MBP won't start from SATA SSD - works with USB

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Foxi, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. Foxi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    my MacBook is showing a strange behaviour, which I couldn't find solutions for yet.
    Therefore I registered here, also my english isn't the best. I hope you will excuse that =)

    After two years without any problems my MBP (13" mid 2012, Mavericks 10.9.4, HDD replaced with SSD 6 months ago) suddenly won't boot anymore from the SSD and just displayed the "forbidden" sign after the start. Windows on bootcamp-partition displayed disk read error...

    After several tries (PRAM-Reset, Internet Recovery, formating SSD,...) I restored the system from Timemachine to the original HDD and the SSD. But the problem isn't solved at all.
    After that, I could boot and work normally from the SSD attached external via USB 3

    BUT:
    if i put the SSD in the MBP (SATA) it won't boot and shows the "forbidden" sign again. If I start from the external attached HDD, the SATA connected SSD shows up in Finder and I have normal write and read access to it without problems.
    The HDD works fine with the internal SATA-connector. SMART-Status from the SSD is normal and all partions on it show up normally when booting with pressed option-key. But i can't start neither the OS X partition nor the recovery partition on the SSD.

    I have no idea, why the MBP works fine with the SSD via USB and won't start from it when connected to SATA.
    Any hints and solution are welcome.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    Manchester, UK
  3. Foxi thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 20, 2014
  4. Lucas Godfrey macrumors 6502

    Lucas Godfrey

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    Jul 12, 2010
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    Somewhere between Here and There
    #4
    Its the ribbon cable between the logic board and SSD. its a known issue with 2012 macbooks, if its under warranty get it repaired at an apple store or Authorised service centre, I think that the fact it works with the HDD is a bit of a false flag, I've seen some cables work with some drives for a time but then fail with others, but the only thing that ever fixes the issues is replacing that cable. (trust me i repair anywhere between 30-40 MacBooks alone a week)

    If its not in warranty then you need to find the part 923-0741 and fit it yourself, its pretty easy to replace and you can have it done in 10 mins flat. some searches might bring up the part 923-0104 but thats actually not what you need, thats the old cable with know issues (apple substitutes part numbers when an issue arises in a batch. do not buy a 923-0104, get a 923-0741)
     
  5. Foxi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    #5
    Thanks! I will try this.

    Looking for a new cable I got a bit confused with different partnumbers:
    is 923-0741 = 821-2049-A and 923-0104 = 821-1480-A ?

    Unfortunately the most parts I found were in the US. Do you know a seller located in the european union?
     
  6. Foxi thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 20, 2014
    #6
    The new SATA-connector solved my problem.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  7. lacek macrumors member

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    Oct 14, 2014
    #7
    Hi,
    Would it be a safe assumption that If I have same problem (SSD works with USB, but not via SATA cable) but in the case of Macbook Pro (Mid-2009), then the most likely culprit is the SATA cable? If so will the aforementioned cable "923-0741" aka "821-2049-A" be proper part for my laptop?
     
  8. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    Nov 5, 2013
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    AFAIK the same issue persists across a wide range of year models and wasn't fixed until they got rid of the 2,5" disc completely. I've personally seen the problem on a machine from 2010 so it shouldn't be all that surprising if 2009 machines are susceptible to it as well.
     
  9. lacek macrumors member

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    Oct 14, 2014
    #9
    Is there a way to diagnose that this is indeed a faulty wire? I do not want to stack undecessary spares:) In my case the disk boots from the USB, but as I understand there could be something fishy on the logic board.

    More precisely: what are the typical symptomes of the faulty hdd wire. I have oscilloscope, meters, some understandng of electronics at my disposal (I can also borrow some stuff from work, but this is what I have at home), but I have never done any repair of a Macbook that dealt with internal components. It is a multiwire cable and some of the wires crack, or is it more subtle?
     
  10. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    Finland
    #10
    There's always the basic stuff like checking continuity and resistance of the traces that any basic multimeter should do. I once tried to diagnose the problem visually (didn't have any tools at hand) and it turns out that this problem doesn't wear out the traces completely, it just grinds them down so that they don't make a proper connection and it's not really visible to the naked eye.

    As for signs of a broken HDD, apart from obvious stuff like the read head failing (which causes the HDD to start making clicking sounds as it moves the broken read head trying to find the beginning of the disc til it just hits the side of the housing) most outward signs of a broken HDD are going to be the same as those for a broken cable. Because of this I'd try to look for the obvious stuff with a multimeter and then replace the cable as it's a relatively inexpensive part to fix if you go for third party spare parts.
     
  11. lacek macrumors member

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    Oct 14, 2014
    #11
    Thank for reply. I have ordered a replacement cable for Hong Kong. It will try for my own understanding figure out the difference between an old an a new calble. If I find anything I will post it (but I will try not to make extensive "mechanical" tests, as I do not want to break the replacement cable :) )
     
  12. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    Finland
    #12
    Before you bought anything you should probably have at least tested if there's continuity on all of the traces as that's a dead giveaway for a broken cable.

    But yeah... Best of luck and let's hope it was just a broken cable and not anything more serious.
     
  13. lacek macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    #13
    Yes, it was $6-$8 anyways (shipping included), and I had no access to that laptop. The fact that it worked with USB at least slightly limited the spectrum of other possibilities (still it may be something else). I keep my fingers crossed.
     
  14. Audit13 macrumors 65816

    Audit13

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    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #14
    I had a similar experience with a used Macbook pro 13 mid-2010 in that the laptop can install to and boot from a USB drive but not the internal hard drive. I replaced the internal hard drive cable and the Macbook now works perfectly.
     
  15. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    Finland
    #15
    If it's $8 with shipping then it was more or less a no-brainer. If you were paying anything close to original Apple spare part prices then it would definitely have been worth at least checking continuity.
     
  16. lacek macrumors member

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    Oct 14, 2014
    #16
    An update: $8 cable did the trick.
     
  17. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    Finland
    #17
    That's good to hear
     
  18. afurley macrumors newbie

    afurley

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2017
    #18
    Hi Lucas, know this was a long while ago, but I need to replace the ribbon cable in my mid-2012 MBP (A1278). The model number of the cable coming out 821-1480-A, but this is about the 3rd time I have replaced it and I am not sure if this was the original. When I look up the model on iFixit they list 4 different cable models (923-0104, 923-0741, 821-1480-A, 821-2049-A https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Mac/MacBook-Pro-13-Inch-Unibody-Mid-2012-Hard-Drive-Cable/IF163-041-1)?! I can go with the 821-1480-A but I guess I am wondering if I got the wrong model and that that is why it continues to fail? Also, I want to put in an SSHD and I have seen discussions that different cables deal withe higher data transfer speeds better? Any help appreciated.
     
  19. Audit13 macrumors 65816

    Audit13

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    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #19
    I read other posts in this forum that the apple store will replace the defective cable for free as the 2012 MBPs are known to experience failed cables and have not reached "vintage" status.

    For a 2009 15" MBP, 2010 13" MBP, and late 2011 13" MBP, I used generic third party cables from Amazon and all the have been working fine for a few months with SSDs with no issues after a fresh os installation.
     

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