View Full Version : MacBook Pro HD Problems ... Assistance would be appreciated.

28-02-2012, 04:07 PM
Hi all

Have a MacBook Pro with a 160GB HD that the owner (neighbour) thought had failed, as did I. Owner decided to replace with 500GB, got one and trying to install now.

Thanks to Wainui in a previous thread I started, provided a "how to" link and I set about doing it step by step ... followed it to the letter and it hasn't worked ... :annoyed:

From the Install disc, I am able to get to the Utilities menu but cannot get it to find the new HD ... after about 1/2 an hour going through every option available, I decided to try putting the old (supposedly dead) HD into an enclosure and try booting from that via USB ... it worked ... and it also recognises the new HD as well :waughh:

So what am I missing ??? ... something is stopping the rotten apple from seeing the old or new HD when installed in the computer. I've checked the SATA cable and it looks OK and drives are spinning ... but I'm starting to suspect it may be a hardware fault, not software.

If there's anyone out there that may have some suggestions, I'd appreciate it.

Also had a problem trying to eject the Mac OS X Install disc ... kept saying I had to "unmount it" ... finally got it out buy powering off and pressing eject button straight after turning power on ... but when I restart just get the flashing question mark.

Think I can get internet working via old HD & USB ... not familiar with Apple but if Teamviewer works on it could use that if required.

My apologies if this post is all over the place ... apples belong on trees ... or in cider ... not computers !!!

Alex B
28-02-2012, 04:32 PM
You need to format it in the disk util first I think, should be some tutorials on the net.

28-02-2012, 04:45 PM
Hi Alex ... realise that and I can get into Disk Utilities where you're supposed to be able to see the drive and format from there ... it isn't showing. Neither is the old HD which we thought was dead, yet is working perfectly via USB.

Wainui gave me a link to an excellent tutorial which I have read about 10 times to make sure I'm doing everything correctly ... I am, but there's just something "blocking" the computer from seeing both the old and new HD's ... it's weird ... but it's Apple ... can't expect too much ... :lol:

As this is the first Mac I've worked on, I get the feeling I'm missing something simple because I'm in unfamiliar territory ... going to give up on it for a while and come back to it fresh unless I get some further guidance from those who may have struck the problem before.

28-02-2012, 04:54 PM
hdd controller instead of the hdd? (as the problem).

Zara Baxter
28-02-2012, 05:35 PM
hdd controller instead of the hdd? (as the problem).

that's my thought, and I'm dealing with the same problem FWIW.

28-02-2012, 05:53 PM
icow ... hdd controller may well be the problem ... have you got the solution ???

I've been scouring the IFixit site along with others ... only conclusion I can draw is iF***it has a totally different meaning to me ... :D

28-02-2012, 05:58 PM
No sorry.

28-02-2012, 06:04 PM
Could you try hooking the hard drive up via the SuperDrive cable?

28-02-2012, 06:37 PM
Yeah I'm with plod, try hooking it up through something like a usb -> sata adapter and see if that drive is detected...

28-02-2012, 06:52 PM
OP ... both the old HD 160GB (with everything still intact) and the new 500GB are visible via USB enclosure ... the old HD works perfectly in the enclosure ... it's when they are installed into the computer they are not recognised.

According to all the sites I have been on, and the link Wainui gave me, everything should work ... it doesn't. I can't change anything via the install disc and not sure what I should be looking for if I install the 500Gb into the lappy and use the original GB via USB to try and sort the problem out.

28-02-2012, 06:55 PM
What I wa saying is to remove optical drive and plug hdd into tha sat cable and see if the machine recognises it.

28-02-2012, 07:22 PM
OK ... now I get what your getting at .. :D I've just tried the original 160GB HD in another MacBook ... not a Pro and it's not in very good shape ... the bloody thing starts up no problems ....

Plod ... would the same principle work if I disconnect the SATA cables from the Mobo and swap them over ??? Not sure how much is involved getting the optical drive out.

SATA connectors are different on both the board and the Drives ... Apple ... :(

28-02-2012, 07:27 PM
Can't see why not, practically the same thing, but your way seems easier.

28-02-2012, 07:38 PM
Just edited last post Plod ... the number of pins on the board end are different ... 4 more on the HD than the optical ... different connections to HD and optical ... impossible to swap over.

28-02-2012, 07:44 PM
To swap cables over? Or to swap the physical drives.

28-02-2012, 07:49 PM
I suggest you go to I fixit and get the correct tear down for that MacBook so you can remove the optical drive.

28-02-2012, 07:51 PM
Both ... Optical cable has about 8 pins on mobo ... HD has 12 ... connectors to optical & HD are also different sizes (by visual inspection only) and don't think either will interchange without 8g fencing wire & gas axe ... :lol:

28-02-2012, 07:55 PM
Well blow me over, I have a mate that has done a ssd upgrade in one, he said the drives just swapped over.

28-02-2012, 08:14 PM
Quite possibly a different model Plod ... there's slight differences in the cables in the MBPro models depending on year ... I've done a bit more reading and it's quite possible it could be a bad HD cable ... There seems to be a lot of talk about them being a bit suspect quality wise and people have done the same as me ... tried to replace the HD when the problem is actually the cable.

Haven't got the gear to test them so guess I just have to see if the neighbour wants to fork out for a new one.

28-02-2012, 08:24 PM

That's what you're after. I think.

28-02-2012, 08:38 PM
Nope ... working on a 13in ... this one (http://www.ifixit.com/MacBook-Parts/MacBook-Pro-13-Inch-Unibody-Mid-2009-Mid-2010-Hard-Drive-Cable/IF163-013?utm_medium=frame_module_bottom&utm_term=macbook_pro_13"_unibody_mid_2010&utm_source=)