White screen with grey fold with a "?" flashing

emilykgoodman92

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2017
14
0
Last night I had a major problem with my 2012 15 inch MacBook Pro. All of a sudden my hard drive starts making a loud clicking noise and then after several minutes the device completely shuts off. I try to power it back up and I get a white background with an icon of a file folder with a gray '?' flashing. For the last two years my screen has been distorted and sometimes even would start flickering and shut off from time to time. I would bring it in to the Genius bar and either the screen would act fine at the appointment therefore they could not help me or they simply told me it was an issue with my Internet browser. My hard drive would also have a rattling sound from time to time that Apple could never figure out, which now has lead to my hard-drive completely bottoming out. Of course I am no longer under AppleCare for my device, however when I first brought my device to get all these problems looked at I was.

I have an appointment at the Apple store on Saturday in which I'm expecting them to tell me there is nothing they can do since it is out of warranty and applecare has expired. Is this indeed what they will tell me? Is there anything that I can do to prevent having to drop a grand on a new laptop when the issues should have been taken care of when I had AppleCare?
 

Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,288
1,338
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Is this Macbook a retina? I assume not since retina Macbooks have an ssd which should not make any rattling noises.

It could be a defective hard drive sata cable or the drive is dead. Have you tried booting from an external drive?

The flashing folder with the question marks means the Macbook could not find a bootable drive.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,859
2,131
Do you have any documentation for those previous visits? I have read of success stories of computers getting fixed because the complaint was documented while the computer was under warranty.

Your hard drive is toast though, if it’s making loud clicks noises. That’s basically their final sign off.
 

emilykgoodman92

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2017
14
0
I'm not sure if this is a retina, it is a Mid 2012 model. I have tried to boot from an external drive.
 

emilykgoodman92

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2017
14
0
Do you have any documentation for those previous visits? I have read of success stories of computers getting fixed because the complaint was documented while the computer was under warranty.

Your hard drive is toast though, if it’s making loud clicks noises. That’s basically their final sign off.
I am going to go back through my email and get those documentation receipts. Would they have those on file at the apple store?
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,859
2,131
I am going to go back through my email and get those documentation receipts. Would they have those on file at the apple store?
I believe so. When I was in there recently getting my phone looked at, they knew I had been in there last Fall for another phone issue.
 

Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,288
1,338
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Could be a failing hard drive or a faulty hard drive cable.

I've read posts where the apple store was replacing the hard drive cable for free on 13" and 15" Macbooks. Apparently, a faulty came is not an uncommon occurrence.
 

emilykgoodman92

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2017
14
0
Could be a failing hard drive or a faulty hard drive cable.

I've read posts where the apple store was replacing the hard drive cable for free on 13" and 15" Macbooks. Apparently, a faulty came is not an uncommon occurrence.
Oh that would be such a relief. I'm gonna have them look into why my screen keeps shutting off randomly and why the LCD screen flickers again while I am there. Hopefully it's nothing serious.
 

MacInTO

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2005
1,171
184
Canada, eh!
Yikes! Sorry to hear that!

Sounds like your hard drive died based on the clicking noise before it shut down.

The flickering might be related to the failed hard drive or it might be the video card.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,376
6,691
OK, Ms. Goodman, let's get started.

You have the non-retina MacBook Pro 15" (see that from posts above).
We'll assume that the MBP has a platter-based hard drive inside and NOT an SSD, right?
And you've also stated that it's now out-of-warranty.

You said that previously you had heard noises and clicking coming from inside.
This almost certainly indicates hard drive failure.
So... the internal drive will need to be replaced.

It doesn't matter that the warranty and AppleCare have expired.

YOU CAN EASILY BUY AND REPLACE THE HARD DRIVE YOURSELF, and save $$ on repair costs.
DON'T BE INTIMIDATED -- ANYONE can do this job. (even me!)

You said above that you tried to boot from an external drive.
What happens when you try this?
Does the MBP boot?
Do you get to the Finder?
We need to know all of these things.

What I'd recommend you do is buy a few things:
1. An SSD. Get a Crucial or a Sandisk Plus (check amazon). I'd suggest a 250gb if you can live with that size. Or a 480-500gb if you need it. But don't spend any more for more capacity.
2. A Phillips #00 driver and a TORX T-6 driver. You can get these at hardware stores, Home Depot, Lowe's, or online from amazon or ifixit.com for a few dollars each.

Also, go to ifixit.com and check the guide for replacing the hard drive in a 2012 15" MacBook Pro.
All you have to do is remove the screws holding the back on, then remove a couple of screws holding the drive in.
Then, take out the old drive, move the little "busses" from the sides of the old drive to the SSD, and put the SSD in and put the back cover back on. EASY!
You could also change the hard drive ribbon cable, but I'll reckon that you don't need to do this. If you DO, it's easy enough to "go back inside" and do the change.

If it was me, I'd "prep and test" the new SSD -BEFORE- I put it into the MBP.
To do this you'll need either a 2.5" USB3 enclosure, or a USB3/SATA "adapter/dongle", like this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B011M8YACM/ref=nosim/macintouchcom-20?&tag=macintouchcom-20

Then, I'd do this:
a. Attach SSD to adapter
b. Connect to MacBook (or it could be another Mac, what are you typing on now?)
c. Boot (from external drive if you can't get booted from internal)
d. Use Disk Utility to initialize the SSD
e. Now, install a copy of OS onto it, or get an OS onto it from your backup.
f. Next, power down
g. Now reboot and hold down option key. Startup manager will appear. Select the SSD with the pointer and hit return
h. You should get "a good boot" from the SSD.
i. If you do, NOW it's time to power down, get out the tools, and "do the drive swap".
j. Once the swap is done, AGAIN reboot with the option key held down. When you get to the finder, go to "startup disk" preference pane and set the SSD to be the boot drive.

Again:
DON'T BE INTIMIDATED by any of this.
You can do it!
 
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emilykgoodman92

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2017
14
0
Thanks so much you guys, I have my appointment at the apple store on Saturday I'm going to wait and see what they say before doing anything.

Would the jingling/rattle noise that I was experiencing before the hard drive started making the clicking sound be hard drive related? Would that have been the start of the issue, I guess is what I'm asking.
[doublepost=1506538530][/doublepost]Also if I haven't backed up my MacBook to my external harddrive in a while am I screwed?
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,660
5,179
The symptoms you describe point to a defective hard drive, which is also the most likely scenario. As others have said, you can easily replace the disk yourself, provided there is no other issues. If you didn’t do backups, your data is gone. You can try a data recovery service, but those are very expensive.

That said, please keep in mind that computers are resooources with limited lifespan. Expected life of a premium quality laptop should be around 5 years. This is why when you buy a new computer you should really start saving for a new one. Putting aside just $40 per month allows you to purchase a new MacBook every 3 years or so (and you can sell the old one), keeping updated and mitigating your risks through warranty coverage.
 

emilykgoodman92

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2017
14
0
I need a new harddrive. What kind of SSD hard drive do I need if I want to try to replace it myself? I saw some made by Western Digital but I didn't know if those were good/which one I would need.
 
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