MacBook Pro models with 13" displays

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Malfunctioning Flex cable of HDD


Its really great to see such a beautiful online community which will help us not only to repair our devices but also guide us properly.

I will like to ask one question to you guys.

I have MacBook Pro 13'' MD101H model.

I bought it 6 month back.

Now last week my laptop stop working i mean exact issue was when i reboot my machine after sometime it showed screen which contains a folder icon with question mark in center of screen.

As a normal user i called 24x7 online apple service center and they asked me there would be HDD issue and also asked me to carry my laptop to nearest service center. i did that and luckily at a same day i got call from service center and they asked me that they found that flex cable which is bridge between motherboard and HDD was malfunctioning.

My question is even though without any physical damage or liquor spread out how come this flex cable will cause a mal functioning automatically ?


Nirav Joshi

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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1 Answer

Chosen Solution

Apple had a bad run of HD SATA cables. We're not sure why they died (Apple doesn't disclose what they discovered). We can speculate from experience what was the likely cause.

The Tech sector had to alter the formulation of the solder they were using to one that has very little Lead.

I suspect a production run of this low Lead solder was not correctly formulated so it don't hold up well over time and when it failed it become non-conductive (crystalized). We've seen other applications of were we suspect the solder failed as we often just reheat (removing the old solder and using fresh solder) on the components the device will come alive again! Sadly, not everything can be resoldered like here with the SATA cable.

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Thanks Dan.

That sounds like a logical probable reason.

One more question on it.

As you speculate it could be due to bad solder during production so will it possible that in case while travelling or roaming, if macbook will get a jerk then too this solder will get impact ?


It is designed to flex, working in conjunction with the shock absorbing bushings used to mount the drive. This movement is very slight and only when you bang the system to the point shock absorption takes place. I don't see that as the possible cause. Solder crystalizes due to a few issues: Incorrect prepping, too little or too much heat in the soldering process, Age, Heat and lastly poor quality solder. Here's one of my sources of info: Kester Their one of the largest suppliers of Solder worldwide.


If you over bend the cable you can also damage it. Don’t over crease the bends you really want nice arcs. We also find the need to place a strip of electricians tape on the uppercase where the cable crosses over as the rough aluminum tends to wear it.

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