No hard drive showing in disk utility...can't reinstall OS X

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jgraham0513, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. jgraham0513 macrumors newbie


    Jun 28, 2016
    About a week and a half ago, my computer froze and I restarted it and it would only reboot halfway. I then tried several different options in recovery mode (command+R) and nothing worked. I finally just erased the disk memory and was able to reinstall OS X, I lost all my files but the laptop was running smooth again. I started re-downloading some programs and a day later it was running very slow so I restarted it only this time it went to Internet recovery mode. Now when I hit command+R and go to disk utility Macintosh HD is not showing on the left side. It's also not showing up when I try and reinstall the software, which now is Mac OS X Lion rather than Yosemite or Maverick which I had before.

    My question is this: is there anything I can do to fix this outside of calling Apple Support or going to the Apple Store?

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Which Mac do you have?
    How old is it?
    Do you have a hard drive, or an SSD installed?

    Judging by your symptoms, and the quick loss of speed again after your erased and reinstalled, I suspect that your hard drive is close to completely failing. You will need to replace it.

    Yes, you can fix it yourself. It does depend on which Mac model you have, but most can have parts replaced by following instructions from a couple of different sites. Most here go to for replacement steps. They are usually pretty good.

    You said it is running Lion now, so that's likely through the internet recovery. And, that likely means you have a 2010 or 2011 Mac of some kind. If it is the original drive, then that's likely the problem, and it just needs replacing.
    Then, you can reinstall, then restore your apps and files from your backup. :D
  3. jgraham0513 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 28, 2016
    I have the 2011 model, I have the internal hard drive obviously but no external one. Is there a cheap way to fix this problem or do you think I will need to buy a new hard drive and replace it?
  4. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Yes, you can't fix the hard drive if it is failing - and it sounds like you have a failing drive.
    You fix it by replacing it with a new drive.

    The year doesn't really help much. Need to know which Mac (iMac, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, etc.)
    and, finally the screen size, as each is available in two screen sizes.
  5. jgraham0513 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 28, 2016
    It is a 2012 13" MacBook Pro. 500 GB, not too sure about any other specifics.
  6. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    If yours is not a retina then it is an easy fix, go find a hard drive or ssd on amazon, new egg or a local tech store (frys, best buy, etc). use a phillips 00 screw driver to open the macbook, you may need a T6 screw driver to transfer the drive screw mounts to the new drive. put the new drive in and start the mac using command option R to boot into internet recovery and go from there.
  7. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    The 2012 13-inch MacBook Pro is STILL sold new by Apple (partly because it is the only Mac that still comes with a DVD drive).
    So, if you purchased it new within the last 3 years, it might still be in warranty.
    You can check that for sure at Apple's support page
  8. Fishrrman, Jun 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016

    Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "It is a 2012 13" MacBook Pro. 500 GB, not too sure about any other specifics."

    Sounds like it could be either:
    - failing hard drive
    - failing drive ribbon cable

    The ribbon cable that connects the hard drive to the motherboard on these MBP's is "on the weak side" and prone to failure. When it fails, you may -think- your hard drive is shot, but it's really just the cable.
    Some folks replace the drive and -still- have problems, because it's the cable that's bad.

    There's a way to check this, but you need:
    - an external USB3 hard drive enclosure
    - the tools to open the MBP and remove the internal drive

    The idea is to take the problem drive OUT OF the MacBook and put it into the case. If it suddenly boots and runs as it should, then it points toward a failed ribbon cable (rather than the drive itself).

    Here's what I'd suggest you do (involves an upgrade):
    - get a new SSD, 480gb or so
    - get an external USB3 2.5" enclosure, like this one:

    Put the SSD into the external enclosure, initialize it, and set it up. You could use internet recovery to install a clean copy of the OS onto it.

    Can you get booted and running smoothly that way?

    If so, see if you can "grab your stuff" from the internal drive.

    When you have the SSD set up as you like, SWAP IT OUT with the internal drive.

    If you suddenly start having problems, I'd try changing out the drive ribbon cable.

    You can find an excellent guide on how to do this at
    They also have the part number for the cable, you may even be able to buy it from them.

    Or... take the part number and "go to ebay".

    Best of luck!
  9. Abba99 macrumors newbie


    Mar 2, 2017
    I have same problem but mine start with clicking sound and later hanged . I off it and refusedo to boot. After trying Internet recovery the hard drive is not showing.. I have mackbook pro late 2011 13 inch and core i7 and havery RETINA display..pls help I'm in nigeria I cannot see a good apple repairer so I want to fix it myself since I use to open pcs ..
  10. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Because of your symptoms, I think your hard drive has failed.
    Late 2011 13-inch is not a retina display model. That was not provided until the 2012 models and later.
    Yours should have a spinning hard drive, so you can replace that easily.
    Here is a site that shows you how to replace the hard drive in a Late 2011 13-inch MacBook Pro.
    You can replace with any laptop 2.5-inch SATA hard drive, even an SSD.

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9 June 28, 2016