MacBook Pro 'Dead'...What to do

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Alphazoid, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. Alphazoid, Apr 12, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019

    Alphazoid macrumors 6502a


    Dec 5, 2014
    So my beloved Late 2013 rMBP has started acting out. Initially last year the battery expanded and needed to be replaced (£199). Now once you boot, the drive freezes after a few seconds and i can't reinstall because the drive won't show up. Thought about replacing it with an OWC Aura drive but wanted to be sure it wasn't the MLB.

    Took it to Apple and the problem was not immediately apparent. It passed all their hardware tests (even the SSD too) but they said the MLB needs to be replaced (£500). Because its no longer recognizing the SSD, which works on other macs when connected to an enclosure. Its still cheaper than buying a new Mac (starving student here) so i give the go ahead.

    Then i get a call saying the SSD is failing too so BOTH the MLB and SSD need to be replaced and the cost has now more than doubled to £1300. Now i'm less keen and decide to cut my losses.

    But funny thing is i'm using said MBP to type this post by booting from an external drive so i'm thinking the MLB may in fact be fine and i just need to replace the SSD. But OWC wont accept returns if you've opened the package so i don't wanna spend money on an SSD that doesn't solve the problem leaving me out of pocket.

    Also the MBP is approaching 6yrs old so i'm wondering if i'm better off just sucking it up and buying something new. Problem is none of the new machines appeal to me. I like traditional ports, glowing logos, and magsafe. Not interested in a 16" model either. Plus this current machine now has a new battery/keyboard, display (apparently they had to replace the display but no charge) and it would be a waste to just discard it.

    I'm not sure how to play it. Any advice
  2. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    If your MBP works with an external drive, the most likely possibility is that only the SSD needs replacement, however there is a possibility that your MBP is having one last burst of glory before expiring. You can replace the Apple SSD with a used Apple SSD, however those command a premium and if your MBP is not working in a few months time you'd have to sell it or maybe pair it up with another MBP that doesn't have a SSD.

    Many people have replaced the Apple SSD with a 3rd-party standard PCIe NVMe SSD. This requires an adapter and there are some issues in using it in the late 2013 MBP with hibernation and EFI updates. You also need to be running High Sierra or Mojave (you can run Sierra but only with a limited number of SSD's.) There is a long thread on the topic at:

    This thread has been modified so that the initial post has a good summary. If you don't want to put too much money in the SSD, you can get something like the Crucial P1 - I see on the Amazon UK site that it cost £64 for 500GB. This SSD uses QLC NAND chips which at this point doesn't have the performance or endurance of TLC or MLC NAND chips but for your purposes, this type of SSD is probably the most practical solution. If you want to read about the technical aspects of this drive, there's a good review at:

    Someplace like Amazon should take a return if it doesn't work in your MBP and if your MBP is no longer functional in a few months time, there are relatively inexpensive solutions to re-purpose the SSD as an external drive. Such solutions for the Apple SSD are considerably more expensive.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "I'm not sure how to play it. Any advice"

    1,300 to "repair" it?

    NO DEAL. Not for that much.

    Time to look for a replacement.
  4. CleanCoder macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2019
    I think I have the same problem as you, although mine is still under apple warranty. My mid 2015 15' mbp with radeon graphics had bulging battery issue. Apple fixed it for free, then after 2 weeks my SSD started to act weird. Sometimes the system cannot detect the SSD, it happens intermittently/randomly. My computer will freeze/hangup and after I restart it, I got a flashing folder with ?, when I run diagnostic I got error "vdh002 - There may be an issue with a storage device". The only way to fix this is to cool down my computer at least 2 to 3 hours. I brought it to apple repair but they couldn't replicate the problem. I'm afraid that the issue will get worse after my 3 year warranty expires. I still have 4 months remaining on my apple care.

    I wasn't sure if the bulging battery affected my logic board or SSD. The main problem is the issue is intermittent.
  5. _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2017
    there is a possibility the SSD is overheating, try force Apple to replace SSD module
  6. CleanCoder macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2019
    It's difficult to convince apple to replace the defective parts because they have a policy that they must first replicate the problem before they replace the parts.

    Actually my laptop went to service center because of random/intermittent SSD problem but they didn't replace any parts because they couldn't replicate it.
  7. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    I think you need to find a scenario where the problem can be replicated. Easier said then done, I know. You can look for benchmark programs that exercise specific components of the computer. Since you have a GPU, you should look for a GPU benhmark as well. Doing an OS install does exercise the SSD quite a bit - I once had an SSD die when doing an OS install. You can do an install of an OS over the same OS without it affecting your setup (presuming the SSD doesn't die so backups are important). If you have High Sierra or lower, I don't know if the latest installer will install over a system that has had later Security Updates applied. For the CPU, you can use Handbrake if you have video files handy. It make take hours to induce a failure which even if consistent would present problems in presenting that situation to Apple.

    You should also check the Console app to see if reports have been generated under "System Reports". The most helpful report would be one that starts with "Kernel_" and ends with ".panic".
  8. Alphazoid thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 5, 2014
    Been reading around and seemed like it would be too much hassle to revive my machine with no future guarantee. So i reluctantly decided to order a refurb 2017 MBP.

    Its nice but cant say i love it. Prefer old chiclet keyboard, and having to use a dongle/hub is really annoying. Had to use wifi to migrate my data which took forever. But i appreciate that its quieter, faster, sleeker and more compact.

    Might sell the old one for parts. If anyone would buy it.
  9. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    You can look for used macbook (pre-2015 version) as well. In my country (Indonesia), lot of them are sold in good condition (even few are still pristine though).

  10. Alphazoid thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 5, 2014
    My biggest worry is how long support will last both software and hardware
  11. pshufd macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2013
    New Hampshire
    I don't worry about hardware support. If it dies and I can't fix it, I just find another used model. I think that we have at least another three years of support. Enough time for Apple to fix their current problems.

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10 April 12, 2019