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

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Bad hard drive or port?

I have a MacBook Intel Core Duo 2.0 GHz. A week after installing Snow Leopard in my 13'' black Macbook, my screen went gray and had a blinking file with question mark on it. I took it to the Apple store and they said it was the hard drive. I since then bought a new hard drive, a SSD Samsung 128gb 830 series. I installed the new drive and still same gray screen. When trying to reinstall Snow Leopard, it gets to the part where you would select hard drive to store and no hard drive shows up. I took it to Apple again and was told it was too old to be checked in, but it could be a port. What port could this be and do you know of a place that services old MacBooks? Im getting married so I'm just trying to save the money of buying a new Mac, any advice would be great.

Thank you


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When you purchase a hard drive, it's not initially in the format necessary to be used on a Mac, and therefore it doesn't show up in the screen you mention -- because only volumes that are ready to accept the OS install will show up.

When you get to that screen, move the cursor to the top of the screen, and in the pull-down menus you will see the "Disk Utility" option. Select this, and when Disk Utility appears, you should see your drive listed on the left side. Highlight it, use the "erase" option, close Disk Utility, and then your drive should show up as an option for the OS install.

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The pull down menu with Utilities shows up on the second page when booted from the installation disk. Also after formatting, give the hard drive one partition.


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Hi Nick,

You should replace the hard drive cable cause it could be the culprit. Just finished a job on a macbook 1181 like yours with same symptoms and replacing the cable solved the issue. Good luck :-)

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Even in the pull down menu from "Disk Utility" my only 2 options are "Matshita DVD-R UJ-857 and OS x install dvd"


Most typically that would be the solution, but perhaps Lemerise is correct and you need a new hard drive cable, or maybe your drive is bad?


lemerise, I'm thinking that is probably the case. How difficult is it to change the cable?


Thank you guys for your help, I'm going to go ahead and order a new cable. It wasn't that bad to take out and for $25 what do I have to lose.


Not too difficult. The tricky part is the sleep light connection. Check this link:

MacBook Core 2 Duo Hard Drive Connector Replacement

BTW: are you sure the hard drive is pushed all the way in the connector ?


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Nick Starovic will be eternally grateful.
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