Mid 2006 / model number A1181 / black or white case / 1.83 or 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor.

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MacBook works fine with external media but doesn't see any internal HD

Hi guys,

I've searched all 278 other solutions (and some seemed similar) but nothing really helps me further with the following problem. From one day to another, Macbook started up with blinking ?-folder, meaning no system present.


- MB hasn't been dropped or suffered a severe shock.


1) Tried to boot from Leopard install DVD and works fine but no HD visible in Disk utily.

2) Booted up with an external harddrive and MB works fine, but still the internal HD doesn't show up.

3) Built-out my HD and put it in another MB => HD with my system works and boots fine on the other MB! So this means i can rule out HD-failure. Checked also with diskwarrior and Techtoolpro => all fine...So I'm thinking about a connection problem

4)opened up my MB and replaced the harddisk connection cable with a new one. Checked connection slots for failures but everything looked ok. Unfortunately, still the blinking ?-folder at boot :-(

Now I'm all fresh out of ideas... I have a perfectly working MB core duo but it fails to see any internal HD.

Is there anything left I can check or is this L/B failure? (which I would find strange since it boots perfectly from external drive :-)

Thanks in advance for your help!


Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Just to give you the outcome of this problem => A brand new harddrive cable also didn't do the trick. I took the alternate route that Mayer suggested and it worked! The optical harddrive enclosure is functioning fine and is a cheaper solution compared to buying a new Macbook :-) Thanks again for your support guys...


That's great. Now if you would please accept meyers answer so the question may be archived to help others. Thanks. +


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2 Answers

Chosen Solution

Alternate route. When all else fails, take a different route. If it just won't work, drop in an optical Bay Hard drive Adapter and try your hard drive in that. Here's what I'm talking about: 9.5 mm PATA Optical Bay SATA Hard Drive Enclosure

9.5 mm PATA Optical Bay SATA Hard Drive Enclosure Image


9.5 mm PATA Optical Bay SATA Hard Drive Enclosure


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Hello Mayer,

Thanks for your alternative look on this! Must say I wasn't aware at all of this solution! DVD-drive isn't used much so this is a 1st class alternative when the other sata-cable doesn't work... Thanks for your contribution!


Obviously the problem is on the logic board. This is cheaper than replacing it.


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the SATA connector cable has a few different versions, did you make sure that you ahve one from the same model MacBook?

if you got the right one, first try resetting the SMC and PRAM, if no change, you have a logic board failure.

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Hmm, very good remark and after checking the answer is no. My sata-connector is from a 2.0; the donor connector came out of a 1.83ghz. They look 100% similar though? Nevertheless, I'll try again with another cable but resetting SMC and PRAM with donor cable remains the same... Sincere thanks for your support! I will post the outcome


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yvesneels will be eternally grateful.
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