was polite enough to say she appreciated it) and replaced the cable along with along with completing the commensurate paperwork. The fee was $60 for parts and labor and the fix was quick, a total 30 min perhaps. Very nice genius bar experience and now I am working on a computer with a working internal hard drive.

    A point the genius was kind enough to point out to me was that all small screws on the backplate of the 2011 13 in MBP are not created equal, there are two different lengths and I had unknowingly placed one of the shouldered screws in the wrong place. So, if you are taking of the backplate, make sure to track which one came out of which hole or else when re-tightening a short may occur.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Glad it worked out. :)
     

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