Early 2011 model, A1278 / 2.3 GHz i5 or 2.7 GHz i7 processor.

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Harddrive problem. Cannot allocate memory.

My laptop broke down this week and after googling for days I still haven't been able to fix it so I thought I'd ask if anyone here can help. I attached pictures of the problem (I'm on my iPhone right now) but I'll give some background info.





It's an early 2011 13-inch MacBook Pro with a core i7 processor and 4gb of ram.

Anyway, so my laptop hadn't been working well. I think something was up with the ram, because it would turn off and give me a beep every five seconds but most of the time I was able to fix it by either restarting in reboot mode or taking out the ram and putting it back in (Can't buy a new one just yet). I think this ended up affecting the harddrive somehow and when I tried to turn it on it gave me an error message that wasn't just related to the ram this time around.

I needed to write an essay so I decided I'd just use the OS DVD and wipe the drive, which I did. And it started working again although pretty slowly. at one point it froze though and just stopped working all over again but this time around I can't even run the DVD anymore, or install a new OS via the Internet because I get an error message; when I try to install the OS with the DVD it just says it can't do it and via the Internet it doesn't find the hard drive so I can't even begin the installation (I'm guessing it's cuz it's unformatted?)

In terms of the general problem, the error message I kept getting first when using disk utility, said there was a problem with the partitions map and after that it changed to the system not being able to unmount the drive. I couldn't even force it to unmount through disk utility, but eventually I made it happen and unfortunately now I have this new problem. I can't erase the drive (to try and format it through disk utility) or create a new partition, nor can I install an OS.

Obviously I know I'm gonna have to invest in some hardware but I just wanna know if there's any way to salvage this harddrive (I bought it last year) and get this laptop going cuz I really need it for college . Thanks!

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Your HD specs: ST500LM012


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2 Answers

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There was a very high failure rate with the hard drive/IR cable in these machines. If left unfixed it would also destroy the hard drive about 50% of the time.

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Hard Drive Cable Replacement

I replace withe more substantial 2012 13" cable: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable

If after replacing the cable you have any problems with the hard drive, I suggest either the 500 or 1 TB Seagate SSHD as a replacement.

1 TB SSD Hybrid 2.5" Hard Drive

1 TB SSD Hybrid 2.5" Hard Drive Image


1 TB SSD Hybrid 2.5" Hard Drive


MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable Image


MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable


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At this point I think you need to breakdown the problems you have here into smaller issues. With that in mind lets first deal with the drive. Do you have access to a friend that has a Mac? If you do I would take your HD out and put it into a SATA to USB adapter like this one: Startech 2.5" SATA to USB adapter.

You could also try connecting your Mac to his via a FireWire or Thunderbolt cable and put your system in Target Mode. But this doesn't isolate out the systems SATA cable which is known to be fragile and create odd issues.

What you want to do here is delete all of the partitions and reformat the drive with a single partition. Then using your friends Mac install the OS from the OS installer you down load from the Apple Store. Once done you should be able to just slide the drive into your system and then restart it. Does the system boot up correctly now?

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Cami Rossel will be eternally grateful.
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