SATA Cable Problem in MacBook Pro's

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mr-iMac, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Mr-iMac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    #1
    Has anyone heard of this problem?

    My drive seemed to be going south so I tested it with Scannerz. I used the procedures on their web site for advanced troubleshooting and fortunately for me my problem was repeatable every time (10 cursory mode rescans) with nothing else cropping up, so I think it's safe to say the drive is the problem.

    In any case, while I was doing some research into the problem I went over to the Apple Support section where they have discussions, and their seems to be a a few people over their claiming there's some type of quality control problem with FoxConn cables installed in at least some MBPs. Apparently the insulation either wears through or it wasn't properly insulated in the first place and it can short against the case. As you might guess, I would think troubleshooting this type of problem might be a PIA.

    I plan to replace the HD myself. Anyone know of any tips or pointers that can tell me if I have this problem? For that matter, anyone have any tips or pointers or gotcha's that I need to be aware of? Should I replace the cable with I put the new HD in? Is there a way to tell if I have one of the crappy FoxConn units? My system is a 2009 13" unit.

    TIA
     
  2. kage207 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2008
    #2
    I wouldn't assume your problem based on other people's claim. Get it checked out.
     
  3. jpcarro macrumors 6502

    jpcarro

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    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    On your nine
    #3
    Yes, the SATA cable is a known problem on certain MBP's. Search around...there's plenty of info. I experienced it on two 2009 13" MBP's. It's a fairly simple procedure to replace it yourself. Visit iFixit for procedure. They also sell the SATA cables, but you can find them cheaper elsewhere.
     
  4. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #4
    where you can find them?

    I need a mbp 13 early 2011 cable

    apple is going to charge me around U$200 for the repair and I seriously dont want to pay that, and yes Im in brazil, thats why a simple cable swap + labour is so costly
     
  5. Mr-iMac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 6, 2013
    #5
    Kage207:

    I don't have the SATA cable problem. Scannerz picked up repeatable irregularities followed by a bunch of repeatable bad sectors. I can rescan it 20 times and get the exact same results. If it was a cable problem the results would be all over the place. See their web site's how-to section for details if you like

    The reason I brought up the SATA cable was for 2 reasons:

    1. It looks like it's something of a well known problem.
    2. If I attempt the repair myself, what are the chances I actually cause problems.

    I'm figuring that if I have to open the unit up anyway, why not just replace the cable as well. My assumption is that the cable won't cost much....which knowing Apple may not be a good assumption. The cables don't sound to me like they're very tough.
     
  6. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #6
    the cables arent though at all, and they are actually expensive, at ifixit they are 50 bucks

    to replace the cable is extremely easy, remove the bottom panel, remove the HDD, unscrew 2 screws that hold the cable in place, unplug the conector
     
  7. jpcarro macrumors 6502

    jpcarro

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    #7
    Amazon has the cable I've used without problems for 6 months...$27:
    "Hard Drive Cable w/ IR Sensor for MacBook Pro 13" Unibody - 922-9062"
     
  8. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

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    Jun 29, 2011
    #8
    thats a problem amazon doesnt ship to brazil those things
     
  9. ZVH macrumors 6502

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    Apr 14, 2012
    #9
    Regarding the SATA cables they appear to be a real problem. There was a long thread on this site at the start of the year where a guy was getting really erratic results using his SSD. Turns out the SATA cable had some little tiny holes in it and the data lines were intermittently shorting against the frame. I don't have the link but I bet some remember.

    ....so yes, the SATA cables seem to be a problem on at least some of these units. I've only seen it mentioned so far from the 2008 -2010 models.
     
  10. MacRobert10 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    #10
    If the wires in the cable are making contact with the case, you could always, at least as a temporary fix, insulate the contact areas.

    Does anyone know if this problem is limited to a specific model?
     
