Sierra keeps freezing MBP 2011 and kills my SSD

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by Chiuy, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. Chiuy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Location:
    NorCal, Bay Area
    #1
    I have an old MBP 2011 13" and thought it would be nice to upgrade it to SSD (Sandisk Ultra). I did a fresh install and updated the MBP to Sierra. Now, the main issue is that the laptop sometimes does not detect the SSD and it will show the flashing folder icon. When it does work, it is incredibly slow and will freezes up after the bootup. It is not consistent of why this is happening. Yet, when I replug the old HDD, the computer works fine like nothing ever happened. Then I plug in the SSD into my work desktop and the SSD cannot be detected. At this point, sure maybe it is the SSD's fault... but I have gone through this process with THREE BRAND NEW DIFFERENT SSD and ALL 3 ARE DEAD after installing Sierra. I have also done the Internet Recovery to try and do another fresh install, but it's not going to work if the computer cannot detect the SSD.

    Something in Sierra is killing my SSD or it's locking up my SSD to not be able to detect it in my computers.
     
  2. logicstudiouser macrumors 6502

    logicstudiouser

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    #2
    Do you mind me asking what SSD you are using?
    I have run into this very issue with my old 17" 2011 MBP. I found a super cheap SSD on newegg from a company I never heard of called OCZ, but it kept having the same mounting issue even when I got the original one replaced. The only way I could get this SSD to work was to use Carbon Copy Cloner to transfer everything to the SSD but performance was so poor and the question mark would return so frequently I had enough. After the ordeal with the OCZ drive, I paid the premium for a Samsung Evo SSD and it works like a charm. I still have my 2011 17" MBP and it is working great under Sierra with the Evo SSD.

    The question mark folder at boot usually has to do with a drive that is not mounted properly. If you have tried several of the same SSD model, it might be the SSD model that is causing the issue - it may not be compatible for mac (as was the case with me).

    There is one other SLIM possibility with that question mark folder that may have nothing to do with the SSD. You might need to get the SATA cable replaced, it has been a few years now so it might be a good idea to do anyway. If the question mark folder appears with different drive models, that is the likely culprit.
    When I did get an Evo I didn't want to take a chance of more issues and time wasted so I went to the Apple Store to get the SATA cable replaced. I believe the part and service cost about $60 or $70. Sure, you could get it a lot cheaper online and do it yourself but the cost saving and wait were not worth the hassle for me.
     
  3. Chiuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Location:
    NorCal, Bay Area
    #3
    I am using Sandisk SSD Ultra II. I have connections through the company so I get "free" SSD. I trust their brand and their drive works flawlessly on par with Samsung, but like you said, it could be a compatibility issue? But if it was a compatibility issue, it shouldn't have let me boot up and install Sierra the first time.

    Right now, I just bought a Sata to USB connector and will try to connect my SSD through the USB to see if that makes a difference and will let you know when it arrive and if it works. And if it does work, I can probably remove the optical drive and put the SSD there instead of fixing the original cable.

    And oh no. Don't trust OCZ, especially their old version. I had an Agility 3 that I bought waaay back in the days for $300 only 120GB. It was heaven, but it definitely got slower and eventually broke along the way. OCZ also refused to honor the warranty after it broke since it was within the 3 year warranty. But OCZ was bought out buy Toshiba and I heard they made good budget OCZ SSD now though.
     
  4. leo.andres.21 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Centre of the Attention
    #4
    I'm having the same problems on my MBP 2011! I have a Samsung EVO 840 SSD in mine for roughly 3 years now. Never had a problems from El Capitan and prior. But recently, since I've installed Sierra, I've had the graphics issue that plagued AMD cards in the 2011 line. I had the logic board replaced, but since that, I usually have slow wake from sleep time, or the computer just suddenly shuts down and reboot to a flashing folder like yours.
    Only my SSD has not died yet. I've enabled TRIM and everything, not really sure what's going on and if there would be any fix down the road. It's making me consider a new laptop.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    OP wrote:
    "Now, the main issue is that the laptop sometimes does not detect the SSD and it will show the flashing folder icon. When it does work, it is incredibly slow and will freezes up after the bootup."

    It may very well be the flat "ribbon cable" that connects the SSD to the motherboard.
    They have a reputation for "going flaky".
    When that happens, "communication" between the drive and the motherboard becomes intermittent -- producing exactly the symptoms you describe.

    If you're already experienced in changing out the internal HDD for an SSD, replacing the ribbon cable will be easy. Cheap, too.

    See ifixit.com for an illustrated guide.
    They also have the part number you need and may even keep that part in stock.
    It should also be available via ebay, online, etc.

    A GOOD WAY TO TEST for this is to use an external enclosure (USB3 or USB2).
    Put a bootable drive into the enclosure (or use a dock or dongle adapter).
    Boot up that way.
    Does the computer boot right up, and now run stably? (Of course, the boot time will take longer).
    If so, that points toward the ribbon cable as the problem...
     
  6. Chiuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Location:
    NorCal, Bay Area
    #6
    I think it might be the ribbon. I have a SATA to USB connector coming in tomorrow to test it out. When it was a fresh install, the computer booted in less than 5-10 seconds. Now it either doesn't detect the SSD or takes 30-60 seconds to boot up and when it does boot up, it'll work for 60 seconds after logging into my MBP then the computer will crash and freeze itself.

    It's $40 on ifixit. That's a bit more pricey than what I want to pay for. Looking at eBay, it's around $14 though. I'll probably get the internal optical bay hard drive to use it where my optical bay used to be at: https://www.ifixit.com/Apple-Parts/9-5-mm-SATA-Optical-Bay-SATA-Hard-Drive-Enclosure/IF107-080-1 ($8ish on Amazon) I want to buy parts that I can salvage later on when my MBP does die.

    It is incredibly weird though. My SSD does not show up on my desktop though. Maybe it got formatted to Mac and I'm unable to see it or it somehow got short circuited when it got disconnected from the ribbon?
     
  7. Chiuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Location:
    NorCal, Bay Area
    #7
    Update: The SATA to USB to working and there does not seem to be any problem with the laptop. I decided to use my old SSD from my desktop to install the OS. So far, it is running flawlessly. I will test ribbon again soon and I will be buying an optical hard drive SATA to put in the laptop to see how that goes.
     
  8. Chiuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Location:
    NorCal, Bay Area
    #8
    Update: Yep. It is definitely a MBP problem. 3 of my SSD are now officially dead and I am unable to detect them through BIOS or Disk Management on a Window's computer. I think it pretty much fried them and I'm out $500 since none of these SSD are in warranty anymore.
     
  9. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #9
    Have you tried plugging the SSDs into a powered SATA port without any data and leaving it powered on for 24-48+ hours?
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    It's the internal drive ribbon cable.
    Replace it.
     

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