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dMajor

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 17, 2016
72
49
Melbourne, Australia
Hi guys,

My MacBook Pro 2012 seized up yesterday.
I was watching a tutorial on excel and the spinning wheel appeared, the trackpad became unresponsive, and the “force quit” shortcut wouldn’t work.
Shut it down manually.
Since then attempts to restart are met with the grey “?” Folder:

3CE87575-4BE0-4C15-83EF-9988E8919DEC.jpeg


I assume this means the SSD is dead.

I have tried the following:

VRAM / PRAM reset
Option + start: no startup drives shown except online recovery.
Safe mode: goes back to “?” Folder.
Boot into hardware test using command + D or simply D - doesn’t work. This was particularly frustrating as I spent time making a USB with the correct Hardware test on it for just this occasion. It worked when I made it, but I suspect something about recently upgrading to Mojave has disabled it?
Online recovery mode - can’t seem to select LAN connection. Using wifi works for awhile but eventually I get this:

E67CCD1A-82C0-4A18-9F22-95E7559FA45C.jpeg


Anyone know what this means?

I opened up the unit - all connections seems intact, minimal dust, ssd looks cosmetically fine.

Thankfully I only just backed up yesterday so nothing precious lost.

My plan now is get a new SSD, and go to a friends house with superior internet and try and reinstall an OS via online recovery, then use time machine to recover files.

Is there any other course of action I have overlooked?

The SSD is a Samsung 860 EVO.
1 year of use seems way too early for it to fail. Will be making a warranty claim.

Any advice / opinions appreciated.
?
 

Pengzi

macrumors newbie
Aug 17, 2021
1
1
Hi guys,

My MacBook Pro 2012 seized up yesterday.
I was watching a tutorial on excel and the spinning wheel appeared, the trackpad became unresponsive, and the “force quit” shortcut wouldn’t work.
Shut it down manually.
Since then attempts to restart are met with the grey “?” Folder:

View attachment 1819730

I assume this means the SSD is dead.

I have tried the following:

VRAM / PRAM reset
Option + start: no startup drives shown except online recovery.
Safe mode: goes back to “?” Folder.
Boot into hardware test using command + D or simply D - doesn’t work. This was particularly frustrating as I spent time making a USB with the correct Hardware test on it for just this occasion. It worked when I made it, but I suspect something about recently upgrading to Mojave has disabled it?
Online recovery mode - can’t seem to select LAN connection. Using wifi works for awhile but eventually I get this:

View attachment 1819731

Anyone know what this means?

I opened up the unit - all connections seems intact, minimal dust, ssd looks cosmetically fine.

Thankfully I only just backed up yesterday so nothing precious lost.

My plan now is get a new SSD, and go to a friends house with superior internet and try and reinstall an OS via online recovery, then use time machine to recover files.

Is there any other course of action I have overlooked?

The SSD is a Samsung 860 EVO.
1 year of use seems way too early for it to fail. Will be making a warranty claim.

Any advice / opinions appreciated.
?
It seems that either the SSD or the disc-cable is broken. I had a couple of 13" MBPs like this, that I had to changed the cable. The best thing would be if you can find a 2011/2012 MBP 13", and you can try the SSD and the cable out. If it is dur to the cable, a new cable can be purchased from China / HongKong via eBay.com, just make sure it is for your MBP.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,588
12,697
The 2012 MBP has a design fault -- the internal drive ribbon cable.

When it becomes "flaky", the computer will become unresponsive, or you may "lose communication" with the internal drive altogether.
Hence, the "?" -- no boot drive found.

The solution is cheap and easy:
Replace the ribbon cable.

You can do this yourself in about 15 minutes with THE RIGHT TOOLS.

Go to ifixit.com to see the process involved (it's EASY).
You can also get the part number for the replacement cable there.

You can get the cable (and tools) from ifixit.com or elsewhere on the net.
The tool you need is a Phillips #00 driver to remove the screws on the back cover.

Does your MBP have an SSD in it?
I could be wrong, but I believe these came from the factory with platter-based hard drives (HDD).
If you take the back off to replace the cable, and there IS just an HDD inside, it's time to replace it with a cheap 2.5" SATA SSD...
 
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dMajor

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 17, 2016
72
49
Melbourne, Australia
The 2012 MBP has a design fault -- the internal drive ribbon cable.

When it becomes "flaky", the computer will become unresponsive, or you may "lose communication" with the internal drive altogether.
Hence, the "?" -- no boot drive found.

The solution is cheap and easy:
Replace the ribbon cable.

You can do this yourself in about 15 minutes with THE RIGHT TOOLS.

Go to ifixit.com to see the process involved (it's EASY).
You can also get the part number for the replacement cable there.

You can get the cable (and tools) from ifixit.com or elsewhere on the net.
The tool you need is a Phillips #00 driver to remove the screws on the back cover.

Does your MBP have an SSD in it?
I could be wrong, but I believe these came from the factory with platter-based hard drives (HDD).
If you take the back off to replace the cable, and there IS just an HDD inside, it's time to replace it with a cheap 2.5" SATA SSD...

Hey mate,
Thanks for your reply.
I put a samsung 860 EVO SSD in just after getting this unit.
It does seem odd for it to die barely a year later.
I already opened it up. Didn’t see anything “flaky” about the cable, but might change it out just in case.
Wish me luck.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,588
12,697
Also worth mentioning -- the old cable may "look ok", but the problems are the internal small "pathways" are breaking.

I predict that if you replace the cable, things will improve dramatically...
 

dMajor

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 17, 2016
72
49
Melbourne, Australia
Success!

Troubleshot issue using a freind's operational macbook.
The cable did indeed seem to be the problem.
Installed a replacement with a little help from some OWC youtube tutorial.
Back in business.

Thanks everybody for their help.

Hot tip for anyone else in Melbourne, Australia - don't pay $50 for the cable from Experimac in Carlton.
I got butt-hurt a bit there.
Considering the current lockdown restrictions / delays in shipping / and urgency to get operational again - I took it.
But under normal conditions you'd be able to source one for half that or less.
 
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