Something is terribly wrong, not sure what...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Breadman86, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. Breadman86 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    #1
    Last week a friend gave me their comp to fix, a 2010 13" Macbook Pro. It wouldn't boot at all. It just gave the flashing questionmark folder. I tried everything I could online to get the computer to start up again, but nothing worked. Not a darn thing. I figured Command-R on boot, entering recovery mode, would allow me to fix the issue, but it didn't. The disk utility in recovery mode couldn't even see my friends' HD. Eventually, after ruling out all other options and exhausting everything I could find on Apple's website on the issue, I determined that the HD was dead and told my friend to buy a new SSD that I could install for them.

    Today, I put the new SSD in their computer. I created a bootable USB drive for the OSX Mountain Lion Install, and booted the computer into it. I then opened disk utility to format the new SSD. Sure enough, the new Intel SSD was there, visible and beautiful as ever. I went to reformat it to Mac OSX Extended Journaled. The first step shown was "unmounting." It hung there for maybe 45 seconds then said "Disk Erase Failed - Unable to write to the last block of the device." I tried a few more times, and it kept giving the same error. I tried just going in to re-install Mountain Lion and the disk didn't show up as a possibility to install on.

    At this point I became frustrated and moved on to other things. I had an external enclosure I was going to use to try to get SOME data off of my friends' old HD, so I put the HD in the enclosure and plugged it up to my Macbook. Guess what? The HD I thought was dead was VERY much alive, and working wonderfully, no issues.

    So now I'm stumped. The old HD didn't show up in my friends' macbook at all leading everyone to believe it had stopped working. The new SSD does show up but isn't able to be formatted. Upon installing the old HDD in an enclosure, it clearly does work. SOMETHING is wrong with my friends' macbook but I'm not sure what. Any ideas? Help?

    TLDR: I thought a hard drive was dead, so I replaced it with a new SSD. To install the OS, I booted Mountain Lion's install from a USB. The disk utility saw the new SSD (it never saw the old HD I thought was dead), but couldn't format the new SSD. It keeps saying "Disk erase failed - Unable to write to the last block of the device." I then put old HD in an external enclosure, plugged it up to another comp, and it worked fine. What's wrong with my macbook pro? Bad SATA cable? Something else? Any ideas of what I could try doing?
     
  2. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #2
    Not sure what is wrong but just as an option or two to try... can you install OS X on the SSD in an external enclosure? If you still have the same problem then it could be a logic board issue.

    Also, try installing an OS onto the SSD in an external enclosure from say your Mac and then insert the SSD into your friends Mac and boot from it.

    Still, if the HDD is ok then I am guessing the above will not work.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    Did you create a partition for it, not just formatting it? You need to partition new drives as HFS+ before you can format it.
     
  4. MarcusCarpenter macrumors 6502a

    MarcusCarpenter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Location:
    London
    #4
    Look at replacing the Harddrive connector cable, also try installing OS X with the hard drive in a caddy via USB, does it work ?

    if it does work look at replacing the cable :)
     
  5. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #5
    The disk controller might be dead. Or cable, as suggested above.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    I'm not saying its not, but if it was dead wouldn't the SSD that was installed not show up then?
     
  7. MarcusCarpenter macrumors 6502a

    MarcusCarpenter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Location:
    London
    #7
    I had a machine that was passed to me to repair, was an old late-2009 17inch MBP that had the same issue, replacing the flex cable fixed this issue.
    I would recommend trying to install OS 10 via USB (Hard Drive plugged into USB)

    Failing that (if the flex cable replace does not work) Buy one of those memory doublers and remove the CD drive and try the Hard Drive from that Sata interface
    as i assume the CD drive reads the installation disk perfectly fine. you can make a OS 10 Install USB(8GB) and then still have a perfectly usable machine :)
     
  8. lawhuiyiu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #8
    So first of all, you put your friend's HD into the external hard drive dock and get it connected to the MBP. Power on the unit and press 'alt' key to choose the external drive. It should be named Macintosh HD in yellow color. Choose it to boot into OS. If you are able to boot into the OS and log into the user account, it looked like the HD is fine. Sometimes, you may find the system laggy or the beach ball keep showing up, there is an opportunity that the HD has developed the bad sectors. However, we do not consider in this case first.

    As you can boot into the OS without any problem, put the HD back and connect with the HD cable. Reboot it again, to see if you can log into the OS. If you see a flashing question mark folder / stuck at the Apple logo with spinning gear, this meant that the HD cable found issue. In this case, you may need to get it repaired at the Apple store or Authorized service centre.

    For the SSD, you can do the same thing by putting it into the HD dock. Get it connected to any Mac and format it using the Disk Utility Application at Utilities. If you found without any issue, the SSD is fine as well.
     
  9. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #9
    Ok, 'dead' might have been a bit to strong word. Let's just say 'finicky' :)
     
  10. devilcm3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Location:
    South Melbourne, Australia
    #10
    cable issue.

    i've encountered this issue before, yanked the cable when i replaced the hdd with ssd....

    then it start showing the same issue, brought it to the apple authorized service provider and they replaced it for free :p
     

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