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

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Trouble booting from USB?

I have two MBP's that I am have difficulty installing OS X on. I replaced the HDD's and went to install OS sierra on both machines. I got them to boot from the flash drives (start-option) and they both are just stuck at the apple load screen, both in the exact same location as well, with no progress. I tried resetting SCM, PRAM, I've swapped out the RAM, even tried different HDD's. I am at a loss. I know the bootable flash drives work because I just installed OS X on a few iMacs. My next step is to just clone the drives from a working computer, but I want to know what is going on. I have also tried El Cap bottle flash drives with no luck. Thanks.

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Upate: So I remade my flash drive, no luck ( I didn't think this was he issue as Ive installed off these things countless times on all sorts of machines). I replaced the HDD cable, no luck. I pulled the HDD out of a working machine, and it wouldn't boot from that. Simply out of curiosity I booted from Ubuntu and it booted.... Worked just fine. This MacBook Pro wants nothing to do with mac os.... Because Ubuntu worked via usb I figured I'd trying to boot the HDD from the working machine via USB (HDD in external enclosure. Does not seem to be working. This computer is on its way to being a linux machine... LOL

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From right now, do NOT clone the drives. That used to be fine but no longer. If you clone you do not get the repair partition set up. Much better is after you have installed the system( I know we haven't addressed that yet), use Migration Assistant to move your data. Your drive with then be set up correctly.

Hard drive failure on this machine is usually caused by a defective hard drive/IR cable. Replacing the cable with the one from the 2012 machine will give you a much wider data path that the newer drives like

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

The hard drive retainer bracket may need to be modified on some models.

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

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I thought this may have been the issue as well, and will try to replace, but i feel as if it should still boot from the usb and then give me trouble when I actually try to instal the OS onto the HDD if it were in fact a faulty HDD cable.

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Maybe I misunderstood. I thought they were booting from the USB sticks but hanging on the install.

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Sorry for miscommunication. They are stuck just trying to boot into the installer.

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I still don't understand. Will the machine boot from the stick? Never mind the installer.

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No It will not boot from the flash drive, I plug in the flash drive which has the OS Installer. I start the machine, choose to boot from the flash drive by pressing option. (It would force boot to USB anyway since I have wiped HDD's in the computer, but I do it anyway). When I click on my bootable flash drive it begins to load into the installer, which is where I need to go to install the OS, but it gets stuck at the apple progress bar. I am not able to get to the install menu where it gives you the options to use disk utility, install mac OS, use terminal, etc...

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