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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2009
    Posts
    5
    new MBP not recognizing transplanted HD from old MBP
    Hi there. A dying fan bearing prompted me to finally get a new MBP at work (I love the old one, but some screen and optical drive problems made a replacement a welcome idea). I had upgraded the hard drive on the old unit's -- a 2.16ghz core 2 duo -- to a 320GB WD Scorpio. I hadn't upgraded that system to Snow Leopard yet -- it's running Leopard. The new MBP arrived today, and obviously it's got Snow Leopard installed.

    Since the new MBP's drive is only 250GB and since the old MBP's replacement drive is still fairly new, I wanted to transplant it to the new MBP. Unfortunately, the MBP doesn't recognize it. I get the flashing folder with a question mark. Booting with option held down will display a DVD (if one's inserted) but nothing else. I've booted to DVD and used Disk Utility, but the drive doesn't appear.

    I've tried reseating the SATA cable. I can feel the drive spinning up. I've tried resetting the PMU. Put back into the old MBP, it works fine (I'm typing this via the OS it contains). The new MBP's drive boots fine (though I haven't gone through the installer setup process).

    At this point I'm a bit stumped. Why might this drive not be recognized? I'm ready to buy a new large drive for the new MBP so I can restore the 320GB volume to it. But I'm wary of buying another drive that doesn't work for who knows what reason. Does anyone know what might be preventing this thing from recognizing the WD drive?

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    36,498
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    What version of the Mac OS was on the old MBP hard drive...10.5.x?

    It's possible that the OS version on your old hard drive is just slightly too old for the new MBP...and that is why the new MBP is not recognizing it...and you're getting the "?" at startup.

    I see two solutions for you:

    1. If your old MBP still works, reinstall the "old" hard drive back into it...and then update the OS to 10.5.8. The remove the HD, and install into the new MBP.

    2. You could take that old HD, mount it in an external enclosure, and plug it into the new MBP via USB or firewire (depending in the external enclosure you buy). And then copy what you need from the old hard drive onto the new Hard drive.

    Of course to do #2...you have to reinstall the "new" HD back into the new MBP. Once you get all of the stuff off the old HD...then you could reinstall the older HD into the new MBP, reformat it, and then install 10.6 onto it.

    Hope this helps (and makes sense),

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2009
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for the quick response! That does make sense. The old drive OS is at 10.5.8, though. We have a license for a Snow Leopard upgrade at work, so perhaps I'll give an upgrade a try, then attempt to transfer the HD again.

    Thing is, I can't imagine the contained OS making a difference to the drive for purposes of it showing up in Disk Utility. For booting, sure. But DU? That seems really, really weird to me.

  4. #4

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    36,498
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by sbma44 View Post
    Thanks for the quick response! That does make sense. The old drive OS is at 10.5.8, though. We have a license for a Snow Leopard upgrade at work, so perhaps I'll give an upgrade a try, then attempt to transfer the HD again.

    Thing is, I can't imagine the contained OS making a difference to the drive for purposes of it showing up in Disk Utility. For booting, sure. But DU? That seems really, really weird to me.
    If your old HD has 10.5.8 on it...then my theory about the OS being slightly too old is probably incorrect.

    Even the newest MBP's originally shipped with 10.5.7 (so 10.5.8 should be fine)...unless the absolute newest MBP's now shipping actually require 10.6 or 10.6.1.

    Maybe my suggestion #2 above is the better choice then.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2009
    Posts
    5
    #2 is definitely a viable suggestion. I have an up-to-date time machine backup on an external USB drive, so I wouldn't even need to transfer the drive into an enclosure.

    However, I'm using about 280GB right now. I could certainly pare that down, but I'd rather not take a step backward in terms of disk space. I'd like to either continue to use the 320 in the new machine or else figure out a way to purchase a bigger HDD that I can be confident will work.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2009
    Posts
    5
    for anyone stumbling in via search: this is currently the leading suspect

    EFI MacBook Pro drive problems prevail | 9 to 5 Mac

    The fix is to downgrade EFI. The brave can attempt this at home rather than at a Genius Bar:

    MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.7 Problems - Page 13 - Mac Forums

    I have successfully performed the downgrade and then booted into Snow Leopard on the stock 250GB drive. I'll attempt the swap this evening and report back.

    Apologies for posting a thread that duplicates existing material on the forum; apparently I wasn't searching for the right thing. This EFI thing seems to manifest itself in different ways for different people, so perhaps the inability to find the solution by searching for the symptom should not be surprising.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2009
    Posts
    5
    Success! I'm now typing this on the old hard drive in the new MBP. Downgrading EFI did the trick.

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