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

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Internal hard drive disk not recognized

Hi there,

My internal hard drive disk has stopped working on my Macbook.

The hard drive is not recognized at boot up, so I get the famous question mark. I tried to connect another hard disk and got the same error message. So I guess the problem comes from the logic board?

When I try to access it from the external bootable drive using Disk Utility I can't see it either.

The disk I'm using is good, and it works when connected with USB (this is what I'm running now). But of course I would prefer to put it inside and connect it with SATA.

Now, I'm wondering what I should do. A new logical board is expensive, and it would be too bad to change it completely, because everything else is working perfectly. So, I'd like to get some advice, maybe for how to check the connectors, change the disk controller or add a new one, or whatever can help to get a more practical solution.

Thank you for your help.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Obviously, if it works with USB , your LOGIC Board is OK

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probably the flex cable

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more than likely its a flex cable that connects your drive to your board

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I have the same exact issue on. A 2014 macbook pro, changed the flex cable still the same results

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First thing I would do is check all the connections on the hard drive data cable, then I would replace it. Here's the cable: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2009/Mid 2010) Hard Drive Cable

Here's the installation instructions: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009 Hard Drive Cable Replacement

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2009/Mid 2010) Hard Drive Cable Image

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good answer +

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Thank you for your help. I tried to look at the cable, unplugged it, then plugged it again, but nothing changed. I'm wondering how I could find precisely where the problem comes from. I'm affraid it comes from the logic board, since I don't understand how a cable could suddently stop working. And also because the hard drive is still power on, I'm hearing it.

So, is there a way to be sure it is the cable, or should I try to change it anyway?

by

Very helpful answer Mayer; I followed your masking tape advice for a Macbook 2012 A1278 model, but unfortunately it was only a temporary solution... the drive disappeared again after 2 hours of usage. I now ordered the 2012 cable ( MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable ) and hope this resolves the issue.

Thanks again.

by

The new cable DID help. Thanks mayer.

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Since this original answer in 2010 I have changed the replacement cable to the 2012 model one as it is more substantial.

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Hello everyone

the problem is in fact the SATA connector at the tip of the cable. It only makes good contact with some HDDs. the fix! is simple.

put 2 lines of masking tape on top of the DATA side of the HDD connector, then plug in the ribbon cable and turn on the machine. you will get the apple sign if the HDD has OS on it if its empty boot from cd and check on disk utillity.

putting the tape:

instruments: masking tape(blue or white), a small flat screw driver, and scissors.

put a piece of tape on top of the DATA side or if you want it could go accross the DATA AND POWER, NOTE, ON TOP OF THE PLASTIC AREA, DO NOT PUT TAPE ON THE PINS SIDE, I REPEAT DO NOT PUT THE TAPE ON WHERE THE PINS MAKE CONTACT. THE TAPE GOES ON THE UPPER SIDE THAT IS ONLY PLASTIC. cut tape very close to the edge. make the division between DATA AND POWER on the tape and plug into ribbon cable.

ENJOY.

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This worked for me. It is a good solution if you don't want to change the cable!

Thanks

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Hello, same problem, MBP would not recognize the HD. I tried above advice, but unfortunately I did not work for me. So, I ordered a new cable.

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Amazing! Totally works! MB PRO 2012...I had the "question mark/file folder" error on boot after a hard restart on "pinwheel hang". I found this page by accident when searching for info on formatting a new drive. This was after many hours of frustration and a trip to the Genius bar where the drive failed their diagnostics. It just made no sense to me that it would be a failed hard drive so I pulled the drive, cabled it to a PC, retrieved my data (telling me the drive was good). On a lark I popped an old drive into the MB PRO and it did not show up in disk utility when trying to restore the OS. No way...TWO bad drives? I tried this and am back in business! I will order a new cable just in case...but this enabled me to get a CURRENT time machine back up. My hat is off to you...thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!

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This worked great! I may not have read this good enough but found out. Put masking tape ON THE INSIDE OF THE CONNECTOR. The opposite side of the pins. This puts pressure on the pins to the hard drive. I also sprayed some connector sprayto make sure there was no problem with erosion on the pins or hard drive.

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Can you clarify what you mean by "put 2 lines of masking tape on top of the DATA side of the HDD connector"? I need you to be more specific if possible.

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There is no solution other than replacing super drive with the hard drive if the cable job doesnt work.

I bought a super drive to HDD converter caddy from ebay and now its working like a charm.. Only downside: No CD/DVD .. But who cares these days??

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Jon,

The tape goes on the hard plastic connector (that connects to the drive) at the end of the cable. You want the tape to reduce the inner space so that it forces the metal pins to make better contact, being careful not to place the tape over the metal pins themselves else you'll have no connection. I basically inserted the end of the tape strip into the thin slot of the connector, than wrapped around a couple of mm onto the outside of the connector.

**BUT** while the trick allowed me to finally see the drive from Disk Utility, I never got it beyond that. In the end I purchased a replacement for the cable and the problem was solved.

B

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This is happing all over the place, at least to the 500GB hard drives.

Same thing here, I can't see the drive in the utility tray, i put it in my other older (2008) macbook 15 it worked and I formated it in 1 minute. when I put it back in the macbook 13 (2009) it didn't work.

Frustrating to say the least, way to screw things Apple ;)

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Please start a new question. Your problem and/or solution may be different. Thanks

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Hello people!

