New HDD install Hiccups

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SirNeiko, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. SirNeiko macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2015
    Hello All,

    I have run into a crazy situation when replacing the HDD in a MacBook Pro. I upgraded Yosemite on the old HDD. Then I powered the machine down, took out the old HDD and installed the new HDD. I plugged the old HDD into a USB adapter and powered on the MacBook while holding the Option Key. The old drive did not show up as a bootable option.

    I installed Yosemite from a USB drive on the new HDD and was simply going to use Back to my Mac. But it also could not see the old HDD. So I created a user account and logged in. Once inside I got a message. "The Disk you inserted was not readable by this computer." Referring to the Old HDD plugged in via USB.

    Fearing the worst I powered down, switched the HDDs back and booted to the old HDD again. It booted without and issue. I tried plugging the new drive in via USB and got the same message... "The Disk you inserted was not readable by this computer." I am losing my mind trying to figure this out.

    Has anyone else encountered this issue? How can I get the data transferred.

    Thank you for any help!
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Since you already have a way to attach an external drive via USB, I suggest you try my approach:

    The original (old) HDD is in Macbook right now, is this correct?
    If so, do this:

    1. Put the NEW SSD into the external adapter.
    2. Boot up.
    3. Launch Disk Utility
    4. RE-INITIALIZE the external SSD
    5. Download CarbonCopyCloner from here:
    (CCC is FREE to download, and it is FREE to use for 30 days)
    6. Launch CCC. Set your internal (OLD) drive up as the source, and your external SSD as "the target"
    7. You want to do a "full clone". It will take a little while.
    8. When it's done, do a TEST BOOT. Reboot and hold down the option key until the Startup Manager appears. Do you now see the external SSD? If so, select it and hit return.
    9. Does the MacBook now boot from the external SSD? (Note: the cloned drive will look EXACTLY the same as your internal -- you must go to "About this Mac" to ascertain that you're really booted from the external)
    10. IF you get a good boot, and IF everything looks as it should, NOW it's time to "do the drive swap" and see if that helps...
  3. SirNeiko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2015
    I will give that method a shot and post back here with results!

    Thank you for your help!
  4. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    Given that both HDDs work in your Mac but not in the USB adaptor, I'd suspect the adaptor.
  5. SirNeiko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2015
    I thought it was the USB adapter as well. However I tried a second one I have and it was the same thing with that one.

    I am happy to report that everything appears to be working well so far with Fishrrman's method. It is currently cloning the drive and has almost finished. So assuming it boots properly I will be thrilled!

    I wonder if this has to do with some weird security feature in Yosemite. I thought it might be file Vault at first, but this was not the case as I tried disabling it. Something strange going on. Looks like you cant just plug in a primary HDD of a MacBook into another computer and gain access to files anymore.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    If the clone is good, and the test boot is good, and the "swap" produces a bootable MacBook with the SSD installed ---

    --- then you should consider using the old drive to serve as your external cloned backup drive.

    CCC will work for 30 days, it may want a registration afterwards. You can pay the registration if you wish, it's one of the best pieces of software that exists for Mac.
    Once registered, CCC will do "incremental backups" that are completed very quickly.

    OR... as an alternative:
    You could download "SuperDuper", which allows you to do a "full clone" for free, forever. However, this meains that SD will erase the drive first, then re-clone it in its entirety. Like with CCC, you have to register SD to do incremental backups.

    I advise that you keep a bootable cloned backup handy, because if an SSD fails, it usually gives no advance warning and fails "completely" -- that is, data on it may be all-but unrecoverable.
    You won't appreciate the value of a backup, until you NEED one.
    Don't wait until it's too late, to find out....
  7. SirNeiko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2015

    Everything worked wonderfully! The drive cloned and I was able to boot successfully! I appreciate your input and will be using this method in the future!

    Thank you!!!!
  8. SirNeiko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2015
    Here we go again

    Okay now I am even more confused and frustrated.

    I was able to boot to the drive via USB and it works like a charm. However, as soon as I took it out of the USB adapter and plugged it into the computer, When I go to boot up I get a ? in front of a folder.

    So I tried to hold option while I boot up and this did not even show the drive. So I took it out, put the old one back in and powered up and was able to boot to USB just fine... What in the literal $#!@. This is very frustrating.

    Any ideas?
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Try this:

    Power down, all the way off.

    Press the power on button.

    As soon as you hear the startup sound, press the Option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN until the startup manager appears.

    Do you see the newly-installed drive now?

    If so, select it with the pointer and hit return.

    Does the MacBook boot up?

    If so, go to the startup disk preference pane and select the newly-installed drive to be your boot drive.

    Does this work?
  10. SirNeiko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2015
    The Newly installed drive does not show up. When I try to boot from the old HDD via USB it doesnt work. The only configuration I can get to work is old HDD inside MacBook Pro via SATA connection. If I do it like this I can boot to the new drive via USB and the old drive via regular boot. What the heck is up with this? Its like it remembers how the drives are plugged in?
  11. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Some other things to try.

    I saw this on today, and what follows is a cut-n-paste:

    Try resetting the SMC. For laptops with a removable battery, do the following:
    1. If the computer is on, turn it off.

    2. Disconnect the AC Adapter and remove the computer's battery.

    3. Press and hold down the power button **FOR** 5 seconds and then release the button.

    4. Reconnect the battery and AC Adapter.

    5. Press the Power button to restart the computer.

    Then, reset the PRAM. Turn on the computer when holding down command-option-P-R. Wait for at least two startup chimes and then release the keys and let the system boot normally.

    If these don't work, I'm not hopeful. One last thing to try is to delete...
    YourHardDrive/Library/Preferences/System Configuration/preferences.plist
    ...and then reboot.

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10 January 21, 2015