Internal Hard Drive Recovery

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by browncoatjones, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. browncoatjones macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2015
    Hello all,

    I have a 2013 13" macbook pro. This morning it was working fine, but later today I booted it up to find the flashing question mark. My internal hard drive can't be found in disk utility and It can't be found when put into target disk mode and put onto other computers.

    Is this hard drive dead for good? Is there any way I can recover my files?

  2. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    It's possible it needs to be reseated. You can find info on that process on I assume you don't have AppleCare?

    The good news is you can restore from your backup and have minimal loss of work, right? RIGHT!?
  3. browncoatjones thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2015
    Unfortunately some files are not backed up and I urgently need them.

    Also I do have insurance and applecare. But it's the files I care about.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Yours is a non-retina MacBook Pro, is this a correct assumption?

    It's -possible- that the drive is still ok, but that you have a problem with the very thin ribbon cable that connects the drive to the motherboard. Others have reported this component as being troublesome in the non-retina MacBooks.

    My suggestion as to what you should do next:

    You will need a couple of tools:
    - Phillips #00 screwdriver
    - TORX T-6 driver
    You can find these at hardware stores, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. for not much money.

    I recommend that you go to and check out the guide for removal of the hard drive.

    I would first take the back off, then GENTLY check the connections between the drive and the ribbon cable. Put the back on again, and try a reboot. Does anything change?

    If "no", here's what you might try next:
    Take the drive OUT of of the MacBook, and try connecting it to another computer using either:
    - an external USB3 enclosure
    - a USB3/SATA docking station
    - a USB3/SATA "dongle" type adapter
    (any of the above will run you $20 or a little more at amazon)

    Does anything change?
    (If the drive ribbon cable was defective, I sense that target disk mode wouldn't help)

    You might also consider buying another drive (might be a good time to pick up an SSD) and installing it into the MacBook as a replacement.

    Opening the MBPro and swapping out drives is a VERY easy task -- even I could do it.

    One last thought:
    About "urgently needing" files that weren't backed up...
    ... might be time to start thinking about a backup strategy.
    I recommend either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper.
    If you had a CCC or SD cloned backup, it would be a matter of a couple of minutes to boot from your backup, get up-and-running again, and work on the problems from there...
  5. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    A 2013 MBP is a rMBP, unless the OP is referring to their mid-2012 cMBP as a 2013 since that's when they bought it (some people do that).

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4 June 9, 2015