MacBook Pro hard drive problems

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by alexhardaker, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. alexhardaker macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    #1
    Hello,

    For about a week now my 2009 MacBook Pro has failed to boot up. I couldn't reinstall OS X Mavericks on it via the recovery mode, so I went on to try other options. Disk repair came up with all sorts of errors on it and told me to backup, reformat and reinstall OS X. I created a new image of my hard drive partition "disk0s2" (should be Macintosh HD, I know). However, it wouldn't erase to reformat. It also stopped being mountable at this stage. I spoke to apple via chat for a whole day trying to solve this. They tried getting me to erase the whole disk, but it wouldn't do that either.

    I managed to delete the partitions I had via the terminal, but couldn't erase the whole disk via there. Now, I am stuck using the OS X disc that came with my Mac to get into disk utility to try solve this. When I try to format the disk it "cannot allocate memory."

    The disk is still readable, S.M.A.R.T status is verified, and it still says that it has 250gbs on the disk capacity.

    Is this an issue with the disk itself or with the hard drive cable that connects it?

    (I would upload pictures, but they are too large to process)

    Thanks
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    Its possibly an issue with both, at 8 years old your HDD has done fantastically well and will need replacing (most mobile HDD's seem todie within 6 years) a cable is only $20 so replace it at the same time.

    You now have a choice either spend some money on an 8 year old machine (its near the end of its life whatever) or put that money into a new machine. A tough choice that will depend on your finances.

    If you decide to replace then use an SSD it will give you an immediate and spectacular upgrade to your old machine for a few extra dollars with todays SSD prices, I recommend the MX300 series from crucial.
     
  3. alexhardaker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    #3
    How likely is it that other parts of the machine will fail soon after I've replaced the cable and hard drive?
     
  4. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #4
    I replaced a 2007 MBP's HD with an SSD and it worked. Still working for the person I sold it to.
     
  5. alexhardaker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    #5
    Might be worth keeping this one then!
     
  6. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #6
    I'm still getting a ton of use out of a 2008 MacBook with 8GB RAM and an SSD.
     
  7. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #7
    It runs El Capitan without issue.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    Put an SSD into it.
    Go to ifixit.com to see how it's done.
    Cheap and easy.
    Be sure to use the right tools.

    DON'T spend $$$ on a "high-end" SSD -- the old MacBook can't support the higher speeds.
    I'd suggest a "Sandisk Plus" -- 240gb size is selling for about $78 at amazon.
     
  9. alexhardaker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    #9
    Is it possible that it could be something else before I buy these 2 things?
     
  10. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #10
    The drive cable was mentioned...not sure if that's one of the "2 things" you mean. You could test the machine with an external drive first. That is, try an install to an external to see if the computer runs OK.
     
  11. alexhardaker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    #11
    How would I go about doing that?

    Thanks!
     
  12. jerryk macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #12
    You would have to get an external USB drive enclosure and put your hard drive in it. The enclosure will run you $20 or so (same as the cable). Installing the drive in the enclose is about 2 minutes work.
     
  13. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #13
    I meant a new external drive but putting the existing one in a USB enclosure and getting a successful installation would point toward the cable. Unsuccessful would point toward the drive, of course, but wouldn't eliminate the cable.
     
  14. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #14
    My money is on the SATA cable. However, given the age of the hard drive, its service life has been expended and I agree that replacing both the SATA cable and the hard drive at the same time is the best course of action.

    As you can get a top-of-the-line laptop HDD for under $50, the pricing isn't too much of a financial risk should this be something else. Further, you can always purchase a $5 external enclosure and turn this HDD into an external hard drive for your next computer.

    Of course, as others have noted, moving to a SSD means significant benefits (but a slightly higher pricetag)


    In terms of trying to rule out other causes, you can perform the Apple Hardware Test from your system install disk, or take your computer to any Apple Store or Authorized Retailer, and request they perform diagnostics on the machine (this is completely free.) (Note that this alone would NOT provide a definitive answer on a SATA cable versus SATA hard drive.)
     
  15. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #15
    That is impossible to answer it might last another couple of years it may die tomorrow of a complete logic board failure it doesn't matter how likely it is if it happens to you. It's always a risk spending money on older laptops (laptops are by nature expensive to fix and get much more wear and tear than a desktop) but your machine is a pretty reliable model and many are still going strong.
     

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