HD not detected? Need some help!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Fairlyawesome, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. Fairlyawesome macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    #1
    Hello, I hope this is the correct place to post. I'm having some serious problems with my Macbook Pro which seems to be related to the HD.

    I'm not sure what caused it exactly - was just browsing the web as usual when some programs suddenly started closing down, the icons on the Desktop moved to the other side of the screen, and the trackpad stopped working. I forced the laptop off and when it restarted the screen was blank (grey), then the Apple icon appeared and didn't boot further, so I restarted again. The screen was blank again, and after some time a folder icon appeared in the centre of the screen with a question mark in it.

    I tried to boot from the Snow Leopard DVD (10.6), looked at 'Disk Utilities' to see if I could perform a repair on the HD - but no HD was detected.

    I Googled around and tried a different method, involving opening the terminal on startup (cmd + s), checking the Harddrive that way, but only the DVD was detected. I tried again without the DVD inserted and I can't access the terminal at all.

    So there we are - Mac won't boot, HD appears to be nonexistent, worried about losing everything on there, and if I'll ever get it back :(

    Is this fixable at all? Do I need a whole new HD? Can I at least salvage the files from the dodgy HD somehow?

    I would really appreciate any help, thank you!
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    If you booted from the DVD and still can't see the drive, that points to a failed drive. You can try Disk Warrior or similar tools if you want to try and recover data.
     
  3. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    It does sound like your HDD may have failed.

    The easiest solution would be to install a new HDD and restore from your backup. If you haven't been backing up, you really should. Apple has a built in utility that does a good job and is easy to use.

    This would be a good opportunity to upgrade to a SSD, they're fast and I imagine there will be sales over the holiday weekend.

    As for pulling data off of a dead drive, there are lots of tricks out there. You'll probably need an external USB enclosure for most of them. I've tried the "freezer trick" and the "whack your HDD on the countertop trick" with limited success. There are also companies that will recover your data for a fee if you need to go that far.

    ----------

    If just the partition wasn't showing up, I'd think disk warrior may work, but if the HDD isn't showing up at all? I haven't had success with that.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #4
    I have seen forum posts both ways... but I agree the fact it cannot be seen at all does not bode well. It would be worth using the Disk Warrior free trial to take the shot though IMO.
     
  5. Fairlyawesome thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    #5
    Thanks for the replies.. I'll try that Disk Warrior trial and hope it works. Ho hum.

    What causes a hard drive to fail? I don't think it overheated (it wasn't hot - it's seen much worse), it was just resting on the table as I was doing not much and it randomly messed up. Pft.

    Where do I get a new HD from exactly? Does it have to be a specific type of HD from a specific store, or would any laptop-sized HD work? Is Amazon a good place to look?
     
  6. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    Mechanical parts moving around can sometimes fail. Occasionally the electronics on a HDD fail. They just die sometimes.

    Amazon is good. So is newegg. You want a SATA 2.5" HDD. I'll look up some suggestions if you'd like.

    How much space do you need?

    ----------

    This one seems like a good deal, and its one of the drives I used to suggest, but It seems to have had some bad reviews lately.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152291

    If you don't need as much space, and you've got some extra spending money, check out SSDs. Most people can make do with 256GB and they're the single best upgrade when it comes to user experience. You really notice the speed.
     
  7. Fairlyawesome thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    #7
    Ah, most kind of you to offer! Well, I'm from the UK so I can't use Newegg :p Dabs and Scan are good though, I think.

    The old drive was 320 GB, so anything equal to or larger than that would be cool.

    I haven't got Diskwarrior to work yet but I'll update when it does!
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #8
    Just to echo what T5 mentioned... if you can swing it, an SSD is a really nice upgrade and makes a VERY noticeable difference in day to day usage. Good luck! :)
     
  9. Fairlyawesome thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    #9
    Alrighty so Diskwarrior isn't working, but I've tried something else.

    I was wondering if the fault lies with the HD itself, or the connection between the HD and the motherboard. I've put the Macbook HDD in an Acer laptop, and while it doesn't boot (of course - different formatting, OS, etc. etc.), the drive is actually detected.

    When I put the Acer's HDD in the macbook, I still get the exact same problems - no evidence of a HDD existing. I looked at 'Disk Utilities' again and no HDD was recognised, etc. etc.

    Would I be right in thinking that this shows that there's a fault with the connection, rather than the HD itself? The Mac's HD is recognised in a different computer, and a different HD is not recognised in this Mac.
     
  10. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #10
    Good job troubleshooting! It is possible that the SATA cable between the logic board and the drive died. You could always try replacing that. I'm not sure if you have any Apple authorized service providers near you, but they may sell you the cable and you could install it yourself.
     
  11. bluespaceoddity macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    #11
    In addition to trying to get a new SATA cable I think this may also be a good moment to invest in an external HD enclosure. You can stick this HD in there to check if all the content is still on it. While the HD is in the external (USB or Firewire) enclosure you can also check if you can still start up the MBP from it.
    Not only is an external enclosure a great trouble shooting tool but after all that is sorted and the HD itself turns out to be OK you can use the enclosure to stick in a new drive and start making back-ups so that in future should a drive truly die you won't be without those files you would have lost if this HD had croaked this time.

    Also to add: If the cable is the problem ... Something must have caused that cable to fail and with the trackpad going wonky at the same time it may have been a short of some sort. Especially if you still have AppleCare I'd take it to a store or send it in to have someone look at the other components -battery, trackpad- besides the HD.
     
  12. Binomio macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    #12
  13. Fairlyawesome thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    #13
    So, just an update to those who were interested, or anyone searching Google for similar problems:

    It worked! I got the new cable, carefully switched it with the old one (I could really see how Apple makes this laptop so compact :p), and after turning it on and a long breathless moment, it booted! All my files are in place :D so my HDD was fine all along - only the connection to the Mobo was faulty. Now it's time to back up all the things!

    Thanks to all who replied :)
     

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