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Why do I have a grey screen with a blinking folder?

I understand that there are similar questions.

Recently I replaced my apple hard drive with a WD Black 500 Gb 7200 RPM hard drive when the apple one crashed. It has worked fine for the past three months until two days ago when I tried to boot up my computer and it went to a grey screen with a flashing folder/question mark and would not boot up past that. However, when I opened the computer and unplugged/replugged the hard drive cable back in, the computer began to run perfectly again. It ran for about 15 minutes and then froze. I was able to move the cursor (color wheel) around but the programs would not open or close. Next time I would boot the computer up, it would go to the folder with a question in the middle. This cycle has been occurring for two days now. I believe it is not the hard drive, but the cable connecting it to the motherboard. Any suggestions?

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1 Answer

Chosen Solution

I have had a very similar issue before and yes it normally is the Sata HDD cable, for no reason these cable can just stop working and the only solution is to replace them.

Follow this guide and replace the cable with a new one and lets go from there. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010 Hard Drive/IR Sensor Cable Replacement

As all other routes require items which cost a lot more and take a while, e.g. Another HDD or trying Flash drive with OSX installer (This has diag tools on board which can tell you if the HDD is okay).

These cables are cheap and readily available on ebay.

Let me know how you get on.


Brendan Mills

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