Released June 2012, Model A1278. Intel processor with Turbo Boost, Up to 512 MB DDR5 Video RAM

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MacBook Can't Recognize Hard Drives.

My macbook started displaying the folder with the question mark. I tried replacing the hard drive, then the hard drive cable, and neither worked, although it works fine with the old hard drive in an enclosure. What else could be the problem?

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Given the fact your system is working using an external drive we know the problem is focused around the internal drives logic and the physical pathway.

Did your system get wet? Do you see any corrosion on the logic board around the HD ribbon connector?

Often when you get to this point either the ribbon cable connector is damaged its self on the logic board or the logic board has some liquid damage around the connector.

Use a soft toothbrush with some Isopropyl alcohol and carefully clean the solder connections of the connector. Don't flood the area to much as you don't want to get everything wet. Then using a cotton swab (Q-Tip) wipe up the alcohol and give it a try again.

Did yo damage the ribbon cable or the connector? You may need to get another cable if the connector is damaged then thats something someone with SMT soldering skills will need to deal with as thats not simple to fix without the special tools and skills.

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Hi Dan, thanks for your reply. My system had some oily food dumped on the keyboard about a year ago. It hasn't gotten wet recently. The connector didn't look damaged or corroded. I tried cleaning it with isopropyl, but it didn't help. I've already tried replacing the cable, but I just noticed that I made a mistake: the new cable I bought was incorrect; it's the one from the 2009 13" MBP (part 821-0814-A, instead of 821-1480-A, for the mid 2012). I suppose that wouldn't be compatible?


No, the cables are not compatible. If the right cable still does not make a difference, you will have to check the power circuitry for the SATA drive.


Opps! ;-} As OT stated you'll need to swap them out. Let us know what happens after you put the correct cable in.


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