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Problems with HD in MacBook A1278

I've have benefited so many times using this website.

My question today is what is the actual HD Apple originally used in their MacBook A1278 models?

It won't start anymore I took it to the Apple Store said need new HD from them. I bought a brand new Toshiba SSD but still no luck.

It chimes at start then the grey screen no apple logo none of any command worked. I tried all of the apple keyboard command nothing takes that white screen to different one.

I was restoring it from my backup went to sleep while processing I woke it up and observed it for half an hour to see if the restoring process was still in progress but it wasn't doing anything. So I restarted by powering it off since ever it comes back to grey screen and Everytime I put the DVD in the drive it grinds and then does nothing.

Any help from you guys will be a great asset.


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Can you give us the last four digits of your serial number so we can better identify which system you have.


Last four digit of this macbook is D1AX.


You may want to consider going with a SSHD unit Vs a SSD. Seagate make a nice one and we have had great success with them. Here's a link to the drive: Seagate laptop SSHD's and heres the Spec sheet: Seagate 2'5" SSHD specs. Note the SATA speed is auto sensing.


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This issue at hand is the SATA ports I/O speed. Many HD's & SSD's have a SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) speed but your systems SATA Port I/O speed is limited to SATA II (3.0 Gb/s). Unless the drive is able to auto set to the slower I/O speed you will have issues.

I would recommend the following:

From a second Mac system prep up a external drive as a bootable disk. This could be a USB thumb drive or a external HD (if you can, try getting a FireWire drive as its much faster). Also copy over to it the OS installer from the App Store, and lastly, review this Apple TN: EFI and SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Macs. Once you get your system booting verify you have the latest firmware if not update it.

Now with it reboot your system holding down the Option key (review this Apple TN: Startup key combinations for Intel-based Macs, selecting your external disk see if you can run Disk Utility Does the drive show up? If it does see if you can repair it.

The SSD you got may not be compatible here. Stick with the HD that was in the system for now.

If you were not able to get the system to boot up under the external HD you may have other problems.

As to the HD Apple used in your system Apple has used different vendors over the years and in some cases the size of the drive could be from a different vendor so it would be difficult to tell you what your system had.

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Hi Dan! Thanks for taking the time to explain me all. The current SSD was working when my uncle donated it to me couple of days ago. He deleted some of his business files so I wanted to just reinstall the whole new OSX. It had a Samsung EVO 840 250GB, not sure if it was the original one or was replaced.



So you want me to prepare a USB bootable thumb drive that has a yosemite OSX in it and boot from there hold down the option key while the system start to do a disk utility repair disk and see if it works. If it does then repair it partition it and try to install the OSX on it? If yes then thanks for the explanation I sure will do that and will post an updated results. I took it to the Apple Store the guy there was so rude and disappointing he said you need to put OUR HD in it go back to the the person who put this one in it. So I'm assuming that macbook probably cr with traditional 2.5" HD, not the Samsung SSD that it currently has. Maybe it had that issue you mentioned and only worked for little while and maybe if I get it to work it will go bad again.

Thanks I'll try and update.


Hi Dan,

One more thing I have another macbook that cannot be upgraded to more than OS X Lion, can I still make a maverick or yosemite bootable usb from that macbook? Or I have an imac that only can be booted in safe mode can I make a Mavericks OS X installer usb on thumb drive in safe mode?



Stick with a Lion (or Snow Leopard) bootable drive for now. That way you'll have a tool for either one. As you have a second Mac at hand do you have a FireWire cable which you can connect the two systems together? If you do you could startup your broken Mac in Target mode and run Disk utilities on it that way from the working Mac. Saving you the effort in making the boot disk for now.


How sad to know that this particular model actually do not have a firewire port it instead has a Mini DisplayPort and i do not have any wire that is Firewire 800 to Mini DisplayPort.. So right now i am trying to make 10.7 OSX Lion USB bootable and try to boot from it. I shall let you know..



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