Unable to boot MBP from any drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Sneakz, May 31, 2018.

  1. Sneakz macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    So I have a older Mid 2012 MacBook Pro an I can't get it to boot any drive. Only Network recovery can be booted into. Cannot boot from the internal SSD, nor a bootable external drive over USB. Not even the SuperDrive shows up in disk utility in network recovery. Both drives are in working order and can be accessed on other Macs without issue. I would suspect the SATA cable but it doesn't explain why I can't boot over USB either. I'd try FW800 but lost my cable somewhere. Any thoughts?
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Sounds Like your logic board is dead in some way.
  3. DeanPSN macrumors regular


    May 21, 2018
    Dublin, Ireland
    If it's the pre-Retina 2012 model, its most probably the SATA cable.
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    If it was the SATA cable it would boot from an external usb.
  5. Expobill macrumors 6502a

    May 30, 2018
    Have you taken to back off just to look at the board nd other inside parts?
    Where there any other issues before this happened?
    Good luck, hopefully nothing drastic went wrong!
  6. DeanPSN macrumors regular


    May 21, 2018
    Dublin, Ireland
    Not always, had few 2010's for repairs with faulty SATA cables and wouldn't boot from USB.

    Another thing you can try, disconnect the HDD SATA cable and connect the HDD to the SuperDrive SATA cable and try this way, it should work.
  7. Fishrrman, Jun 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018

    Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    It seems to me that if it boots to internet recovery, the logic board is ok.

    It's also possible that the copy of the OS you have on the external USB drive is insufficient in some way and cannot boot the MBP.

    OP -- some specific questions:

    What happens if you:
    a. Connect the USB drive
    b. Reboot and hold down option key until startup manager appears?
    c. Do you "see" the presence of the external USB drive as "a bootable drive"?
    d. What specifically happens when you try to boot from it? Do you get error messages? Or....?

    Do you happen to have a USB flashdrive around that is 16gb or larger?
    What happens if:
    a. You boot to internet recovery
    b. Connect the flashdrive
    c. Open Disk Utility
    d. Can DU "see" the flashdrive, if so, can it erase it?
    e. Can you direct internet recovery to install a clean copy of the OS to the flashdrive?
    f. If it can, can you then boot from the flashdrive?

    You could take the internal drive OUT of the MBP.
    Then, connect it via USB.
    Will it boot the MBP then?
    If so... it's the SATA cable inside.
  8. robbiebnz, Jun 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018

    robbiebnz macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2018
    Ive got a similar issue with a late 2011 MBP not booting so placed my hard drive in an external SATA to USB enclosure. Ive managed to transfer my data across to another MacBook no issues. But when I plug into my own MacBook via USB to select the drive option scenario, it doesn't see it and goes straight to network recovery. Strangely though, when the machine is turned on, the enclosure light turns on but then turns off after a few seconds so for some reason it doesn't want to see it? Plug it into another laptop of any kind and it powers up just fine.

    I put the drive back into laptop directly and I can then select my drive as an option to boot from, which then fails 3/4 of the way through.

    Why wont the exact same drive with OS installed be able to be booted from USB? I am trying to eliminate SATA cable as the issue. The superdrive is not a SATA connection either.
  9. DeanPSN macrumors regular


    May 21, 2018
    Dublin, Ireland
    The SuperDrive is SATA connection, you can use that to eliminate the bad cable problem.

    Attached Files:

  10. robbiebnz macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2018
    The SATA connection on the hard drive is much wider than the superdrive one. Yes my superdrive is like the one in your image but that connection wont fit the hard drive one as comparison in the pic;

    On the left is the disconnected SATA hard drive cable whilst near it to the right is the smaller cable connection still plugged into the superdrive.

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