A1278 macbook hard drive issues

I have a friends a1278 macbook and it had a bad drive (noisey/clunking/clicking etc). I got a Samsung 850evo ssd for replacement but can't get it running.
not sure what os it had
have no disks
ctrl option r
option...any sequence of any of these don't do anything for me.  If I do nothing I get the ? Folder icon. Pushing option I get white screen only moving cursor (can't click on anything anywhere).
Put ssd in pc to verify drive was good. It was and I formatted it to hfs (using diskpart in dos). Now drive in mac will go to black screen saying no operating system. If I push option key it shows a hdd image with an arrow and says windows.
How can I load a dang OS!?
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You need a CD or an USB installation kit. you can create an USB installation kit from an other MAcOS. Here is the procedure:

Good luck!
Your MacBook Pro is probably too old to support re-installing the operating system from the internet using Command-R.

Will the computer boot at all from the old drive? If it will, then do the following:

Connect the old drive to the Mac using a usb to SATA connector (or an external case).

Then boot the computer from the external old drive by booting while holding down the Option key to bring up the boot picker. If the external is still bootable, it will show up in the boot picker. Select  it and continue the boot. It will take awhile to boot via USB.

Once you have booted, open Disk Utility (found in /Applications/Utilities) and use it to format the new drive as "Apple Extended Format (Journalled)".

Then download SuperDuper ( http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html ) and use it to clone your old external to the new internal.

Once that is done, reboot holding down the option key and this time select the new internal drive.

Once booted, pull down the Apple Menu to System Preferences and choose "Startup Disk". Make sure the internal drive is selected as the startup disk.

Shut down.

Unplug the external. See if the computer will now boot normally from the internal.
First on your PC make sure the SSD has the newest firmware. There should be a Samsung utility for it which you can install within Windows and it should check the firmware, and it should allow you to update it if it isn't the newest.

Put back the old disk into the macbook. Using the disk utility you should be able to backup the old OS so you will be able to restore it to the SSD. If you can't back that up, check the Apple site for OS installation media.
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Rindi, he won't be able to backup the old disk using disk utility unless the Mac was running at least OS 10.7, since DU requires a restore partition to back up the drive and that didn't exist until 10.7. That is why I suggested SuperDuper which will clone the active drive.

In any case, there is no need to put the old media back in the Mac, as if it is bootable, you can boot from it while it is connected as an external. This avoids the necessity of swapping drives twice.
You should already be able to clone a hard drive with disk utility.

   Disk Utility does have the ability to clone your hard drives just as well as any other software out there. All you will need to do is...

    1. Select your new volume (indented) and click on the "Restore" tab.
    2. Drag your old volume to the Source field.
    3. Drag your new hard drive to the Destination field.
    4. Click the check box for "Erasing Destination".
    5. Click restore at the bottom and it then will start copying over to your new hard drive.
rhwimmersAuthor Commented:
The drive is shot. Won't boot on old drive.  My daughter has a newer macbook of some sort if that helps.
David AndersTechnician Commented:
If both Macbooks have a firewire port and you have a cable, you can use Firewire Target Mode ('T' key down at startup) and use SuperDuper or Disk Utility to clone the working Macbook to the other.
rhwimmersAuthor Commented:
All I want is a blank os on the new ssd...how hard can this be!?
I thought about hooking up the old mac hdd to my pc and booting up knoppix or something for data recovery...what's the best way to do this? Drive is in freezer now as sometimes I can get some data off this way (last resort) friend just has 1 folder he wants to recover. .
David AndersTechnician Commented:
OSX came on DVD until 10.7 Lion, it now is downloaded from the Apple App Store.
Apple App Store appeared on 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.
You can buy a download of Lion and Mountain Lion at Apples site for $20.
You can download Yosemite for free on the other Macbook and install it on the Macbook connected with a Firewire Cable OR if you remove and connect the SSD to the other Macbook with an external case or adapter cable.

A Google of "install lion site:macworld.com" or "install yosemite site:macworld.com"
Will bring up articles with step by step instructions with pictures.
"create usb installer yosemite site:macworld.com"
@serialband - DU can clone a disk, but not the disk you are booted from. You need to be booted from a different volume. SuperDuper, or CarbonCopyCloner can clone the disk you are booted from. That is the difference.
Your MacBook would have come with system install DVDs. If you can find them, insert the first, boot while holding down the C key and follow the instructions.

