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

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Early 2011 13" MBP not turning on!

Hello all, my Early 2011 13" macbook pro is no longer turning on. what happens when i turn it on is that it sounds like its about to start then i hear 1 click from the hard drive and it shuts off completely. nothing happens on screen. the macbook can still charge and battery indicator works perfectly fine. this all happens within about 10 seconds. this makes me believe the hard drive is going out. what i get from this is that the hard drive is attempting to boot, but fails to do so and thats why i hear the click and it shuts down.

After messing with the power button, disconnecting the battery from the motherboard (not unscrewing it), plugging the charger in without the battery connected, and constantly resetting the smc, doing a combination of all of this seems to get it to eventually turn on. im not sure exactly what gets it back on, but i keep repeating these things until it does. i am actually posting from my mac being turned on which took about a half hour to get on. sometimes it takes longer.like i said, i believe this may be a hard drive issue as my mac is 6 years old now, but before i upgrade to a ssd i need to make sure the hd is the actual problem. i plan to go to a apple store and have it checked, but since its not local im trying to figure out the issue before going. i havent had time to go yet and dont know when i will be able to go.

so far i have done these test/resets method and have found no solution or issue to fix.

  • apple hardware test
  • smc reset
  • nvram reset
  • verify disk in the disk utility
  • s.m.a.r.t test with drivedx software
  • have tried turning it on with 1 ram stick out, swapping them, both ram sticks out, etc.

now besides the click i get from the hard drive, the s.m.a.r.t test makes me believe the hard drive has an issue. the smart status says ok, but has 1 issue found. the issue is with the load cycle count. the raw value is at 2,006,484 and the normal life is 300,000 to 600,000 according to the drivedx software.

i will note that my battery status says service battery, but it seems to work fine (just dies quicker then when it was new) so i dont think this is the issue.

has anyone experienced this and am i right about it being the hard drive? i cant find any other issue to fix besides the hard drive. if that is the issue anyways. Thanks in advanced for any responses!

Answer this question I have this problem too

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now i see the problem can also be that the hard drive cable has gone bad...


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Very interesting. If you have a SATA to USB adapter, attempting to boot it with your drive plugged in with that instead of internally could remove the hard drive cable as a suspect. If it boots normally the cable is the issue, if it has the same behavior the drive is at fault.

If you have another drive you can install OS X on I would recommend trying to boot it from there via both the SATA to USB adapter and internally, to see if it behaves differently in either.

The idea here is remove different factors and see which ones removal results in the computer behaving normally, therefore showing you which is the defective part!

(if you don't have a SATA to USB adapter you can order one from Amazon for just a couple dollars. Also if you have access to another functional Mac that uses a 2.5" drive, it should be possible to swap the drives around to see if the functional one will boot inside your broken computer, and vice versa)

Let us know how it goes or if you have any questions!

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thanks for responding! earlier i did analyze my hard drive with data rescue 3 which is a software apple tech's use or used according to this link below. it seems like my drive is failing according to the software. im still not 100% sure, but im hoping i have figured the problem out because that will save me a trip to apple and get me running back to normal faster

not sure if posting this link is allowed so sorry if not.

http://www.macworld.com/article/2030013/... ac-fixes.html

Now heres the results of the scan. looks like it may be failing...still not sure though



That is one confusing app. One that's a fair bit easier to read is Drive Dx (for Windows, use Crystal Disk Info). If it is failing, either of those will tell you "THIS DRIVE IS FAILING" in no uncertain terms


i have that as well. now it says its ok, but in one of the screen shots you can see the load cycle error




Drive Dx is usually pretty liberal with passing out failing grades, so it looks like it should be alright. Do you have access to another hard drive to test with? Drive testing utilities can only test the S.M.A.R.T data of a drive, which isn't necessarily definitive. If it boots with a different drive installed in the hard drive bay, that's your 100% true indicator that it's an issue with the drive (or the operating system installed on the drive). I can give you advice on how to work through it if you can tell me how many hard drives, external drives, USB drives, and other Macs (including what kind of Mac) you have access to


all i have access too is a few external hd's. i have two lacie rugged externals and a lacie quadra v3 drive external


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From the sounds of it you are facing two issues here the first is the battery. If you disconnect it and just use the MagSafe adapter the system should startup without any problems.

But that leads me to the next problem! Your drive is failing so the time it takes to startup takes longer or just can't start up at all (the click you noted). So if you had an external bootable drive with the internal disconnected the system should work just fine.

So you got a double whammy ;-{

  • Need new battery
  • Need new drive

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i see. thanks for responding. seems like that could be it. will be going to bring it in to an apple store or apple authorized service provider this week so we will see.


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mylesp510 will be eternally grateful.
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