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

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New SSD not detected

I bought a Samsung SSD 840EVO drive to upgrade, but the laptop doesn't detect the drive. I tried a second drive that I bought for my second laptop thinking it may have been a faulty drive but this drive also doesn't show up.

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What was the second drive? Were you having any problems with the original drive?

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A new internal drive normally ships unformatted. Unless the operating system on the old boot drive posts a dialog box offering to format the unrecognized drive, the computer doesn't "detect" anything because there isn't anything the operating system can speak to yet.

Of course, if the way you installed this SSD was to remove the previous internal HD and install the SSD in its place, without formatting the new SSD and installing a bootable operating system first, then there's no operating system or formatting utility at all.

What steps have you already taken? If you can give us a detailed list of the things you've already done, in order, it will be easier to determine where the problem is.

A common technique to replace an internal boot HD with an SSD would be to:

  1. attach the SSD as an external drive first through USB/FireWire/ Thunderbolt
  2. use Disk Utility to format the SSD
  3. clone the operating system+user data from the internal HD to the external SSD using Disk Utility, SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner (you can also do a clean operating system install by downloading an installer from the App Store and installing it on the new drive)
  4. then open up the computer and swap the drives

That way, once you restart the reassembled computer, you can at least be sure that there's a drive with a bootable operating system available. If you're following the technique I've outlined, it's wise to try booting from the new external SSD before installing it internally, just to make sure the computer recognizes the drive as bootable.

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Thanks, this makes sense but I do not have a casing to use to attach the drive to my computer.

However I do have 2 computers so I'm wondering if I can format it by connecting the computer with the unformatted drive to the other computer through Firewire? I seem to remember that to do this you hold down T when turning on ?

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That's correct. You start the computer-as-external hard drive while holding down the T key as you power up. If it works, you should see a FireWire icon bopping around on the target machine's display. I assume the same technique works with Thunderbolt, but I've never had the opportunity to try it. I've also never tried to mount a computer with an unformatted drive as a target drive, but I don't see why this shouldn't work. I hope you'll report back and let us know if this works...In future, an external SATA-FW or SATA-USB interface is a handy thing to have around.

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it worked with Firewire ! Thanks so much. Only I have another problem... that is very wierd. I restored from a Timeline backup and it doesn't accept my password to login that I have been using for the past 10 years! I have racked my brain and can't work out how it could have changed. Has this happened to anyone else?

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If my SSD cannot be recognized how will any computer find it either with a USB or firewire....I does not show up in utilities at all.

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If a new, unformatted SSD isn't recognized at all, then either the drive has failed or it isn't installed correctly. If the drive is dead, yell at the manufacturer/retailer for a replacement. If it's a connection problem, try: Disconnecting/reconnecting the SSD, swapping out the SATA and power cables, try a different USB/FireWire/Thunderbolt cable, try a different external housing (or try an external housing for an internal mounted drive). If the drive is unformatted, it won't appear in the finder; you have to format it before there's anything visible. If drive appears in Disk Utility or another formatting tool, it will show up only as the drive mechanism - the finder volume will only appear after you've formatted it using the partition tool. Oh, and handling aftermarket SSDs is often kind of twitchy if you aren't booting from Mavericks/10.9 at a minimum.

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I have a similar problem trying to install a Samsung EVO 850 SSD in my Macbook Pro early 2011. The guys at the apple store told me to install the new drive, hold down cmd R to go into recovery mode, then install a new OS on the drive. However when I got to that point it didnt't recognize the SSD. So I used disk utility to erase the SSD, then it recognized the drive & it let me download Mountain Lion from the internet which seemed to go well. Then I tried to restore from Time Machine which also went well. However, when it was done it wouldn't recognize my password. I tried restarting & now it get the Apple symbol & the spinning wheel. I also have an iMac. Should I try formatting the SSD as an external drive as described above? Thanks for your help!

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How about connecting your two systems in Target Mode, here's a TN on how: OS X El Capitan: Transfer files between two computers using target disk mode don't worry about the OS version this feature has been in the systems for a longtime.

Run Disk Utility to check your drive. You may need to replace the drives SATA cable if the drive has errors.

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I got a brand new samsung for my MB Pro. I can actually format it in Linux, but not in MacOS. I‘ve read on the Net that getting a new SATA cabke might help (There’s presently a sale on them…).

What do you think?

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My drive shows up om disk tools, but I cannot format or partition it. I get perhaps halfways in the process, and then it's full stop. Disk tools says no-no, and it's back to square one.

I also tried the firewire "trick", only with the same resultat.

I have ordered a new sata-cable. Will let you know how things unfold then. :)

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Make sure you have UEFI on in the bios if its not already.

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There is no BIOS on Macs - at least not one you can modify.

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