Released October 24, 2011 / 2.2, 2.4, or 2.5 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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MacBook Pro intermittently won't start with fan running strongly

Running Apple Hardware Test turns up error message 4HDD/11/40000000:SATA(0,0)

SATA cable (on your advice) and hard drive were replaced (with SSD) recently. Running Sierra.

After running the AHT (associated with the fan running strongly and the strip behind the keyboard being hot) the computer then boots ok. This appeared to fix things once before, the other time I have no idea why it resumed working normally.

When the device is down it will not run Disk Utility or safe boot. Running fsck did not help. Resetting NVRAM no help.

Your assistance would again be much appreciated

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Just to be sure here: The AHT error was before you replaced the drive & SATA cable? Or, are you having this problem now?

Is this a single drive system (HDD or SSD in the main drive bay)? No other drive is present internally.


Thanks for your reply Dan

The new SATA cable and SSD drive were installed in May this year.

The problem has arisen over the past month

This is a single drive system. No other internal drive.


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The AHT error is one that is not well documented (outside of Apple). I'm thinking the logic board has an issue within the pathway to the Platform Controller Hub (PCH) and/or the PCH its self is having troubles.

Basically, over the years the PC & Chip makers have reduced the number of chips it takes to build a computer.

  • Very similar to how the old calculators had 12 or so chips. And now even the most advanced ones only have just one chip and its not even in a case just bonded directly to the PCB!

Intel has done the same thing, taking about five chips and squeezing it down to one which we call the PCH chip.

I don't think swapping out the drive or cable will make a difference here.

To see if only one SATA port is effected you could pop out the optical drive and plug the drive into its SATA port using a carrier like this: OWC Data Doubler. If that works it will only be a stopgap until you can either get the logic board fixed or replaced.

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Thanks for this Dan. The MBP is working at present. I'll come back to this if/when it fails again and will try what you suggest.

I didn't realise that logic boards were repairable.

Longer term I guess I have to look at a new logic board. Costly.

One post I read suggested pulling out the SSD and trying booting from it in an external housing. Is this worthwhile?


If its working now you may only have a cold solder joint!

A tech with good micro soldering skills should be able to do it for you. As they will have the needed tools and understanding on the techniques needed here.


Thanks Dan, will see how things go


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When it boots up hold command & R to boot into recovery mode.

Open Disk Utility and reformat the drive you are using. Then quit Disk Utility and open Reinstall MacOS Sierra and follow the onscreen instructions.

Also you can hold shift, control and option to reset the SMC.

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Appreciate your input Achille.

The machine is up a running at the moment the fault being intermittent.

When it was down the last two times booting with command & R did not work with Disk Utility being inaccessible and resetting the SMC on another occasion did not fix things.


I have the same issue, MacBookPro early 2011 with new Solid state drive about 6 months ago, worked perfect when works, extended hardware test shows everything fine, hard disk check shows everything fine. when the laptop doesn't boot up it stops 1/3 the way (progress bar with Apple logo) when it doesn't work nothing wil work, it won't start in recovery mode at all and in terminal mode it doesn't recognize any of the commands. I cleared out my trash, I have plenty of space anyhow, I have Reser my hardware and ram and every suggestions I have read.


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martin riley will be eternally grateful.
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