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Replace internal hard drive in MacBook Pro

Posted on 2014-12-26
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Last Modified: 2015-01-06
The factory HD in my MacBook Pro went bad.

I bought a new Samsung SSD 850 Pro.

I want to restore from a Time Capsule backup onto the new drive.

I removed the old drive and 4 Torx screws from the sides, plugged the ribbon connector into the new drive, put the Torx screws in the new drive, secured the drive into place.

I rebooted the computer, booted from the local network (option key), launched Disk Utility, but I don't see the drive. There isn't anything useful in the instruction sheet that came with the SSD, but it shows using a cable (which did not come with the drive) to connect the SSD via USB to migrate data, but my old drive is bad, I want to restore from my network, so I assume I don't want to do that.

So, anything I can do in this situation?
Thank you.
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Question by:bbdesign
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by:noxcho
ID: 40519168
Maybe you want first try to install MacOSX on this drive and when done then perform the restore from backup?
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by:bbdesign
ID: 40519185
I can't even see the drive. I wonder if I have to connect it to the computer by USB or something first, but I don't know where to get that kind of cable. It's an internal hard drive.
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Assisted Solution

by:skylar youngblood
skylar youngblood earned 125 total points
ID: 40519196
you have to put the OS x on a flash drive or a disk. If you have the restore disk that came with the mac that will work as well. if you want to have your files on this new ssd you will have to back them up on the time machine then transfer them over when you boot up your mac. when you boot up your mac for the first time the OS x utility should come up. now got down to disk unity, then find the ssd, after that you will have to go to erase and go to the name box and type in solid state hard drive, click the erase button at the bottom. exit out of that, now you have to put in the flash drive that you have the OS x or the CD that either came with you mac or that you installed the OS on. now click on the  "reinstall the OS x" and continue, after click agree, and wait and the two drives that you have in your mac (assuming that you still have the old hard drive in) will show up click on the solid state hard drive. It will download the OS x to you new ssd. It will be a fresh system.
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 125 total points
ID: 40519204
You mean you cannot see the drive when you boot the machine from MacOSX installation DVD?
And yes, you can install the OS if the drive is in USB Enclosure. I have done this once or two times with my old MacBook.
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by:Network Zero
Network Zero earned 125 total points
ID: 40519207
OK lets step back for a moment.

** When you said the hard drive went bad? what happened?

----------------
NOW taking in consideration the HD is in deed the problem.

You may want to buy a HD SSD Docking station - this will make your life a lot easier:

http://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-External-Duplicator-Function-EC-HDD2/dp/B00IKC14OG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1419642476&sr=8-4&keywords=ssd+dock

---------------

Since your HD is but being picked up by your mac you may need to test the hard drive with another computer

Here's a guide on how to replace your HD: http://www.cnet.com/how-to/upgrade-your-macbook-install-ssd-hard-drive/

--- things to consider or formatting on the drive and also it could be the computer maybe even the drive

- Test that drive on another system to be 100% sure.
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Expert Comment

by:schaps
ID: 40519257
I don't think you said which model MacBook Pro you have, but if it's semi-recent, it should be able to use Internet Recovery, that is, boot directly from the Internet. Just boot like you are you are trying to boot to the Recovery Partition (command-R), and after not finding a valid HD, it will ask for your wifi password to connect, and it will download a recovery boot image and start up from that, giving you the same options as Recovery Partition would, including "Restore from Time Machine Backup." I am pretty sure it's not necessary to go to the trouble of making a bootable USB stick.

That being said, once booted from Internet Recovery, you should first run Disk Utility to see if it recognizes the SSD you put in. You already tried this while netbooted from a server on your LAN,  if I understand you correctly. It is *possible* that the Internet version of Disk Utility might be better/different than the version you tried and see the drive attached, but I rather doubt it. Worth a quick shot, in any case.

If you had replaced a working hard drive, I would suspect that something got hooked up wrong or a cable came loose when you installed it. But since you replaced a drive which no longer worked, I think the likely culprit is something related to the SATA drive system in the laptop (and hopefully just a cable). Did your old hard drive click and/or clack and give advanced sign of trouble, or just seem to stop working, almost like the SSD is doing? If so, that is very unusual, in my experience.

If no joy with the Internet Recovery Disk Utility, I would next take your old hard drive to anyone you know who might have a USB-SATA dock, or a SATA drive enclosure (USB or Firewire), or even  basic USB to SATA adapter cable and power supply. Based on what I have read, I think there's a good chance your hard drive is fine. That would be countered by the reality that something serious may be wrong with the laptop, though.

Good luck--
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by:strung
ID: 40519314
Let's back up a minute. How do you know your old drive was bad?  If Disk Utility won't see the new drive, it may be that the ribbon cable to the drive is bad. Or it may mean the new drive is bad.

Of course, one way to check this would be to put the new drive into an external usb case and see if it is readable from another computer. If it is, then you know the new drive is not bad.

However, there still remains the possibility that the ribbon cable is bad or the ribbon cable is not properly plugged into the drive or the motherboard.
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Author Comment

by:bbdesign
ID: 40519542
Thanks for the responses.

The computer belongs to my daughter, who was using it while teaching in Mexico, so I'm going by what she told me. She described that the computer starting getting stuck on the gray screen while starting up. The IT people at her school managed to get it running again (we don't know how). But the problem continued, and gradually got worse, and she started getting the folder with the blinking question mark. Over a period of a month or so, the problem got worse until it would not start up at all.

