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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Hard Drive Cable?


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AnnaBford

 
Member Since: Aug 15, 2012
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Last week I had problems with my late model 2009 MacBook Pro beach balling while I was writing a paper in Pages. Nothing else was open. I restarted the computer only to have the same problem. When I restarted again I got the grey screen with a question mark. I did some trouble shooting listed on Apples page but when that didn't work I tried repairing using Utilities in the boot dvd. The HD couldn't be located. I even tried re installing but still couldn't locate the HD. Everything I read seemed to point to a dead hard drive so I ordered a replacement and an enclosure to try to get info off of it. Both arrived today and was pretty easy to install but again when I went to Utilities the HD couldn't be found. After another search I found that the HD Cable is a known problem in my model so I ordered one of those. This evening I decided to test the old HD in the enclosure and see if I can get anywhere with it. I ranUtilities again and it was able to locate the old HD in the enclosure. I ran repairs and when it was finished I restarted the computer and had it boot via the usb.This worked and looked exactly as it did before the problems started but when I tried to open anything (I tried mail, finder, and a pages file) it would beach ball again.

Is this because the internal HD isn't working yet?
Does it sound like a new cable will fix this or is it something more?
What more can I do?
Thank you for your help!
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harryb2448

 
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G'day and welcome to the forums.

The cables do fail being in a confined hot space for so many years. The act of disconnecting the drive can fracture the very fragile cable. That 'on again off again' typifies the problem with the cable connecting and failing, connecting and failing.

It is always good policy of replacing the cable when you replace a hard drive.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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AnnaBford

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
G'day and welcome to the forums.

The cables do fail being in a confined hot space for so many years. The act of disconnecting the drive can fracture the very fragile cable. That 'on again off again' typifies the problem with the cable connecting and failing, connecting and failing.

It is always good policy of replacing the cable when you replace a hard drive.
Hi Harryb. Thank you for the reply.

I have ordered a new cable as that seems to be the problem at first. My concern is that booting the old HD in the enclosure is still causing the computer to lock up. I'm wondering if there is more to the problem than just the HD cable. Or if once I have a properly working internal HD the beach balling will stop.
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Odatria

 
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Just had the SAME problem! I had to replace the flex cable AND the drive :/
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AnnaBford

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odatria View Post
Just had the SAME problem! I had to replace the flex cable AND the drive :/

Please excuse my ignorance but a flex cable is the same as a hard drive cable right? If so I have one ordered and hopefully that will solve everything.

I'm sorry you had the same problem. Hopefully yours is fixed now. Thank you for your help.
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chscag

 
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Quote:
Please excuse my ignorance but a flex cable is the same as a hard drive cable right? If so I have one ordered and hopefully that will solve everything.
It's referring to the SATA cable which goes from the connector in the hard drive slot to the logic board. Since the cable is very thin and is subjected to heat, it sometimes fails without warning. The symptoms can be quite perplexing and make it appear the hard drive is defective when in fact the cable is bad.

It's a good idea to change it out if your machine is several years old and needs a new hard drive. Be careful when removing the old cable as the connectors are brittle from heat and can easily break. If that happens, you have real trouble.... so take caution.
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