  11. alex0002 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 19, 2013
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #11
    You need to get a US address from a freight forwarder and have them send the purchases to you. Yes, you might need to pay an annual fee for the US address and then shipping fees for each item, but quite often it still works out much less expensive than buying from the local retailer.

    Check your local customs laws first. In some countries there will be import taxes/customs fees to pay, depending on the type of import and it's value.
     
  12. leimin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    #12
    Had the same problem. Laptop won't boot up since cable was damaged. Got it fixed since it was covered by warranty, but the price with no warranty was around $35 (I live in asia). If it's going to cost you $200 to fix, why not just buy a new hard drive? :D
     
  13. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

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    Jun 29, 2011
    #13
    because a new HDD doesnt come with a cable thats why, if that was indeed the case I would happily purchase a 750gb HDD with it as well
     
  14. brunoandlydia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    #14
    same problem here, today I ordered some cable from ebay, so I wonder if it will help. I will post updates after I'll replace it.

    Currently I'm only able to work on my laptop with my SSD in an usb enclosure...:mad:
     
  15. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #15
    same solution here, im using target disk mode, which is a pain since it became a desktop that way
     
  16. brunoandlydia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    #16
    so i bought a cable from ebay, with shipment it was 25 eur. I just replaced the cable, and the machine seems to work correctly again :) hopefully, it will stay like this!
     
  17. ischan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2015
    #17
    Is someone aware of this problems still happening a couple of months after the wire have been replaced? Is it in any way related to the manufacturer of the wire (Foxconn)? it seems to be a neverending story. Maybe better replace it again and sell the machine...
     
  18. steve1960 macrumors member

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    Sep 23, 2014
    Location:
    Singapore
    #18
    Surely the answer would be to insulate the new wire from the chassis when assembling it rather than selling the laptop!!
     
  19. ischan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2015
    #19
    Thanks Steve. Just a question. Is there a tutorial or just basic instructions on how to insulate the wire? On it entireness? Just on the half of it, where the screws fix it? What kind of material to insulate?
     
  20. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    #20
    This problem is well known and there are a lot of posts about it on Apple's own web site. Apple, I'm sure, is aware of it but doesn't seem to be doing anything to fix it. SATA cables are notorious for being fragile anyway, but apparently the problem is with insulation. Like the other guy said, put insulation like electrical or kapton tape over areas where the cable makes contact with the metal body, which is electrical ground.

    Go to ifixit.com to see disassembly instructions.
     
  21. jamesjingyi macrumors 6502a

    jamesjingyi

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    Dec 20, 2011
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    UK
    #21
    Had this problem with a 2012 MacBook Pro. Replaced the SATA cable and the thing runs beautifully... The reason why I knew it was the cable was because I had an SSD that was relatively new. I was just glad it wasn't the logic board.
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #22
    Tbh, I never heard of a cable going bad as much as I'm starting to see here. Odd. I worked in a computer store back in the day and we repaired computers and built PCs for sale as well. I think in all my years working their we had maybe two computers with a bad drive cable
     
  23. MacRobert10 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 24, 2012
    #23
    It's not all Macs and it's not all models. It's the MacBook Pro, and it seems to be those made between 2009 and maybe up to 2011 or 2012.
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #24
    That's still a huge swath of computers, when prior that, I never heard of the issue.
     
  25. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

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    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #25
    I've had this problem with my mid-2009 MBP going back to 2011. I had a few threads related to it on this forum in 2013. A few of the Geniuses at my local Apple Store were aware of it and did free repairs even after my AppleCare expired. There were also Geniuses who would flat out deny the issue and tried to reinstall OS X as a solution (my Mac fought the reinstall and then worked for a bit before getting the flashing folder later the same day. I also had an authorized service provider who was aware of it, but they closed the shop in my town.

    The only lasting solution I've found is to use my mid-09 as a desktop replacement and never take it anywhere or leave it in sleep mode for too long. I've had the current cable in there for about a year and a half. My daily driver is now a late-2013 rMBP.
     

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