She did not report any odd noises, clicking, etc.

I assumed this was the hard drive failing (the computer is only 2-3 years old), but I don't know that for sure.

I have a backup of the computer on our Time Capsule, which is what I am trying to restore from. When I start the computer and hold down the option key, it asks me to connect to our network, then gives me the option to launch Disk Utility or to restore from the Time Capsule. I cannot restore because I can't see the new hard drive, either as-is or by launching Disk Utility.

When I launch Disk Utility, I do see a local drive, but it says OS-X or something like that (it is only about 1GB in size), I assume that is a built-in recovery drive of some kind, and that is what I am booting from (apparently).

I have not booted the computer from an OS-X installation DVD. It sounds to me like that wouldn't be any different from launching from the network as I described above.

It sounds like I need to purchase a USB docking station for the internal drive. This would let me verify that the old drive is (in fact) bad, and also possibly be a more effective way of formatting and restoring the new drive?

The ribbon connector plugs into both drives fine, I see no reason to believe it is damaged or connected incorrectly. I would imagine it is possible the ribbon cable is damaged. This computer has never been opened up before.

If the problem is the ribbon cable or something more serious with the "SATA drive system", then I guess I'll need to move on from here, but for now will try an alternate way of connecting the drive to the computer to rule those problems out.

Thanks!
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by:Network Zero
ID: 40519705
bbdesign - thanks for the update.

That's why its important you connect this drive to another computer to clear out any issues with the laptop - connection cables etc.
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by:
schaps earned 125 total points
ID: 40519746
I assume that is a built-in recovery drive of some kind, and that is what I am booting from (apparently).
When you initially wrote that you booted "from the network," I assumed you meant a netboot situation, where you can boot from a Mac server on your network, but I now understand that you actually did boot over the Internet from Apple's service (it's actually a very cool service, albeit understandably slow). So, the Disk Utility you were using was Apple's latest, and if didn't see the SSD drive, either it wasn't plugged in properly, the cable is bad, or something else more complicated (possibly the logic board) has a defect.

By the way, did you check to make sure the computer isn't under Applecare extended warranty? If you didn't check, plug the serial # into this Apple web page.
Regardless of the warranty status, make note of the model MacBook Pro that it shows you have. If it is under warranty, I'd put the old drive back in as carefully as you can and hit up Apple to fix or replace the computer.

As for checking the hard drive, the quickest way might be to call up any tech-oriented neighbor and ask if he/she has a "USB to SATA adapter, dock, or enclosure" you could borrow. If you are close to a Best Buy, I see they have a USB enclosure on clearance for $20 and might have one at your local store. If not, they have another one for $30, or you could get a Thermaltake USB-SATA dock for $50. I have one of those, they are nice.

Regardless, if the hard drive is functional connected with an adapter, you can use it to boot the MacBook Pro by connecting it and starting with the option key held down. This is a short term solution if you just need to get some work done or want to update the Time Capsule backup.

Regarding the original DVD-- if your computer came with one, then it also has a hardware test built in which you should probably run to see if it detects a problem with the SATA sub-system. This Apple support page has all the details. You'll see on that page that newer Macs have built-in diagnostics which can be run by holding down the "D" key while booting. Worth a shot if you can't find the DVD. The "D" key is also the key to hold down if you do have the DVD and want to run the Apple Hardware Test (AHT).

Good luck--
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Author Comment

by:bbdesign
ID: 40519925
Thanks for the additional comments.

I ordered a USB enclosure from Amazon.com. It will arrive early next week, so I should know more soon.

I did not know about holding down "D" on reboot. I did that, and ran Apple Hardware Test (AHT). No problems found!

My daughter now reports to me that she *did* hear the louder-than-normal clicking sound coming from the computer as it was starting to go bad. Apparently it was also doing that thing where the fan turns up really loud and stays that way, until you shut down the computer. It hasn't done that for me this week, since she returned home with the computer.

So hopefully (best case) this is just a matter of connecting the new SSD via USB, formatting the drive, restoring from the Time Capsule, and inserting back into the computer. I think I have read that sometimes the drive needs to be formatted via cable before putting it into the computer via SATA. I'm not sure why that would be, but who knows...

Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:bbdesign
ID: 40531621
UPDATE:

I received the USB dock. Plugged in the drive, connected to my OTHER Mac. Saw the drive but it was not formatted, so I formatted the drive.

Connected via the USB dock to my BAD computer. It sees the formatted drive. I am now restoring from Time Capsule backup, that will take 10 hours.

The last step is to see if the drive works when I plug it into the computer directly, not via the USB dock. I guess if that does not work, then its not a hard drive problem at all, but something else internally going on.
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Author Comment

by:bbdesign
ID: 40532710
UPDATE 2:

Restored to new hard drive (in dock). Moved hard drive to slot inside laptop. Tried to boot, it did not find the drive. Move hard drive to dock, it boots fine. So in addition to a bad hard drive (also having problems connecting that one via the dock), it seems there is something else going on. Ribbon connector, or something internal like where the ribbon connector connects to the logic board, etc.

Anyway, this computer is on its way back to Mexico, so not much else I can do. I sent the dock along with the laptop so at least my daughter can use the computer. I'm not sure how much money its worth putting into a 2012 MacBook Pro, which is a little beat up all around at this point. Unfortunate this wasn't just the HD.
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by:strung
ID: 40532742
The ribbon cable is a good bet.
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by:strung
ID: 40532749
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by:bbdesign
ID: 40533630
Thanks!
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