Effectively, it was the cable. After trying everything I could, even buying a new HD, I founded this article and went to the Apple distributor here in Barcelona looking for the cable.

This time luck was on my side and yes I got the cable. Now Im back in track!

Thanks for the posts!

Umberto

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I tried Jose's trick. It was good enough to show the drive from Disk Utility (starting from the install DVD). Which is better than before when it was not even showing the drive. But that's about it, I couldn't get to boot up.

I then ordered the SATA cable (as described above in this thread) installed it, and voila, the MacBook Pro is up and running again.

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i had the same problem tried everything. MAKE SURE THE HARDDRIVE CABLE CLIPS IN!!!! on the video i watched to replace it, it showed the cable just sat not clipped. i got a new cable and clipped it in as my old one was not clipped in. its bloody works!!!!1 ohhh raaaaa

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Hi tried the tape job, which didnt help.. then ordered the cable, which also didnt help. The HDD is not spinning at all. I thought its the cable again, which led me to order another cable. IT didnt work either. I belive there is some problem with the logic board.. Any lights??

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johnsonkoikal same to me.

I tried another cable, put it in, it worked just for one single time, I've seen the system previously installed. After the first reboot, no more connection.

It's the third cable.

It is possible that the logic board crushes every cable I put it in?

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I believe this problem is caused by dead capacitors in the power circuit. It explains all syptoms. I tried two replacement cables and it did work on low mAh hard drive i used for tests in computer service nearby. When i came home and tried my own wd black, it did not even started. I think it could be fixed by capacitor replacement but thats really tricky thing to do as there is no schematics availible.

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I had the same problem. Drive would not boot up correctly, i could reformat and reinstall snow leopard but when i would try to reboot, nothing. I bought a new hard drive and it didn't work either. After taking everything to the Apple Store, they said that lots of the macbook pros from 2009, the hard drive cable/ribbon were just going bad and they replaced the cable for free.

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Different thing are happening to different people here.

I wanted to replace the 500GB SATA hard drive in my MacBook Pro with a 750GB disk. I hooked the 750GB up to the MacBook through an external USB - SATA interface. Formatted the 750GB disk, did a clean install of Mavericks and moved a bunch of my stuff across from the 500GB.

Could happily boot up the new system on the 750GB disk while attached to the USB - SATA interface.

Time came to swap the disks over - ie put the 750 inside the MacBook and take the 500GB out. No joy - would not boot - got the flashing Folder with question mark. Read all the stuff in here about new cables etc . Got a new cable - same problem.

Turned out to be formatting of the disk. Showed up as having one small partition when installed internally - doesn't seem to cause any problems when connected externally. Have reformatted the disk as MacOS extended journaled, 1 partition - disk now recognised. Cost me £20 for the cable and a lot of wasted time reinstalling the system all over again etc etc. But heh ho - stuff happens.

Anyone want a brand new cable......?!

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Yes please, I'm having this problem... I was wondering if the cable would really help!

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It does help. At least it fixes the problem when the HDD suddenly 'disappears' thus failing to boot. Forget software solutions, this is a hardware problem and the new cable fixes it.

20 years of building and repairing PCs I never had this happening or heard of it that a SATA cable is 'going bad'. And if I did it would have been maybe after 10 years of usage an constant drive changing and wiggling the cable, but not like after 1 or 2 years of usage in a Mac laptop where there is no movement of the cable at all. Go figure.

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Robin, where did you get the cable from ?

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Great explanation of the problem in this video, and solution for fixing it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Amg5w0rl...

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hi,

this wonder like a charm. Seems after awhile of plugging in and out the HDD, the connector gets to not make much/some contact with the drive. and yes the tape goes TO THE UPPER PLASTIC SIDE (Just slide the tape in secure it in place with a flat screwdriver) and bam. HDD back on. This issue has been a headache for me ( Do repairs for a living) and bought a cables for the same mac but didn't have any results till i id this as explained above. highly appreciated. saved me a client.

Keep repairing!:)

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hi, i want to replace my hdd internal by a sshd as internal drive but my mac book pro mid 2010

doesn't show the sshd when i try to load the os but it see the hdd .

please help me.

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Do you see it in Disk Utility? Maybe you can format it there? What model is the drive. I have yet to experience a SSD that is not recognized in a 2010 MBP. Could of course be a defective SSD.

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This is what worked for me i first reset the SMC by unplugging the macbook from the power adapter and i held down Shift/CTRL/OPTION/ AND THE POWER BUTTON DOWN for 10 seconds simultaneously, then let them go at the same time. (Nothing visual will happen) Then I plugged in the power cable and reset the PRAM by pressing the power button and immediately after pressing the power button hold down the command/option/ p/r keys untill you hear the second chime and let go. Worked for me!!!!!!!!!!!

I am back in the RACE

Update (05/24/2017)

Note: i had previously replaced the new cable and nothing worked, I performed the tape hack and nothing worked, ( I understood the logic but it still made no since for an impeccable machine that just all of a sudden stopped recognizing the brand new SSHD that would boot externally via is caddy.....you know?)

The last thing I had done was connected my macbook to my big screen tv via mini display port to display port/hdmi/dvi adapter by gigaware. Maybe that messed up my settings or something.

But I am fine now hope this helps someone...

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clems will be eternally grateful.
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