Otherwise, take the SSD out of the MacBook and install it in an external case and connect it to your friend's MacBook.  Reboot the friend's MacBook while holding down command-r. Use Disk Utility (available from the Utilities menu) to reformat the SSD as Apple Extended Format (Journalled).  Make sure you are reformatting the SSD and not your friend's Mac's hard drive!  Then follow the instructions to install an OS on the SSD.
You can attach the SSD as an external drive to your daughter's newer mac and boot into recovery mode to install the OS.  If your old laptop and new laptop have the same firewire 400 or lightning interface, you can install the SSD into the older laptop boot it into target mode and connect either the lightning or firewire cables to attach the SSD as an external disk.

Then, on the new laptop, you can just boot into recovery mode, and install the OS from there onto the externally attached SSD.  Assuming the hardware isn't too different, you should have a working installation.

@strung - I always keep a 3rd disk/partition to boot from, even on Windows.  Technically, SuperDuper and CCC are booting from a 3rd partition to copy the disk.  Migration Assistant also does an unmount behind the scenes.  They can't copy in use system files otherwise.  They just do that for you to make it easier if you're less technically inclined and don't want to understand the underlying OS and the minor hassle of unmounting the disk to do the copy.  It's basically the same procedure as on a linux system.

Always have a backup somewhere.  IT people should always have spares.  I keep a separate, externally bootable disk with a duplicate install of the OS I can use to boot from if any internal disk ever dies.  Once in while, I'll boot from it and update the OS.  It doesn't have to have the latest OS, since it's an emergency spare.
@strung, You retirees sure have a lot of time to respond before the rest of us.  We don't get a chance to even type up a response before you guys jump in ahead of us.
rhwimmersAuthor Commented:
Would it work to put empty ssd in other macbook and do the ctrl r to boot and the install via wifi, then put this ssd back in the old laptop?
You need a working, bootable recovery partition or a bootable DVD/CD to boot from.  Does the newer laptop have an external DVD burner drive?  You can also get an inexpensive USB to SATA adapter cable and connect the SSD to the newer Mac.
rhwimmersAuthor Commented:
Thanks - hooked it up via usb to sata and booted up with ctrl r, downloaded and installed maverick I think it was, no problems at all, worked well.
What is my best bet for data recovery?  Any software on mac that can do a good job with retrieval?
Data Rescue 4 will do a good job of data recovery if the drive still spins:  https://www.prosofteng.com/datarescue4/

There is a free downloadable trial which will tell you what files are recoverable and allow you to recover one file to prove it works. After that you have to pay.
David AndersTechnician Commented:
"Drive is in freezer now as sometimes I can get some data off this way (last resort) friend just has 1 folder he wants to recover. . "
Ziplocked bags of frozen peas and styrofoam may help keep the temperature down while copying.
Any data recovery scan will most certainly take longer than the drive works while cold.
DataRescue and DiskWarrior have recovered the most data from OSX drives for me.
If the drive mounts, and does not copy files, running a Disk Repair with Disk Utility might help to get the small amount of data off the drive.
If you put it in the freezer, you'll have to let it "defrost" for a bit before you can use it.  Otherwise you'll have condensation on the internals, or worse, ice crystals that may cause a head crash.  Disk drives are not sealed completely air tight.  There are holes that allow for airflow and there's a filter for that air in the casing.  They usually also have dessicant packs inside.

The reason freezing works sometimes is that the head might be stuck onto the platter and freezing causes certain materials to shrink faster, allowing the head to unstick because it shrinks faster than the disc platter, pulling itself free.  Sure it works, but it may not last very long afterwards.

In the old days, there were drive heads that would stick on the platter when they were turned off and left in park position.  My fellow techs would pull the drives out and bang the edge of the disk units against the tables to unstick them to let them spin again.  It always unnerved the non-techs, even when we tell them what we're doing.  These days, the banging may not be sufficient to always unstick them and you have to opent them up and tug really hard on the arms to pull them free from the platters.

If you just want to keep it cooled down, then get a fan or portable AC unit and direct the cool air over the Disk drive.  Stick a heatsink on the metal plate site of the disk with heatsink compound and run a fan over it and you'll keep it cooler at a more consistent temperature than having it self thaw.  You could keep the drive in the freezer with a slightly longer USB to IDE cable, but it's not really as effective as a heatsink and fan combination.
rhwimmersAuthor Commented:
Hooked it up to the newly formatted mac with ssd and nothing ever popped up on the screen
Is this a spinning disk drive or is this a SSD?  If it's a disk drive, what sounds do you hear?  Is it spinng up?  Is it making a whine? Is it clicking?
If the old drive spins, but doesn't mount, the data is still likely recoverable with Data Rescue 4. Download the free trial and give it a try.

If the old drive doesn't spin, you will need professional data recovery which is expensive.

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