MacBook Pro internal vs.. external disk issues. Please help?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by GeoFan49, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. GeoFan49, Feb 15, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015

    GeoFan49 macrumors member

    GeoFan49

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, SF Bay Area, California, USA
    #1
    MacBook Pro internal vs.. external disk issues. Please help?


    MacBookPro5,4 bought used on CraigsList two years ago., was working fine, but wanting to update from SL 10.6.8 to Yosemite 10.10.2... Bought a new 1TB SATA hard drive…


    Here are the symptoms:


    1. When I tried to install Mac OS X 10.10.2 on a brand-new, formatted, partitioned INTERNAL (SATA) drive, after several hours, the install failed. Tried again, same result… Third time, the same…

    2. Same drive, in EXTERNAL USB case. OS X install worked a-ok, first try — after a few hours the Mac OS X 10.10 install completed, no problems.


    Question #1:

    Should there be any difference with installing OS X on an internal vs. an external disk drive?


    UDMA / CRC error count creeping up...

    3. Mounted the new drive internally. Booted aok. The DriveDX app reports the UDMA CRC Error Count is increasing about 5-10 errors per day. (The app suggests this could indicate a drive going bad or a bad cable.)

    4. Mounted the same drive EXTERNALLY using SATA to USB external enclosure, boots AOK, and error count does not increase after more than a week in use.

    5. Put same drive back inside the MBP, error count escalates again, same as #3.

    6. Again, mounted as EXTERNAL, see #4, same, no new UDMA/CRC errors after another week.

    7. One more thing…

    I have several other external drives, for TimeMachine, and alternate boot drives for 10.6.8 Snow Leopard…

    ::: Hard drives via USB HUB? Or, USB Direct to MBP? ::: Strange Issues :::


    Each one of these hard drives in it's own external enclosure… Various brands… Same results...

    •• Each drive will mount AOK when plugged directly into the MPB USB ports, but

    •• When plugged into any USB HUB; no drive will even be seen by DiskUtility app; and will not mount.

    •• VIA USB HUB —— USB Flash drive works AOK; but the external USB hard drives DO NOT wok via a hub.

    •• Tried three different USB enclosure brands, and three different USB hubs, same result.

    •• NO JOY with any external USB hard drives via USB HUB; but same drives and cables work aok when connected directly to the MBP USB ports.


    What is going on here?


    I know there are other apps besides DRIVEDX … they are more expensive… I guess you get what you pay for. DriveDX provides lots of info but other apps may be better.




    The drive:

    HGST Travelstar 7K1000
    HGST HTS721010A9E630


    The MacBook Pro:

    Model Name: MacBook Pro
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,4
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.53 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 3 MB
    Memory: 8 GB
    Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
    Boot ROM Version: MBP53.00AC.B03
    SMC Version (system): 1.49f2



    Question #2:


    I SUSPECT that the MBP motherboard may be failing, just from the above list of symptoms...


    The internal USB bridge is acting very strangely.

    • Any suggestions?
    • Further troubleshooting ideas?
    • Take it to the shop?
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    This could be a bad internal HDD cable. They are extremely delicate and easy to damage when replacing drives. That being said, the error count is troubling and if it is the cable it would likely not show the same count when connected via USB. I would try to get a warranty replacement on the hard drive and a new cable to be safe.
     
  3. GeoFan49 thread starter macrumors member

    GeoFan49

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, SF Bay Area, California, USA
    #3
    THANKS for the suggestions...

    I will see if I can obtain a replacement cable for the SATA internal drive and report back... meanwhile, any other suggestions or tips?

    Agreed, that the differences between INTERNAL vs. EXTERNAL drive behaviors could indicate a bad internal SATA drive cable. That should not be too difficult nor too expensive to replace.


    Q: Should there be any difference with installing OS X on an internal vs. an external disk drive?

    A: Probably not, if the cable were aok.

    One more thing...

    Could a bad internal cable (with NO DRIVE installed inside the MBP) cause latent problems with external USB Bridge connections?

    . . . NO external hard drives will mount (or even appear in the list on Disk Utility) when connected via external USB bridge(s.)

    . . . But, USB Flash drives will mount AOK, using same cables and bridge(s.)

    This behavior seems very strange...
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #4
    I would think that the internal issue would be unrelated unless there is a logic board fault. I would try an SMC and PRAM reset to rule that out as well as a new SATA cable and it probably will resolve the issue. And no, OS X installs the same to USB drives as internal drives.
     
  5. GeoFan49, Mar 20, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015

    GeoFan49 thread starter macrumors member

    GeoFan49

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, SF Bay Area, California, USA
    #5
    Installed new internal drive cable which cost about $25. Several PRAM resets done.

    CRC/IO errors were holding steady with all my external USB Drives. When one of those drives was internally installed the CRC errors were increasing again, but at a rate of a few per day instead of a few per hour. (As reported by the DriveDX app.)

    My conclusions:

    The new internal drive cable may be helping, but there still may be a problem with the motherboard.

    All three external USB hubs (which all tested okay a few weeks ago) continue to fail with any external USB hard drive or external case, but work okay with any USB flash drive.
     
  6. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #6
    Were these powered hubs, or do they draw their power from your MacBook Pro?

    Also, are you using bus powered USB drives or do they have their own power bricks?
     

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