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Early 2011 model, A1278 / 2.3 GHz i5 or 2.7 GHz i7 processor.

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Is my hard drive cable broken?

Hi guys!

I hope you can help. I upgraded my macbook pro (mbp) with a 128 Crucial M4 SSD. So I moved the stock-320gb HDD into the optibay.

This combination worked very well for a few months, but then the mbp just was not able to find the SSD anymore (like from one day to the other). The SSD is working perfectly (I tried it in another PC) and also the stock HDD can't be found when I put it in the original harddrive place.

All the cables are plugged in correctly. Also the sleep LED and the IR-sensor are working just as they should.

So to sum up:

Only the hdd/ssd in the optibay is recognized by the mbp.

So what could be the problem? My only explanation would be that the S-ATA cable is broken, but I am not sure. And as they are pretty expensive, I better ask here.

Please excuse my English, it is not my first language.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Hopefully, Thanks god!

A few days ago, suddenly my mac show me the question mark on the screen and HD dissapear.

After 5 days trying to boot from any hard drive(old one,new one, ssd one) i found this post .

Now i can think on buying the cable, because i read that somepeople had this problem. Can anybody who fixed it if after that all was ok?? I live in Berlin, maybe i can find this cable over here? is difficult to find or is a simple one??

Thanks everybody who share his knowledge for helping others



Hi Mario, I recommend you start looking for the SATA cable. Carefully review your MBP model, and pay attention to the processor (CoreDuo or i5, i7 etc etc) to buy the appropriate cable. You know that no wires SATAI, SATAII and SATAIII, are of different speeds, and regulate the speed of your SSD or HDD. I was informed that in 2011 the first time that Apple used SATAIII cable (speed 6Gb / s). The cable is easy to find, I compared several prices, and have bought at iFixit was not very different from buying in other stores in my country, Mexico. I myself run cable, mu is easy. It worked for me. I wish you luck!


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3 Answers

Chosen Solution

Could be the cable but you may have also burned out the controller on the logic board. Try a new cable first.

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Hi! thanks for the answer.

I do not think, that the controller is damaged, because it is shown in the system profiler.

Only problem: One of the controllers shows the HDD perfectly, the other controller says, that no Drive is connected, but that is not true (my SSD should be shown)



I have seen so many of these fail that I now stock two each of the 13" & 15" cables. (the connectors to logic board are different).


I have gone through 3 of these cables over the course of 2 of these units. The cables go bad frequently, it and is easy to install. Good luck


buy a caddy! thats the permanent solution. Generic Apple Macbook Pro Unibody 2nd Hdd Ssd Sata Hard Drive Caddy Optibay Superdrive


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If English is not your native language then what is? Spanish meaby?

I speak spanish! Anyway!

Tengo el mismo problema que tú, sin embargo a mí me pasa que le instalé un nuevo SSD ya que dejó de reconocerme el HDD (que hace medio año me lo cambiaron dentro de la garantía,por lo que llevo 2 HDD hasta la cuenta);y bueno, le instalé el SSD de OWC 120G y nada,no lo reconoce mi macbook pro early 2011,i5.

Yo pienso que debe ser lo mismo que pasa en tu caso.Dicen en los blogs que las early 2011 tienen ese defecto en los cables SATA,ya que fueron los primeros en incorporar SATA3...Ni modo.


sorry, i have the same problem in my MBP PRO EARLY 2011.

A week ago my macbook stopped recognizing my HDD, and then bought a 120gb OWC SSD. When installing the new SSD could not recognize, and the SSD was new and made ​​especially for mac.

I just bought the SATA cable, I arrive in a few days and I can tell you if my problem was solved.

Many people say the problem is the cable and have it replaced by another and so have solved your problem. IF you have a macbook pro 13'' early, i5, model A1278, you should read this.

This is the same macbook that I have.

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Nope, my native language is German.

Thanks anyway^^

eerm.. I tried to translate your post with google translate, but that did not work so well I think.

So you said, that it is the cable, right?


SORRy mate, this is the correct information:

you can reade: "The problem can occur on any model, 13, 15 or 17".

The 13" Macbook Pro has most often the problem, almost systematically."

Do you have an macbook pro 13''?

Tell how to resolve you problem!


yep, it is the 13", 2011, i5, A1278 model.

It would be very nice if you could leave a comment, when your cable arrives and if it works or not.



Clearly you tell if my problem was solved. I was reading a blog of Argentina that someone else had a similar problem at the beginning of 2012, only hers was a macbook pro 15'' 2011. He solved his problem by getting a SATA cable bought at iFixit. That's why I think it will solve my problem with the new cable. The only problem is that costs are very high: 50 U.S. DLS, plus shipping and international shipping, and more taxes. I bought in my country, Mexico, at a price of 50 DLS, plus shipping.

When I got the cable and install it thee.

We have the same macbook, exactly the same. Still have apple warranty?

Tried your hard drive into another macbook?

Most likely it's the cable. I'm just like you, waiting.


this afternoon, a few hours ago I got my cable SATA for MacBook Pro with i5 processor, anyway. I installed it and finally was able to recognize my new SSD, and even recognized my previous HDD which was not damaged but the cable did not work. I can tell, the cable is the problem. It has gone through many macbook pro early 2011; your macbook is the same model as mine, maybe my solution is your solution!

Good luck, and tell me!

Greetings from Veracruz, Mexico.


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After almost twice a months of buying HDD cable replacement in Ebay, I finally found a permanent solution for this problem.

One time I suddenly tried to look for this hdd cable replacement in Lazada, since eBay is already getting costly, I found this Generic Apple Macbook Pro Unibody 2nd Hdd Ssd Sata Hard Drive Caddy Optibay Superdrive

It's a caddy, additional drive for MacBook pro using DVD Rom drive of your mac. What a bright Idea, I never use my DVD drive so what the heck, I bought it and now Its permanent. I am using this caddy and install my SSD drive into it and remove my DVD Drive. DONE!!! FIXED!!! Hope this helps...

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chrushingblow123 will be eternally grateful.
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