MBP 13" 2012 Strange Hard drive issues


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 23, 2017
Hi there,

I've tried every fix i know, and combed through countless forums to try and find a related problem, to no avail.

So here I am reaching out to the community for help. Thank you in advance!

Here's the beef:

I bought I preowned 13" MBP mid2012 about a year ago. It has aftermarket SSD and maxed ram installed, so i know the hood has been opened.

About 2 months ago, I booted up and got the Missing HD symbol (?folder). I booted recovery mode and opened disk utility, and there is NO hard drive listed as being connected, so I can't even verify and repair, reinstall or backup.

So I booted from my external boot drive, which is keep as a mirror of my internal HD, and everything works fine, but I still don't see the internal hard drive as existing in disk utility or in terminal 'diskutil list.'

Next I open up the MBP, and swap out the current internal drive with my external drive. Same problem. I can't see the internal drive at all from disk utility, and now the SSD (that was internal) works and reads just fine from the external enclosure.

So I spend the next week or so running off of my external hard drive, and about once a day when I boot up, the internal drive mounts. with no discernible changes, I'm able to see the internal drive, boot from it, and it seemingly works fine. Then after no particularly defined amount of time, it will stop working. sometimes not reading at all during boot up, sometimes it'll freeze while using the internal drive (although much rarer). During the times the internal drive mounts, I've backed up, reinstalled, zeroed the hard drive, reinstalled again, ran disk repair, and everything says its fine and working, then it just cuts out again.

So my suspicion was that it was a bad hard drive cable. So I ordered one, installed it, and it worked fine for about 4-5 days, then back to the same old song and dance. (not sure if the 4-5 days was just chance or what)

The one thing that I've been able to get some consistency out of is a hard reset (unplugging battery internally for a minute or two). After a hard reset, it always boots from the internal drive no problem, then after some times i craps out again.

So that's my issue, and I have to say, that I am stumped. Short of suspecting that the logic board is faulty, I have no clue whats wrong (I even took the logic board out to examine for loose leads or burnt out circuitry and everything looks intact). But if the computer runs just fine off of an external drive, wouldn't that mean that the logic board is fine?

I'm going to be trying a work around fix in the next week or so with a OWC data doubler. I'll see if i can get consistent connectivity to that drive and use that as my primary internal if all else fails. but this is far from ideal.

So there we have it. Sorry for the fat wall of text. If you have any thoughts, please share them. At this point I'm on a war path to get to the bottom of this problem.

Many thanks for reading this!


macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
The issues are relating to the HDD SATA cable. This is actualy a documented issue on your model and Apple have a silent repair program for it. If you pop into an Apple Store, they'll fix it free of charge.


macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
I would advise following keys' advice above before doing anything else.

Hmmm… if you still have the ORIGINAL factory-installed ribbon cable, might be worth putting that back in before you take it to the Apple Store.

If you don't have it, don't worry about it. Take it in anyway.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 23, 2017
Hmm alrighty. I do have he original cable. My new one is a factory original backstock, but I'll put to original back in to cover my bases.

Good to know this is a known issue. I've been entirely unable to find anything online that sounds similar, so thank you for shedding some light!
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