Mid 2009 Model A1278 / 2.26 or 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo processor EMC 2326

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HDD boot and formatting failure

Hello folks.

My Macbook does not boot, recovery partition does not boot either.

I have a Mavericks USB I made. When I try to format my drive in an attempt to do a clean install to see if it is a software failure, Disk Utility either gives a "couldn't format, backup data" error or halfway formatting, drive disappears from list.

"Quick test" of Apple Hardware Test gives out a "4SNS/40000000:Th1H-82.625" error code, though "extended test" does not report any errors. Code relates to a sensor error, but I'm not sure.

What it it? What can I do further?

Thanks in advance.

MacBook Pro 5.5

C2D 2.56 Ghz - 4 GB RAM - 250 GB HDD

OSX mavericks 10.9

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Sorry thats a good sign the drive is in trouble here.

Heres a good writeup on the AHT error codes CNET - How to invoke and interpret the Apple hardware tests.

Looking at yours: 4SNS/40000000:Th1H-82.625

  • 4SNS System sensor
  • T- for temperature
  • h - Heat pipe (heat sink)
  • H - Hard disk

What its telling us is your HD is overheating and the system is encountering issues with heat as it can't get rid of it.

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OK, here's what you'll need to do as you have two issues:

First - You'll need to replace the HD. I would recommend putting in one of the newer hybrid drives (SSHD). Seagate makes a good one. You do need to be careful here as the SATA I/O speed is only SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) so make sure whatever drive you put in can be adjusted to SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) or SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) speeds. Review this IFIXIT Guide MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009 Hard Drive Replacement

Second - While you have the system open check to see if you have any dust build-up around the fan and the heat sink heat exchanger fins. If you do using a small paint brush carefully scrub the logic board, fan & heat sink fin surfaces then using some can'ed air carefully blow out the loose dust.

After you re-assemble things run AHT again to see if the heat pipe error happens again if it does you'll need to remove the heat sink and clean up & replace the thermal paste. Hopefully the exchanging of the drive and the cleaning will be enough here. If not follow this IFIXIT Guide MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009 Heat Sink Replacement

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Now, these are some detailed instructions. I'll give it a shot and report back soon.

If successful, I'll try to connect my old drive externally to check it's health. Do I need any specific knowledge about using an adapter/casing to connect my internal drive externally, or will any SATA compatible adapter/case will do?

Thanks.

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your current drive will work in any 2.5" SATA USB or FirWire case (or SATA to USB adapter cable - cheaper option here). The only rub is I doubt the drive will be usable (you might be able to get some files off if you don't have a backup). Don't forget you'll need to create a boot-up flash drive with the OS installer (Lion or newer) or have the recovery CD/DVD the system came with to re-install the OS onto your new HD. Good Luck!

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